Friday, October 30, 2020

Mesa Encore Theatre announces its New Play Festival, November 6-17

Mesa Encore Theatre announces its New Play Festival has transformed in the times of Covid-19 into a Festival of New Zoom Plays – a collection of short works written especially for this production. Patrons may stream the show in any 48-hour period between November 6-17 for only $10 at

Support Valley theater, forget about politics for a while, and enjoy the talents of these great volunteers:

Cast List

Bella Balestrero
Johanna Carlisle-Zepeda
David Chorley
Madison Desoto
Heather Fallon
Kendyl Feldman
Samantha Gibbons
Bill Herrin
Michael Jung
Nick Kuhn
Alexia Lorch
Kendra Lytle
Henry Male
Rebecca Martinez
Gwen Selfridge
Elliott Thompson


Jenn Banda
David Chorley
Gary Crumm
Toni Jourdan
Nickela Rooney
Tim Shawver

Thursday, October 29, 2020

The Virtual Theatre of Arizona presents VTAZ MONSTER MONOLOGUES

The Virtual Theatre of Arizona presents VTAZ Monster Monologues, a collaboration of 30+ local playwrights, performers, directors and designers, creating monster-themed monologues for your spooky season. 

Join us on our Facebook page ( on Friday, October 30th at 7pm to get the Halloween weekend started off right!

Starlight Community Theater announces Auditions for THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE on November 6 & 7

An eclectic group of six mid-pubescents vie for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way through a series of (potentially made-up) words, hoping never to hear the soul-crushing, pout-inducing, life un-affirming "ding" of the bell that signals a spelling mistake. Six spellers enter; one speller leaves! At least the losers get a juice box.  Directed by Dan Ashlock with Musical Direction from Elise Kurbat and Assistant Direction from Abeth Spencer.

We will be casting two full casts: One Teen (12-19) and One Adult

Auditions will be held on-line in a ZOOM format.  Please make sure that you can join the link sent to you the day before the audition.  Each person will have an individual timeslot.

Please prepare a broadway style song to sing at your audition.  1 Minute maximum.
You will be sent a monologue from the show to deliver at your audition by noon the day before your audition.  Please prepare as much as you like.

Please send us your audition form, theater resume & headshot (optional) to

Please have a recorded accompaniment loaded to play on your device. No acapella.

AUDITION TIMES sign up for one 5-minute slot for Friday, November 6 between 5 pm and 6:30pm OR Saturday, November 7 between 11am and 3pm.  Make doubly sure that you input your email correctly so you get the link and monologue. We are aware that 2 timeslots per hour have two slots.  We anticipate that we won't need every auditioner for the full 5 minutes.

CALLBACKS by invitation will take place at the theater in person on Sunday, November 8 from 5-8pm.

Performances and most rehearsals will be live in person at Starlight Community Theater, 1611 W. Whispering Wind Dr. Suite #9, Phoenix, AZ 85085.  Teen Cast performs Jan 15-17, 23, 24.  Adult cast performs Jan 22, 23, 29-31.

Childsplay presents A CHRISTMAS CAROL, November 28-December 23

By Charles Dickens, adapted for the stage by Katie McFadzen and Matthew Wiener

11/28/2020 - 12/23/2020
Sun.,Tues.,Wed.,Thurs.,Fri. & Sat.


Location: Herberger Theater Center - Outdoor Stage

Price: Starting at $15

Don’t miss one of the Valley’s most celebrated actresses, Katie McFadzen, as she brings to life Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol under the stars, lights, and chandeliers on the new outdoor stage at the Herberger Theater Center. This masterful, one-woman performance delivers the heartwarming story like you’ve never seen or heard it before. Its famous Christmas message is sure to be the sugarplum you and your loved ones are looking for this holiday season.

“Deftly switching characters and costumes and bringing just the right amount of humor… [McFadzen gives] a tour-de-force performance” -- The Arizona Republic

Estimated Run Time:  

Performance: 80 minutes
Actor Talk Back: 10 minutes
TOTAL:  1 hr. 30 minutes

To Be Announced.

STORYBOOK PREVIEW WEEKEND - November 28 & 29, 2020

$15 tickets + FREE book for each family. Learn more here >

EL ZOCALO FESTIVAL - Sun, December 13, 2020 FREE event before the show. More information soon.

