Sunday, May 16, 2021

review - TICK, TICK....BOOM! - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre

Bailey Gorman, Hayden Skaggs, and Cate Carlino 
photo by Renee Ashlock
highlights from local critics reviews - (click link at bottom of each review to read complete review)

Click here for more information on this production that runs through May 16

"... (Rent) composer Jonathan Larson...never saw the success of the musical since he died at the age of 35 from an aortic dissection the night before the show had its first Off-Broadway...Larson left behind many unfinished songs and musicals including...Tick, Tick…Boom!...Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre is concluding a two-week run of the show in a fairly successful production with two different casts of young performers taking on this challenging show that tackles the fear of growing older and of being under constant pressure to succeed....Directors Mark and Lynzee 4man have found a wonderful trio of local young actors to depict the three friends in the show and their direction, staging and the energy of the cast result in an emotionally vibrant production....As Jonathan, Hayden Skaggs brings a heightened sense of urgency to this role of the frustrated and unsuccessful artist who is constantly anxious and almost always on the edge. Skaggs is also vulnerable, charming and funny as Jonathan, with a sweet, but mature, singing voice....a musical about a group of friends, one man's life before success, the struggle of chasing your dreams without having to detour from them, and a beautiful reminder of what can be accomplished when someone is talented and determined. It’s fortunate Jonathan Larson didn’t give up on his dreams but the show is also a heartbreaking reminder of what Larson could have accomplished if he’d only lived."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Friday, May 14, 2021

Starlight Community Theater's Camp Rising Star 2021


Do you need new headshots? Mesa Encore Theatre to offer headshot mini-sessions with Richard Glover Photography

Theaters are preparing to reopen and seasons will be announced before you know it. This is the perfect time to update your headshot!

Mesa Encore Theatre has partnered with Richard Glover Photography ( to offer headshot mini-sessions the weekend of May 22. 

For $75, you get a 15 minute shoot and 3 edited digital photos (of your choice). 1/3 of all proceeds will go to Mesa Encore Theatre.

COVID protocols will be followed!

You must register to hold your spot at

For any questions, contact Dawn Rendell at

photos - TICK, TICK...BOOM! - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre

CLICK HERE for more information on this production, which runs through May 16

photos by Renee Ashlock

Arizona Theatre Company's 2021 / 2022 Season!


from our friends at Arizona Theatre Company:

“A season to embrace the unexpected joy in everyday life” 

Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) unveiled its 54th Season today, including six productions in Tucson and six productions in Phoenix starting in September 2021 and running through July 2022. "To say that we're ecstatic to be back creating live, in-person theatre is an understatement," remarked The Kasser Family Artistic Director Sean Daniels. "We can't wait for the curtain to go up and for audiences to feel the thrill of a world-class play or musical."

As Arizonans emerge from this incredibly challenging year, ATC has carefully curated productions that tell stories about how we learn to heal and love each other -- stories of reemergence, rebirth, and rejuvenation. As always, ATC's audiences will experience world-class theatre about what it means to be alive today – inspiring curiosity and creativity, sparking empathy and joy – bringing all Arizonans together. 

ATC's lineup includes two world premieres: Justice, a musical about Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and how to make an American Son, a moving new play about the complexities of privilege, citizenship, and family. Audiences will be the first to see productions that begin their journey at ATC and continue to national and world tours, a strong point of pride for Arizonans.  

"This is just the beginning of shows starting in Arizona before they play the rest of the world,” Daniels remarked. “how to make an American Son received funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and will go Off-Broadway after its run here. Justice already has theaters lining up to produce it. These are true examples of ATC becoming the local theatre the world pays attention to, and I'm excited for other states to see what starts in Arizona."

In his third season at ATC, where he first fell in love with theatre growing up in Mesa, Daniels brings a wealth of national and international resources and connections to his first fully programmed season on stage since joining ATC. 

