Thursday, July 30, 2020

Southwest Shakespeare Company’s Virtual Classics Live! Production Of Shakespeare’s JULIUS CAESAR To Benefit The Association For The Chronically Mentally Ill

Tony Award Winner, Trezana Beverley is the first Person of Color (POC) ever to receive the coveted TONY AWARD as Featured Actress in her role as Lady in Red in the Broadway phenomenon hit, For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow is Enuf. Her famous red dress is now on display in the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC. 

On August 1st @ 6:30 pm PDT (7:30 MDT; 8:40 CDT; 9:30 EDT), she will be acting with and directing a stellar cast from New York, Arizona’s Southwest Shakespeare Company and others from across the nation. [SPOILER ALERT!] “It gets pretty slow for ol’ Caesar in the second half - so, I relish the opportunity to direct - it gives me something to do”, said Beverley in a recent interview. 

“Modesty thy name is Trezana”, said Southwest Shakespeare Executive Director, Mary Way, “We are happy to be gathering the crumbs from under her table. She is truly at the leading edge of Theater in America. Our work together on groundbreaking new work going forward is creating a lot of good energy in hard times - we will publicly announce as soon as we can. We are feeling pretty darned excited about it.”

When asked about working with Southwest Shakespeare Beverley said, “I am so pleased to be doing Caesar with Southwest Shakespeare Company - Caesar is a deeply complex character - these are complex times. I believe we can do a lot of good with the help of some of my favorite actors in the cast. I truly look forward to a time when we can come to Arizona in person and continue with a very important project. It will reflect the whole of the population of the Southwest region in all its variety and scope. Thank you for this warm welcome.”



After their success attracting over 4.5K devices, roughly 10K viewers and raising $5000 for COVID Relief in Native Nations of the Southwest (PPE for Navajo First Responders) and casting a primarily Native cast in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Southwest Shakespeare continues the campaign to help raise awareness and solve COVID related problems. 

“If COVID-19 is a Plague then the Plague-within-a-Plague is Mental Health”, said Dr. Charles Goldstein, Vice President of Southwest Shakespeare’s Board. “ACMI is doing valiant work to ensure the rising tide of seriously and chronically mentally ill have resources, housing, and training during this critical time to prevent incarceration in a penal system unsuited to treat mental illness.”

ACMI works with stakeholders to improve care for persons suffering from chronic serious mental illness through cost-effective network enhancements. Their mission is to improve the well-being of Chronic Seriously Mentally Ill population by providing more “Lighthouse-like community living” and more Contained Treatment Facilities.

ACMI  is a nonprofit organization founded by a group of passionate parents whose adult children shared a similar experience with Arizona’s behavioral health system.


At the interval please join Mental Health Advocates Dr. Charles and Laurie Goldstein. To find out more about ACMI  and to donate go to: 


This event is presented free and open to the public.  Simply login here: 

Director…Trezana Beverley

Director of Production…Stacey Walston

Stage Manager…Kate Weir

Administrative Intern…Willetta Clitso


JULIUS CAESAR…Trezana Beverley


MARCUS BRUTUS…Dathan B. Williams

MARC ANTONY…Debra Ann Byrd

CAIUS CASSIUS…Ian Christiansen



CASCA/MESSALA…Terrance L. Kennedy

CINNA…Ariana Gibeault









Actor's Youth Theatre to offer weekday school monitoring sessions

Actor’s Youth Theatre is offering a place for your kids to go during the school hours to complete their online school! Monday-Friday 8am-4pm! 

Lunch will be provided as well as 2 classes and extra downtime to keep them engaged and productive! 

One movement class and one theater class! 

2 Adult Supervisors will be there at all times and Social Distancing and Masks will be enforced! 

Email to sign up or ask Questions

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Check out this week's episode of CHEWING THE SCENERY, which features Arizona Native James D. Gish from BEAUTIFUL!


PHX Stages is happy to be one of the sponsors of this week’s episode of “Chewing the Scenery”

D. Scott Withers and Ashley Stults head into the studios at Star Worldwide Networks in Scottsdale today to record their 5th episode of the hot new podcast: Chewing the Scenery.

For episode 5 we go back on the road with the national tour of Beautiful the Carol King Musical!  Music Director and Conductor Alan J Plado and lead actor James D Gish (Gerry Goffin) tell us all about their journeys from the stages of Phoenix to the glamorous world of Broadway National Tours!  You don't want to miss a second of this informative but ridiculously fun podcast produced right here in the Valley!