The 54th Season includes three plays and three musicals, five of which are written or created by female artists. Daniels will direct three performances, while the other three will feature nationally noted directors, including Kimberly Senior, who is the director of Broadway's Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced and will direct ATC's how to make an American Son, and Tiffany Nichole Greene, resident director of Broadway's Hamilton and director of Nina Simone: Four Women. The director of Justice will be announced shortly. 

"Based on the amazing support we have seen from our subscribers and overall excitement and anticipation to attend live performances once again, we are very enthusiastic about our reopening to live stage this fall," said Arizona Theatre Company's Managing Director Geri Wright. "We have worked hard to position ourselves stronger than ever to be ready for our patrons and provide them with high-quality entertainment while contributing to their journey of life-long learning." 

With opening night still months away, ATC is committed to protecting the health of its audiences, artists, and staff. The theatre will communicate information about safety requirements to ticket holders as the first show date approaches. For ticket holders who are unready to return to the theatre, all mainstage plays will be professionally recorded with three cameras on Opening Night.  

Although ATC's stages have been dark, audiences nationwide have tuned in to the theatre's digital play readings for more than a year. With more than 250,000 views of its digital work and 5,000-plus students at 70 schools across the state watching, these offerings gave audiences a peek into the play-making process and provided a welcomed option when live theatre was not possible. In addition to its mainstage productions, ATC will continue to provide digital play readings and access points throughout the coming season.  

"Part of this new chapter for ATC is a focus on lifting up local voices,” Daniels said. “This last year, we hired local legend Chanel Bragg to become our Associate Artistic Director and presented our month-long salute to Tucson playwright Elaine Romero. That type of home state love will continue as this season showcases local designers Connie Furr, William Kirkham, and Kish Finnegan; local music director Alan Plado; and local actors Seth Tucker, Chanel Bragg, Veronika Duerr, Cyndii Johnson, Lena Quach, and so many more. Part of being the state theatre is showing that the best in the country want to come work here – and also live here."

"Live theatre reminds us that we are not alone," Daniels continued, adding that research shows that audience members' heartbeats are synchronized when attending live theatre. "Theatre is more than what's on stage; it's the powerful engagement one feels from the audience as a whole – a truly shared experience at a time when we have all been separated for too long." 

New subscriptions will go on sale to the public on June 1 and single tickets in the fall.  Both can be purchased at or by emailing Subscriptions alone do not cover the cost of our world-class productions, which are only possible through the generosity of our supporters. To make a donation, visit


Book and Lyrics by Christian Duhamel, Music and Lyrics by Ed Bell, Conceived and Performed by Charissa Bertels
Directed by Sean Daniels 
Tucson : 09/25/21 - 10/16/21
Phoenix : 10/21/21 - 11/07/21

What happens when a 20-something Broadway baby meets a Shakespeare- and Schubert-loving octogenarian? Much to their surprise, a friendship blossoms. A delightful award-winning musical about the magic that happens when we throw aside our fears and cross generational barriers. Based on the true story of Broadway performer Charissa Bertels, and winner of the Kleban award for best new libretto, My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend is a loving musical tale about a most unlikely pair discovering themselves as well as each other. 


By Lauren Gunderson & Margot Melcon
Directed by Sean Daniels 

Tucson : 11/06/21 - 12/04/21
Phoenix : 12/09/21 - 01/02/22 

From the pen of the writer of last season’s hit Silent Sky, and America’s most produced playwright, comes this charming and cleverly imagined sequel to Pride and Prejudice. It is two years later and the Bennet family gathers at Pemberley to celebrate Christmas together. Unlike her witty and vibrant sisters, Mary Bennet is unmarried, nerdy, and growing tired of her role as the obedient middle sister. But an unexpected guest gives Mary the boost she needs to embrace her independence and find true love. Miss Bennet is an energetic, witty, and romantic holiday comedy about family, awkward nerd love and personal transformation that will delight and en-chant Jane Austen aficionados and newcomers alike.  


By Wendy MacLeod  
Directed by Sean Daniels

Tucson : 01/15/22 - 02/05/22
Phoenix : 02/10/22 - 02/27/22

Liz’s best friends want her to be happy, but the dentist she’s smitten with is just plain creepy. And they can’t help but wonder if he may be a serial killer. When he is linked to a mysterious disappearance, they turn their book club into a mash-up of Nancy Drew, Murder She Wrote and Sex and the City. This hilarious comedy reminds us about the value of friendship and the potential value of trading in wine glasses for spy glasses when the mid-life crisis just isn’t your speed. 


By Christina Ham  
Directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene (Resident Director, Hamilton on Broadway) 

Tucson : 02/26/22 - 03/19/22
Phoenix : 03/24/22 - 04/10/22

A face-to-face musical evening with the fiery genius, activist, and musician that is Nina Simone.  Following the 1963 bombing by the Ku Klux Klan at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, she rocked the nation with “Four Women,” her tribute in song to the four little girls lost in the tragedy. Infused with traditional hymns along with her own songs and covers, Nina Simone: Four Women imagines a conversation between Simone and three African-American women from various back-grounds and experiences and their fight to overcome second-class status, racism, and the stereotypes that seek to define them.    


Book by Lauren Gunderson
Lyrics by Kait Kerrigan
Music by Bree Lowdermilk  

Tucson : 04/09/22 - 04/30/20
Phoenix : 05/05/22 - 05/22/22

It is 1993, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just joined the United States Supreme Court; the first and only other woman there, Sandra Day O’Connor, is ready to welcome her and get to work. In an intimate, epic three-person new musical built of sweeping songs, urgent conversations about equality, and truly human heroines, we come to know these two iconic justices at the height of their power. Through a third character, Regina, rising through the ranks of the law, we discover how O’Connor and Ginsburg inspire, challenge, and propel the next generation of change-makers and trailblazers in American jurisprudence. Ruth, Sandra and Regina confront each other about equal justice under the law, strategy, civil rights, husbands, kids, dreams, sorrows, and how to set a new course for our country and the world. 

how to make an American Son  

By christopher oscar peña  

Directed by Kimberly Senior (Director of Broadway’s Pulitzer Prize-winning Disgraced) 
In association with Rattlestick Playwrights Theater  

Tucson : 06/04/22 - 06/25/22
Phoenix : 06/30/22 - 07/17/22

A “Model Immigrant” and business mogul, Honduran born Mando’s cleaning empire is bracing for a downturn at the exact same moment when he must rein in his over-privileged American son Orlando. In the wake of a personal crisis, Orlando suddenly finds himself responsible for the fate of a treasured worker and the future of his father’s entire enterprise. What happens when the promise of the American Dream collides with the reality of immigration and family? A moving new play about the complexities of privilege, citizenship, and the most complex relationship of all: family. 


Thursday, May 13, 2021

A Behind the Scenes Video of what's happening at Actor's Youth Theatre


from our friends at Actor's Youth Theatre:

Educate. Inspire. Grow.  Hear all about what's happening at Actor's Youth Theatre from its Artistic Director, Stephen Hohendorf.  We hope to see you around the theatre soon!

Grand Canyon University's 2021 - 2022 Season!

The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940 
September 3-September 12, 2021

Radium Girls
October 8-October 17, 2021

Student Spotlight
October 28 & October 29, 2021

The Addams Family
November 19, 2021 - November 28, 2021

Winter Dance
December 10,2021 - December 12, 2021

The Lady’s Not for Burning 
February 11,2022 - February 20,2022

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
April 1, 2022 - April 10, 2022

Spring Dance 
April 22, 2022- April 24, 2022

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Audition Video Submission Date for BIPOC performers for United Colours of Arizona Theatre's English and Spanish productions of THE LAST FIVE YEARS extended through May 16


From our friends at UCAT:


We are looking for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) performers for our first summer show:
The Last Five Years/Los Últimos Cinco Años. We will be producing an ENGLISH and SPANISH version with SEPERATE casts for both. We will be asking for video audition submissions but the performances will be in person.