Chewing the Scenery, Episode 5: Beautiful drops on Monday, July 27th and can be found wherever you listen to podcasts or at

Saturday, July 25, 2020

MCC PAC Musical Productions announces Virtual/Video Submissions for BACKWARDS BROADWAY, A Virtual Cabaret

MCC PAC Musical Productions presents BACKWARDS BROADWAY, A Virtual Cabaret


Your favorite Broadway Songs sung by the opposite sex!
Come experience your favorite show tunes in a whole new way.
A guaranteed night of excellent music and a lot of laughs.

Auditions will be virtual/video submissions and must be received by August 10, 2020
for more information CLICK HERE 

Performances: September 17-19, 2020

If selected register for class MUP270AA 40380

The Maricopa County Community College District is committed to continue to promote a learning and work environment that is non-discriminatory. This commitment is demonstrated through the value
of inclusion, the implementation of policies and regulations that serve to prohibit discrimination and by practicing non-discriminatory actions in both our employment and academic activities.
This means that Maricopa will not discriminate,nor tolerate discrimination, against any applicant, employee, or student in any of its policies, procedures, or practices.

Friday, July 24, 2020

ASU Gammage postpones Fall 2020 Shows

from our friends at ASU Gammage:

ASU Gammage is postponing its engagements of HAMILTON and OKLHOMA! from fall 2020 to new dates in 2021. These shows are still included in the 2020-2021 Broadway Subscription.

The ASU Gammage Desert Financial Broadway Across America – Arizona season will still include the full eight-show lineup with the much-anticipated Tempe premiere of beloved Broadway hit Disney’s FROZEN; Broadway favorites TOOTSIE and MY FAIR LADY; the show that was truly “fetch” on Broadway, MEAN GIRLS;  the critically acclaimed smash-hit Broadway musical THE BAND’S VISIT, which is the winner of 10 Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, and the powerful adaptation of an American classic, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD.

The return of a “theatrical landmark that has transformed theater and the way we think about history” (The New York Times) – HAMILTON and 2019 Tony Award® Winner of Best Revival of a Musical OKLAHOMA! have been moved to 2021. New performance dates will be announced soon.

To learn more visit

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Quarantine Q/A: MAX CRUMM

by Gil Benbrook

Our series of "Quarantine" interviews, which focus on individuals involved in the theatre community and their reaction to Arizona and other state's stay at home mandates, continues today with a conversation with Max Crumm.

Crumm grew up in Phoenix and appeared in youth shows at several theatres in town, including Valley Youth Theatre and Desert Stages Theatre, before becoming famous when he won the role of Danny in the 2007 Broadway revival of Grease from his appearance on the TV reality competition show Grease: You're the One That I Want! He's also appeared on Broadway in Disaster! as well as in shows Off Broadway and in regional theatres.

The COVID-19 virus and the quarantines and stay at home orders have affected us all in many ways. The theatre community has been harshly impacted with show closures and postponements. We hope this series of interviews will be a way to provide some personal insight into what people are doing during this period of time while highlighting familiar individuals from the theatre community in town.

Was there a show you were in or involved with or preparing for when the stay at home order started?

Crumm: "I was in the Off-Broadway hit, Emojiland when we got the call that we would no longer be finishing our Sold-Out run. It was a fantastical little show on 42nd street about emoji's living inside of a smartphone! I played 'Man In Business-suit Levitating' and did the entire show on a hoverboard. We had just opened 2 months before the virus hit the US. The show only had 2 weeks left on the contract. So, luckily there wasn't too much money lost for the company. Still it was devastating to end so abruptly. We never got a closing night performance or party!"

Max Crumm (center) with Lesli Margherita and Josh Lamon in Emojiland
photo by Jeremy Daniel

How have you been personally impacted by both COVID and the stay at home order in March?

"I have luckily been staying healthy and as safe as possible here in NY. The beginning of Quarantine was super isolating and scary because New York was the epicenter at that time. Now that things are slowly getting back to a calm and steady rate, it is much easier to handle the stress of COVID."

How has your daily routine changed?

"My routine has changed drastically in terms of cooking! I cook EVERY. DAY. I used to eat out for every meal, it seemed. Learning to make different meals has been a blessing in the midst of all of this. I plan to continue my journey with food and grocery shopping."

What do you feel will be different when theater restarts?

"I HAVE NO IDEA. I am excited & nervous for what’s in store but I am here for it."

When do you think that’ll happen?

"I hope it will happen sometime next summer. Again, I have no idea what theatre will look like in the future but I hope it’s still a live experience with a live audience in some capacity."

Max Crumm and Laura Osnes in Grease
photo by Joan Marcus

What have you been doing to stay creative during this time?