Performers will be paid a stipend of $200

An emotionally powerful and intimate musical about two New Yorkers in their twenties who fall in and out of love over the course of five years, the show's unconventional structure consists of Cathy, the woman, telling her story backwards while Jamie, the man, tells his story chronologically; the two characters only meet once, at their wedding in the middle of the show. 

Character Breakdown:
Catherine Hiatt
Character arcs from an ambitious, fresh-faced girl in a new relationship to a woman stunned by a betrayal and a divorce that she is only beginning to understand.
Vocal: Belty Mezzo, Soprano
Gender: Female
Age: 25 to 35

Jamie Wellerstein
Character arcs from an ambitious guy on a promising first date with a dazzling career to someone who is blinded by success and ego. He is very lovable, yet makes unintentional choices that sabotages his own happiness.
Vocal: Tenor
Gender: Male
Age: 25 to 35

We strongly encourage trans and gender non-conforming performers to audition.


Videos should be no longer than 4 minutes total.

Please prepare:
(1) 16 bars of an up-tempo song
(1) 16 bars of a downtempo song
1 monologue (comedic or dramatic)
If you are interested in being considered for the Spanish version of our show, please feel free to make one song selection (either the up-tempo or downtempo) in Spanish.

Document on suggestions to help with recording your video:

This is the Preliminary Rehearsal Schedule. We will start rehearsals on Zoom and then move to in-person
rehearsals as we get closer to opening night. You will have a chance to list any schedule conflicts.

Rehearsal schedule:

Performance Dates:
Friday evenings for July 16th and 23rd
Saturday evenings with possible matinees for July 17th and 24th
Sunday matinees for July 18 and 25th
Performance Location:
Scottsdale Center for Performing Arts, Stage 2
7380 East Second Street
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
If you have any questions or concerns, please email us @

WEEK AT A GLANCE: May 10 - May 16, 2021

 Click on any show title to get more information on that production






Arizona Broadway Theatre announces the return of CHICAGO - performances run September 19-October 30

from our friends at ABT:

After 423 days, we can finally announce:

CHICAGO returns to the ABT stage this Fall

September 19 - October 30, 2021

We waited fifteen years to produce this iconic musical, and, after four sold-out performances in March 2020, the long-awaited return is almost here. 

We are tremendously grateful to our ABT family for standing by us during this incredibly long intermission. Only with your patience and support are we able to bring the full magic of this iconic musical back to the stage.   

For those of you that had tickets to CHICAGO, a member of our Patron Services Team will contact you in the upcoming weeks. Please keep an eye on our website and social media platforms for more information. The remaining productions of our 2021-2022 Season will be announced shortly. 

Cassandra and Kiel Klaphake, Founders
Arizona Broadway Theatre​

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Urgent Casting Notice for the roles of Sky, Pepper and Ensemble for MAMMA MIA! at Almost Famous Theater Company


Almost Famous Theater Company was in rehearsals for Mamma Mia! in March 2020 when everything came to a screeching halt. They are ready to pick up where they left off and mount Mamma Mia for a September return for their adult troupe.

They are currently seeking 2 young men to fill the roles of Sky and Pepper and bolster their ensemble for a big, sparkly celebration this Fall.

Performances September 10-12 at Kroc Center 1375 E. Broadway, Phoenix 85040.  
Submit a current video of you signing a song from the show by Friday May 14 at 5pm via to

Monday, May 10, 2021

Urgent Casting Notice: Adult Male Actor needed for KILL SOCRATES, A COMEDY at Don Bluth Front Row Theatre

URGENT AUDITION notice - Adult male actor needed for DBFRT "Kill Socrates, A Comedy" in rehearsal now
Immediately needed:
One male actor between the ages of 25-45 to play two parts in the upcoming  Don Bluth Front Row Theatre Arizona premier production of  “Kill Socrates, a Comedy “ 

Show runs June 10th - July 24th.
Pays a stipend. 
Show is in rehearsal now.

Please contact the director ASAP  to arrange a time to audition. 
Cheryl Schaar

LITTLE WOMEN - Stage Left Productions - June 9 - June 13, 2021

Based on the book by Louisa May Alcott


June 9-13 2021

Directed by Amber Ryan

 Share this timeless and enduring classic about the March sisters’ journey from childhood to maturity during the American Civil War. Audiences of all generations will enjoy acquainting — or reacquainting — themselves with the sisters: Meg, the eldest; Jo, the high-spirited tomboy; Amy, the self-centered beauty; and gentle Beth, as well as their beloved Marmee and Father. Together the March family learns to endure both good times and bad as they share the joys and pains of growing up.

Meg - Alexa Roark
Jo - Hannah Fenzl
Beth - Maddie O’Brien
Amy - Paris Rayne
Hannah - Gloria Greeley
Marmee - Genesis Fernandez
Aunt March - Kate Donick
Laurie Laurence - Aleksander Vasilev
John Brooke - Elie Silva
Mrs. Gardner - Jami Fick
Sally Gardner - Ivana Grgic
Annie Moffat - Scout Kurvink 
Belle Moffat - Julia Kelly



​Wednesday June 9 7:00pm
Thursday June 10  7:00pm
Friday June 11  7:00pm
Saturday June 12 2:00pm
Saturday June 12 7:00pm
Sunday June 13  2:00pm

Sunday, May 9, 2021

Starlight Community Theater's 2021 - 2022 Season!

from our friends at Starlight Community Theater:

We were so pleased to announce our new season at the closing performance of Spelling Bee! We will also continue to offer special virtual productions and other exciting events as the year goes on, so stay tuned! If you'd like to be a part of this exciting season - from marketing to stage managing and everything in between, check out our volunteer page HERE and submit an application!
We’ve already announced our season opener – FOOTLOOSE – a teen musical – auditions May 13 – FOOTLOOSE runs July 23 to August 8, 2021.

COVID couldn’t prevent us from presenting a dark look at mental institutions, abuse of power, madness, sanity, and the fine line between them – in ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOOS NEST, an adult drama, running September 10-19, 2021.

Something is rotting in the state of Denmark as Hamlet solves the mystery of his mother's marriage to his uncle and his father's transformation from King to Zombie King before fending off both the Norwegians and the zombie hordes.  Get ready for a spooky retelling of one of the Bard's classics with lots of fun and a little bite.  The youth play, HAMLET and ZOMBIES, will run October 8-17.

The residents of Bikini Bottom face the total annihilation of their undersea world. Chaos erupts. And just when all hope seems lost, a most unexpected hero rises up and takes center stage.  THE SPONGEBOB MUSICAL with an adult cast – floats into Starlight December 3-19, 2021.

The classic tale of an aging toymaker and his beloved wooden puppet is given new life in DISNEY’S MY SON PINOCCHIO JR – a youth musical – running January 14-23, 2022, features “When You Wish Upon A Star

As the title suggests, there's a lot of fuss over nothing!  Get ready to laugh at two pairs of star-crossed lovers when Shakespeare’s MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING hits Starlight February 18-27, 2022.

On April 1-10, 2022, two casts – one teen and one adult – will present GODSPELL, the story of the last days of Jesus based the Gospel according to St. Matthew.

Five has-been mystery fiction writers are brought to the mysterious Vulture's Vault to collaborate on and write a new murder mystery TV series. When real murders start to happen, hilarity ensues.  DONE TO DEATH, an adult murder mystery comedy comes to Starlight April 29-May 7, 2022.

We close our season in a magical kingdom beneath the sea where a beautiful young mermaid longs to leave her ocean home to live in the world above.  DISNEY’S THE LITTLE MERMAID captures your hearts June 3-19, 2022.