"I have been playing Guild Wars 2 (shout out to any gamers out there!) it’s a GIGANTIC Rpg fantasy computer game that has kept me BUSY:) I started a virtual studio a couple of months ago. So a lot of my attention has gone to teaching acting lessons & personal coaching sessions on zoom! The VS (virtual studio) is a space for performers/everyday people to work on whatever they want with me - An upcoming audition, public speaking, memorizing lines, acting through a name it, I can help! It's been super rewarding to be able to connect with people from all walks of life.  Hopefully the virtual studio can grow and grow into a much bigger, meaningful business. I love helping artists! hit me up!"  (For information or answers to questions about Max's virtual acting, coaching and singing classes, email him at )

Any binge tv shows you’ve watched?

"I have always loved Buffy the Vampire Slayer but have recently re-watched almost all of the seasons. I’m about half-way through the series!"

Any new hobbies you’ve taken on?

"COOKING :-) "

How has this experience changed you?

"I think it has made me realize what really matters. Spending quality time with the ones i love and Spending quality time with myself. I have also become an avid biker.. i bought a bicycle and I am never NOT riding it by the river. (with my mask on of course) "

What is the one thing you’re most looking forward to now that most states are starting to lift the stay at home order?

"Being able to get together with friends and have a drink outside. Hopefully enjoy a bit of the summer :) "

Childsplay partners with TYA USA and 36 Theatres for Virtual Premiere of A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM

Childsplay Theatre joins a groundbreaking collaboration among 37 Theatres for Young Audiences across the United States, led by the lead producing team of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, will present  the virtual premiere of A Kids Play About Racism, a theatrical adaptation of Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book About Racism

Premiering August 1 and 2 on the streaming platform Broadway On Demand, the new work is adapted and directed by award-winning director and TYA artist Khalia Davis and will be brought to life by an entirely Black and BIPOC cast and creative team from across the United States.  A Kids Play About Racism will utilize theatre to offer young children and families a way to engage in meaningful conversation about race. As part of the production, educational materials developed by Seattle Children’s Theatre in collaboration with the Northwest African American Museum will extend the experience and enhance age-appropriate engagement. All 37 partnering theatres are members of Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA/USA), the national organization representing the field of theatre for children and family audiences.

“I jumped at the opportunity to adapt Jelani Memory's book A Kids Book About Racism into a theatrical piece for young audiences simply because it meant we were recognizing the importance of including children in these difficult conversations,” shared lead artist Khalia Davis. “This show embraces the full spectrum of emotional response children may have as they navigate comprehending racism and how it may affect them." 

“When I wrote A Kids Book About Racism, I wrote it from my own kids. I never could have imagined it would have spread so far and wide to thousands of kids all over the world, or turned into a nationwide theatrical event.  I am thrilled to see what Khalia and these other amazing artists create,” offered Jelani Memory, whose book provides the inspiration for the production. A Kids Book about Racism is part of Memory’s children’s book publishing company A Kids Book About, which offers titles on a range of big topics to explore including feminism, belonging, gratitude, cancer, and many more.  

The scale and breadth of this co-production has been made possible in part through the network cultivated by TYA/USA, which connects organizations and artists across the country focused on theatre for young people and families. Through the last few months, TYA/USA has offered a range of programming to provide deep connections and resource sharing in response to COVID-19. Through this network, TYA theatres across the country have been able to come together to find ways to support each other and their audiences through new and innovative collaboration models.

A Kids Play About Racism will be streaming on Broadway On Demand ( on August 1 and 2 along with accompanying interviews and educational videos.

A Kids Play About Racism is adapted and directed by Khalia Davis, with music composed by Justin Ellington and Costume Design by Ron McCann (California). It will be performed by Rapheal Hamilton (Arizona), Davied Morales (California), Angel Adedokun (California), Moses Goods (Hawaii), Isaiah Harris (Texas), Jessenia Ingram (Georgia), and Regan Sims (New York). 

The work is produced by Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre, in partnership with Adventure Theatre MTC, Arts on the Horizon, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Chicago Children's Theatre, Children's Theater of Madison, Children’s Theatre Company, Childsplay, Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, Coterie Theatre, Dallas Children's Theater, Dare to Dream Theatre, Des Moines Performing Arts, Filament Theatre, First Stage, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, Magik Theatre, Metro Theater Company, Nashville Children's Theatre, New York City Children's Theater, Oregon Children's Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Pink Umbrella Theater Company, ReNew Productions, Rose Theater, Seattle Children's Theatre The Growing Stage - The Children's Theatre of New Jersey, The Gottabees, The Open Eye Theater, TheatreWorksUSA, Trike Theatre, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University, and Orpheum Theatre Group.

Brock Pro Entertainment presents MUSIC OF THE NIGHT on July 26

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Limelight Performing Arts to present live, virtual productions of THE SOCIAL DIVA GAME and A STRANGE KIND OF SPRING, July 23-25 and July 30-August 1

Limelight is excited to announce their LIVE streaming of their Isolation project shows! The actors have been rehearsing hard to put together these amazing new scripts by Colleen Porter.

The Social Diva Game 

The Social Diva Game pokes fun at the sudden rush to collect online followers and lure them into online courses. The now famous You-Tuber, Sydney Simmons, attempts to convince a group of young friends that they can’t live without her professional advice on how to show up on social media. The game invites some “not always so friendly” competition (and a little meddling by Sydney’s sidekick), but in the end the most valuable lessons they learn aren’t about social media at all.

Shows will be streamed via Twitch at 7:30 pm July 23, 24 & 25.
Go to for more info and tickets

A Strange Kind of Spring

A group of friends from Saguaro Mountain Performing Arts meet up online right at the end of Spring Break before they go back to their normal school schedule; but what happens next is anything but normal. Suddenly all their end of year plans are rearranged by CoVid 19 and the state-wide stay at home order. The audience watches their online social interactions as they navigate through relationships, situations, and disappointments in what is becoming “the new normal.”

Shows will be streamed via Twitch at 7:30 pm July 30, 31 & Aug 1. 
Go to for more info and tickets 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Quarantine Q/A: JAMES E. GARCIA

by Gil Benbrook

Our series of "Quarantine" interviews, which focus on individuals involved in the Phoenix theatre community and their reaction to Arizona's stay at home mandate and the recent protests to fight racial injustice, continues today with a conversation with Phoenix-based journalist, playwright and communications consultant James E. Garcia, who is also the founder and producing artistic director of New Carpa Theater Co.

The COVID-19 virus and the protests for racial equality in support of #blacklivesmatter  have affected us all in many ways. The theatre community has been harshly impacted with show closures and postponements. We hope this series of interviews will be a way to provide some personal insight into what people are doing during this period of time while highlighting familiar individuals from the theatre community in town.

Was there a show you were in or involved with or preparing for when the stay at home order started? 

"I'm usually juggling three or four productions at once, at least in my head, but I was specifically planning a run of a new work called The Fight in the Fields, a new one act about the ideas and philosophies of the civil rights icon Cesar Chavez. It was scheduled to premiere at the Kax Theatre in June. The show's been pushed off now until next spring, depending on when the apocalypse ends. I'm not sure how apocalypses normally last. I was also slated to premiere a full-length work in October 2020. That piece is a co-production between New Carpa and ASU Gammage called The Moment, which follows an African American family in the year leading up to Barack Obama's election . That piece has been put off indefinitely."

How have you been personally impacted by both COVID and the stay at home order in March as well as the current situation with the protests fighting for racial justice and #blacklivesmatter?

"In addition to my work as a playwright and producer, I've been a journalist for more than 30 years. In both capacities, I've built a career writing about social justice issues. My first gig in the news business was reporting for an African American weekly in Fort Wayne, Indiana. After that I went on to cover immigration issues, among other things, on the Texas-Mexico border. My first play, a monologue, was about a man dying of AIDS. It was called Ray. The vast majority of my writing since has revolved around social justice and communities of color. As for how the virus and BLM have impacted my life, I've been pretty much on lockdown. In addition to being in one of the high-risk groups myself, my wife and I also care for my wheelchair-bound mother-in-law, who almost certainly wouldn't survive a COVID infection. So we spend a lot of time keeping her from getting infected. That said, a day doesn't go that I don't have those issues on my mind. As a commentary writer for the, I've addressed the topics regularly in my columns. As a playwright, I'm sketching out a someday play about a group of Latino siblings whose once close relationship has been destroyed by the polarized politics of the day. The device that brings them together is the death of their mother from COVID and the socially distanced funeral that's forced on them. Beyond that, I'm also a tireless critic of President Trump's racist and authoritarian administration, which I plan to address in a sorta-quasi-annual satire I'm planning as a Zoom production this fall. My working title is American Pastorela: The Trumpifornication Tour, Part 2"

How has your daily routine changed? 

"As someone who doesn't believe the pandemic is a hoax, I'm pretty compulsive about avoiding infection. Basically, I'm living by the philosophy that we're all gonna, but why rush it. The science isn't complicated. The virus is about ten times as deadly as a common flu. There's no cure, and there's no vaccine. So, if you don't want to die soon, wear a mask and stay the fuck away from other people. So that's basically what I do. Call me weird, but I take once-a-century global pandemics seriously. Anyway, I'm pretty much working from home. Which isn't that hard for me, since I'm not the outdoorsy type. I love hikes in the country, but kind of hate camping. Seems like a lot of work. I write for a living, so I'm one of the lucky folks who, for the most part, doesn't have to leave my house to do my job."

What do you feel will be different when theater restarts? 

"I feel like it'll be more diverse and it'll take more chances. Not just because of COVID -- and maybe not even mostly because of COVID -- but because of George Floyd's murder and the already years-long wave of resistance to Trumpism. In some ways, people have been protesting the Trump regime since the day he was elected. And not because he's a Republican, which he really isn't, but because most Americans like democracy. While the eruption of recent protests was clearly sparked by Floyd's video-streamed lynching, the nature of the protests was multidimensional, in terms of the issues being addressed, and far more multicultural and intersectional than many might have predicted. So, and this isn't much of a reach, people's creative energy is going to explode on the scene next year, and I believe that explosion, which is already in the works, is going to be driven by a realization across the board that there's no turning back. Today's deep division is really about the fact, I think, that most of the country was moving in one direction, but that movement was hijacked by an ideological throwback that's trying to force the country in another direction, an unnatural direction. A direction back in time. A direction toward less pluralism, and, frankly, less equality. Art's role, if its creation isn't mandated by authoritarians, is pluralistic by nature. You can't order people to create art, if you don't want it to be worth a shit. Dictators and fascists, like our president, despise artists because they can't control them. And because the only creative streak they possess is in killing things. Anyway, I expect an explosion of art in the coming years as our wounded societal soul begins to rebuild. "

When do you think that’ll happen? 

"It's already happening, but it'll peak on January 20, 2021. Maybe sooner, if Trump and Pence resign and Pelosi becomes a caretaker president. And just for the record, I'm a total nonpartisan. This isn't about party politics. It's about a people, a nation, and its artists trying to get through a day that isn't dominated by Trump's chaos and dysfunction, and coupled with the virtually unfettered wave of death that's been wreaked by COVID and exacerbated by the government's total dysfunction. And, BTW, the Russians and ISIS are still intent on destroying us. There still out there. So things could be worse. Hey, the last pandemic happened during a world war. Call us lucky."

What have you been doing to stay creative during this time? 

"Just desperately trying to not lose sight of my center. In some ways, that's easier now, since I have fewer daily distractions. My problem is I've always worked on deadlines, whether as a journalist or a playwright. So all of the unknowables have me disoriented. I often forget what day it is. Like all of us, I'm not yet sure when I can stage a show. But that's doubly hard for me because I need deadlines to stay on track. For now, I'm doing a lot of journalism. So that satisfies some of my craving to write. But it's not enough."

Any binge tv shows you’ve watched? 

"I rarely watch television, and don't have the patience to watch series television to the end. My attention span is terrible. That probably explains why I binge-write, if you will. Give me a deadline for a play's production and I'll write a script in a few weeks, sometimes days, even if I've been shaping the story in my head for years. That probably explains my attraction to journalism."

Any new hobbies you’ve taken on? 

"Not a one. I hate hobbies more than camping. Okay, hate is a strong word. I'm allergic to hobbies, the way I'm phobic about most insects, which tend to be outdoors, which is why I don't care for camping."

How have the experiences of the past three months changed you? 

"It's reminded me that today is all we have. There's a lot of death all around us, and none of it seems natural. It's not just old people dying because their old or smokers dying of cancer. It's not even people being shot on the battlefield (though I know that's happening elsewhere in the world). It's just catch-as-catch-can dying with no logic or reason, and half of it, maybe most of it, could have been avoided. The only consolation is that as a student of history, I know it'll eventually end. It all eventually ends. Just hoping I'll still be around when it does."

What is the one thing you’re most looking forward to when the pandemic is over?

"I miss listening to talented actors deliver my lines in ways I couldn't have imagined, meaning in ways that make them better. I miss the process of creating, in some ways even more than finishing. Staging shows can be nerve wracking, but fun when it goes well. Rehearsing is meditative for me. It's a moment in time, virtually all the time. It's the making of the art that I love. That's what I miss the most. "

Desert Stages Theatre to Offer Supervised Online Learning and Theatre Arts Camp

Supervised Online Learning and Theatre Arts Camp
Desert Stages Theatre is excited to partner with parents and the Scottsdale Plaza Resort to provide a safe and supervised learning experience for students when classes resume online in August. In the DST Connect at the Plaza program, students grades K-6 will set up their own personal workspaces in conference and meeting rooms at the Resort with laptops and headphones that they bring from home.

Trusted DST staff will be on hand to make sure students are comfortable and connected via high speed internet for maximum productivity during each day of online learning.  Students will be monitored and assisted, as needed, throughout the day.

This program will be designed to align most closely with the PVConnect online learning option available to PVUSD students.
Fine-Tuning the Art
of Social-Distancing
In a successful relationship that developed during DST 2020 Summer Camp, Desert Stages Theatre and the Scottsdale Plaza Resort have fine-tuned the art of social-distancing to allow young people to gather safely during the time of COVID-19.
The Scottsdale Plaza Resort is located at 7200 N. Scottsdale Rd, at the intersection of Scottsdale Road and Indian Bend.
The Scottsdale Plaza Resort
Ending your Day the DST Way!

Each day will conclude with two hours of what DST does best - music, movement, magic, and fun! 
From approximately
3 to 5 pm, arts enrichment activities will be coordinated by your child's favorite DST teen counselors. Your student will be dismissed feeling accomplished and happy, ready to enjoy an evening with the family.
A more detailed daily schedule will be posted once finalized.
Safety and the DST Connect Program
Social Distancing

  • Each student will bring his/her own laptop, headphones, power cords, lunch, water bottle, and snacks.  
  • Masks will be required, except during lunch and snack times.  
  • No study space will contain more than 10 students. 
  • COVID-19 interviews will take place during carpool drop-off every morning, and temperatures will be taken. Any student, staff, or counselor showing signs of fever or illness will be sent home.  
  • The same sanitizing and social distancing protocols that have been established during our successful summer camp sessions will be strictly followed.  
  • Students will be organized by grade levels, and they will eat and take breaks together with their group. 
  • Regular bathroom breaks will be taken.
  • To reduce health risk, students will not be encouraged to mingle with students in other groups. Small groups of 10 will be maintained at all times.  
Providing Confidence
With a safe place for your child to have a productive day of learning supervised by people you know and trust, parents are free to physically go to work or get work done remotely at home. 

DST Connect at the Plaza is expected to run at least through September 4.  

Cost per student for DST Connect at the Plaza is $275 per week.
Siblings: $250 per week. Space is limited.

Call the DST Box Office at 480-483-1664 to register your student today!

Sunday, July 19, 2020


Maren Maclean and Sasha Wordlaw in
The Revolutionists by Lauren Gunderson for The Bridge Initiative
photo by Laura Durant

by Gil Benbrook

Our series of "Quarantine" interviews, which focus on individuals involved in the Phoenix theatre community and their reaction to Arizona's stay at home mandate, continues today with a conversation with Valley actress Maren Maclean.

COVID-19 has affected us all in many ways. The theatre community has been harshly impacted with show closures and postponements. We hope this series of daily interviews will be a way to provide some personal insight into what people are doing during this period of time while highlighting familiar individuals from the theatre community in town.

Was there a show you were in or involved with or preparing for when the stay at home order started?

Maclean: "Was very much looking forward to my daughter’s choir concert. I was also honored to be prepping for Gertrude in Hamlet for Flagstaff Shakespeare."

How have you been personally impacted by our current situation? 

"My job teaching Shakespeare for Marin Shakespeare Company's Arts in Corrections program came to a screeching halt on March 13th. Most recently, over half of the inmates at Chuckawalla Valley State Prison have contracted COVID 19. To say this is heartbreaking is a dire understatement. Please tune in to the podcast Ear Hustle for some true insight to an exploding epidemic of our incarceration protocol."

How has your daily routine changed? 

"My kiddos have not seen their friends except for these crazy drive-by Birthday parades. I’ve gained 10 pounds. I revel in naps. AND I have found our society increasingly frustrating."

What do you feel will be different when theater restarts? 

"So much, I am not certain where to begin. I sincerely pray this is giving every artist a time to reflect and consider a deep plan of authentic inclusion and true safe spaces in all of the upcoming plans to play. I'm hoping that we can save some money and utilize all the positive skills we learned in Zoom or Teams, etc., for some alternative design meetings and table work. I think our unions have a LOT of work ahead of them too, but that is for another Q & A (and bottle of Shiraz)."

When do you think that’ll happen? 

"I must trust that the theatres are working like mad now to hopefully open January 2021, but with these new numbers, I am not holding my breath"

What have you been doing to stay creative during this time? 

"I have joined a few groups in order to learn more about anti-racism and to listen HARD. I am fortunate to have been working on some education reform with current leaders here in the valley and regionally. Lots of Zoom readings, which I gratefully lean on my creative friends to organize. I’m sewing, cooking a ton, learning Spanish and brushing up on my American Sign Language, as well."

Any binge tv shows you’ve watched? 

"My hubby Chris and I have dug Ozark. I binged High Fidelity and Schitt’s Creek on my own and LOVED both. My oldest and I were thrilled with Legendary and cannot WAIT for more episodes. And my youngest and I finished Riverdale in a matter of days (don’t judge!)."

Any new work you’ve taken on? 

"Meditation on my privilege. I have never been good at meditation. Always have a hard time clearly my head. But I am trying and finding fleeting moments where it is actually working. LOTS of work to do."

How has this experience changed you? 

"It continues to change me. Words like 'action' and 'community' are different to me know. I’m tried one hour and highly motivated the next, no caffeine necessary. I don’t’ want to return to hustle and bustle and 'my plate overfloweth'. I would like to see the closeness I feel to the true friends I am finding on our way through this. I enjoy the quiet, hibernation with my family."

What is the one thing you’re most looking forward to when the stay at home order is lifted? 

"A meal with my parents at their dining room table."

Arizona Theatre Company Announces Local Auditions for 2020-21 Season

Due to the current Coronavirus and the need to take safety precautions, Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) is holding this year’s auditions through video submissions only.

Arizona Theatre Company is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to non-traditional and multi-cultural casting. Artists of all ethnicities, genders, and abilities are encouraged to audition. 

ATC will accept submissions per-city as follows:

TUCSON area auditions

If you are a performer that would have requested an in-person audition in Tucson, you will have from Saturday, August 1 – Friday, August 7 to submit your audition, fill out and upload your video using this form. No submissions will be accepted outside of these dates.

PHOENIX area auditions

If you are a performer that would have requested an in-person audition in Phoenix, you will have from Saturday, August 8– Friday, August 14 to submit your audition, fill out and upload your video using this form. No submissions will be accepted outside of these dates.

Additional Audition Submission Requirements:

-  Upload audition video into online forms that are linked above

-  Prepare one monologue and one song, or two contrasting monologues totaling no more than three minutes combined. 

o   The three minutes begins with the first word of your first piece

- Formatting

o   Please record/export in an mp4 or mov format

o   Please record both selections in a single tape, as though you are in the room with us.

-  Please attach a current headshot and resume to your email submission

Auditions are limited to actors above the age of 18. 

If necessary, callbacks for specific productions will be held at later dates throughout the season.

Artists of all ethnicities, genders, and abilities are encouraged to audition. 

ATC will consider actors for the following productions and roles:

Pru Payne by Steven Drukman *World Premiere

Spring 2021 (5 Principles)

PRU PAYNE, late 60s   Public Intellectual, good breeding. Exacting, charming, charismatic, intimidating. A WASP and, at times, waspish. 

THOMAS PAYNE, early 30s  Budding novelist, smart, reticent, sensitive. Shares his mother’s measured (if not patrician) manner of speaking. Casting note: he is ½ African-American. 

GUS CUDAHY, late 60s   Custodial Engineer, thick Massachusetts accent. Prideful, jocular, handy, unschooled, intuitive. Laconic New Englander but jovial.

ART CUDAHY, early 30s   Chip off the ol’ block, same accent.  Tough jock-type but lovable with a latent poetic side. 

THE DOCTOR, 40. Aims for scientific detachment but has an emotional intelligence that makes them well-rounded. Casting Note: Any race/gender.

Nina Simone: Four Women; a Play with Music by Christina Hamm

Spring 2021 (5 Principles)


A.K.A. “Peaches”. Timeless. A woman of dark skin and temperament that cloaks wounds both present and historical. Bach and the Blues infuse her life. She is a tornado…of vulnerability. Complexity is her complexion and resistance and rebellion her anthem. She should boast the agility of improvisation on the keys and the polyvocality of a herald. She should be able to hear a song only once and be able to not only perform it, but to lift the song to another level of being. She lives hard and loves the same. She has a high school education, but possesses well-rounded music training both self-taught and by private music teachers. Whatever her mood swings they should never be so pronounced to upstage her accomplishments. She should possess the attributes of a modern-day prophet.

SARAH (40s)

A.K.A. “Auntie”. Also of dark skin. Her hands are rough. Molded from years of working in the white folks home since she was yea high. Groomed to put others before herself. This type of welding has created the invisible woman that she has become. Her smile is inviting never letting on that trouble lives on her horizon. Her dark skin has determined how she will be treated by the outside world. Her life has been defined by black and its volatile relationship to white. She has a remedial education at best as she comes from a large family where everyone had to work and carry their weight. She possesses the tender shoulder you can cry on and a honeysuckled voice of pain. She doesn’t sing the blues, but has lived it.

SEPHRONIA (30s-40s)

Her skin is yellow. She is of a softer disposition because that is what her hair type and skin color warrant. She’s never been dark enough to cause offense, but she’s just light enough to offend herself at times. She’s the painful reminder that she is a child of violence. She’s not light enough to be white nor dark enough to be black leading to an inescapable purgatory. She’s joined the Civil Rights Movement hoping this will make her black enough and create an acceptance. Her mother doesn’t understand her and her father’s disowned her. Her mother holds her accountable for why she wasn’t able to find a man of her own. She’s opened her heart to many men who’ve made her empty promises. She is a D minor key, the saddest of them all.

SWEET THING (Late 20s)

Her skin is tan. She’s enticing whether she wants to be or whether she’s paid to be. She’s been tossed to and fro by life and the blows that its delivered by the men that have come and gone from her life. She’s lived on the streets for quite some time and been in and out of trouble most of her life. She’s a pistol, but has still never gotten what she really wants—love. She is the kind of woman that will steal your man when you’re not looking. Her looks have been the bane of her existence since she was a little girl.


Nina’s younger brother. Plays piano, Hammond B-3 Organ, and tambourine. Stays out of her way.


Summer 2021 (6 principals - considering understudies only)

MARY- 40’s, divorced, a librarian, “still” pretty, motherly

JO- 40’s, divorced, her best friend, a publicist, sardonic

LIZ- 40’s divorced, Mary’s other best friend, boy-crazy, a bit of a drama queen

AMANDA- 19, Liz’s daughter, an exceptionally pretty college student who’s SAT’s were in the single digits (the exceptional breasts can be accomplished by costume)

TRENNER- 19, a snowboarder, sweet but not too bright

JACKSON- 40’s, a dentist, Liz’s new boyfriend, creepy, given to strange pronouncements about death and disease, he may or may not look like Christopher Walken or another appropriately creepy celebrity)

SGT. KIRK SPONSÜLLAR (SAME ACTOR AS JACKSON)- 40’s, a police sergeant, a John Wayne type, courtly, a man of few or entirely obfuscated words 

how to make an American Son by christopher oscar peña

Summer 2021 (6 Principles)

mando: Honduran immigrant in his late forties / early fifties “the father”

orlando: American born Honduran – reeks of privilege “the son”

mercedes: American born Mexican woman in her thirties “the help”

rafael: a newly arrived Mexican immigrant “the refugee”

sean: American born white boy who thinks he’s hot shit “the dream”

dick: straight white guy in his early forties “the enemy”


Fall 2021(5 principals – considering understudies only)

CASEY– 20’s, white, becomes a drag queen

JO– 20’s, Black, Casey’s girlfriend

MISS TRACY MILLS– 40’s/50’s, any ethnicity, drag queen

REXY/JASON– 20’s/30’s, any ethnicity, drag queen

EDDIE– 50’s/60’s, any ethnicity, bar manager

Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley by Lauren Gunderson

Fall 2021 (8 Principles)

MARY BENNET—20; any ethnicity. Finally coming in to her own, she is no longer the plain, boring girl she once was. She has a fire in her now. She is intelligent, curious, and lively, but her family only sees her as a future spinster. She does not suffer fools. She wants to live.

ARTHUR de BOURGH—25; any ethnicity. A studious, unsociable only child who has never been around women or large families. He is a loner who prefers books to people. He has recently inherited a large estate and has no idea what to do next.

ELIZABETH DARCY—22; any ethnicity, married to Mr. Darcy. Confident, charming, and witty. She makes a fun and surprising lady of the house. She is best friends with her sister Jane.

FITZWILLIAM DARCY—30; any ethnicity. A loving, generous, and smart (if slightly stiff) husband. He is quiet and vigilant and thus sees what others often miss. He knows what being lovelorn is like.

JANE BINGLEY—24, any ethnicity. Married to Mr. Bingley. She is seven months pregnant with her first child and is sweet and optimistic as ever. The kindest heart in the house.

CHARLES BINGLEY—25; any ethnicity. Gracious, happy, and ever focused on the love of his life, Jane. A good friend and always ready with a smile.

LYDIA WICKHAM—17; any ethnicity. Flirtatious, youthful, self-centered. Her marriage to Mr. Wickham is a sham but she will not admit this. She is the person you want to have at your party: energetic, engaging, unstoppable.

ANNE de BOURGH—20s; any ethnicity. Only daughter of the late Lady Catherine de Bourgh. Lived in her mother’s very large shadow, never having to ask for anything or speak for herself her entire life. Judgmental and impatient, just like her mother.

For more information about Arizona Theatre Company, visit

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Childsplay's next set of Theatre Academy Summer Classes begin July 20th

Check out these online classes starting July 20th!

Ages 4-6

Ages 6-12

Theatre-In-A-Box class!


Ages 9-17

Ages 10-17

With professional actor
Debra K. Stevens!

Ages 6-10

By popular demand -

Ages 6-10