This is a distanced performance, therefore tickets are limited. We have partnered with the Herberger Theater Center to provide a safe experience for all. 

Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Herberger Theater to Open Outdoor Stage for Performances

The Herberger Theater Center (HTC) is excited to announce its new outdoor stage, The Pavilion at the Herberger Theater. Built on the recently cleared land on the east side on the theater, The Pavilion will host performances November 2020 through April 2021, including the 11th annual Festival of the Arts on Saturday, November 14, which will be the opening performance for the new space.
“The opening of The Pavilion outdoor stage is about hope and giving an opportunity for companies to meet their audiences in a new way,” said Mark Mettes, President and CEO of the Herberger Theater. “We have heard from our guests that digital offerings are just not the same. We want to answer the call and provide a live arts experience for the community. These outdoor performances are about being together, yet safely apart, in order to experience performances in a safe and socially distanced way.”
The collection of performances scheduled on The Pavilion are part of The Art of Celebration series, which focuses on celebrating community and creativity in the space. From festivals and concerts to fully staged productions and performances, The Art of Celebration will unite artists and audiences through diverse experiences that ignite emotion, stimulate conversation and inspire connections - all while following safe and healthy protocols related to physical distancing, face coverings and cleanliness. The Art of Celebration kicks off with a re-imagined 11th annual Festival of the Arts, followed by Arizona Opera, who will present a new collaboration with The Metropolitan Opera on an outdoor opera film festival staged on The Pavilion in late-November, adding another family-friendly program to its Reimagined 2020/21 Season. In December, the sights and sounds of the holidays will fill The Pavilion as one of the Valley’s most celebrated actresses, Katie McFadzen, brings to life Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol presented by Childsplay under the stars, lights, and chandeliers. The Herberger Theater will also host Lunch Time Theater, a concert series and Performance Discoveries by local performers and organizations.
A generous donation from Arizona Artificial Lawns will allow HTC to install turf to prepare a more welcoming outdoor space for guests. At its current capacity, the stage will seat approximately 160 guests, who will follow social distancing guidelines. As restrictions loosen, the space could accommodate more than 300 guests.
Spanning 36 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the stage will be the largest ever constructed on the Herberger Theater plaza and will provide a space for performing companies to once again welcome guests to enjoy live arts experiences at the Herberger Theater.
With generous donations from the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Billie Jo and Judd Herberger, Perkins Coie, the Arizona Community Foundation and Downtown Phoenix Partnership, HTC can focus on bringing audiences and art back together at the Herberger Theater, where audience meets art.
The continued health and well-being of guests, artists, volunteers, and staff is of the upmost priority. Cleaning procedures will be in line with CDC guidelines for gatherings, as well as state and local ordinances. All surfaces will be completely sanitized between performances and high contact surfaces will be cleaned frequently. Face coverings will be required at all times within the venue for guests, volunteers, and staff. At the outdoor performances, guests will be seated six feet apart from other patrons, as well as space to socially distance throughout the venue. Signage will be posted throughout the outdoor space to remind guests to socially distance and follow safety procedures. More information about enhanced safety procedures can be found at
To find more information on The Pavilion, visit

review - THE 39 STEPS - Hale Centre Theatre

Jere Van Patten, David Michael Paul, Alaina Beauloye, and Rob Stuart
Photo by Nick Woodward-Shaw

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 November 21

"A few theatres in the Phoenix area have started to resume live theatrical productions after being shut down since March due to COVID. Hale Centre Theatre, which was set to premiere The 39 Steps last April, decided to use this four-person cast show to resume their operations, which makes sense as the smaller cast size along with reduced seating capacity provides plenty of social distance between the cast and the audience. With two separate casts, a long list of safety measurements in place, and the added addition of a foley artist who provides live sound effects throughout the show, Hale's production allows for safety, but is also fast and fun and results in a joyous feeling of having live theatre back in town.
...Under Dave Dietlein's astute direction, the small cast, along with minimal sets, costumes and props, injects the production with a huge shot of theatricality as they, along with the audience's imagination, swiftly create not only dozens of characters but also the numerous locations in the plot....Rob Stuart evokes the perfect combination of charisma, manners, elegance and charm to depict Hannay as a proper English gentleman, though one with a constantly frenzied demeanor due to always being on the run. As the three women Hannay meets on his journey, Alaina Beauloye efficiently uses various accents, wigs, and a change in her body language to morph from one to the next. David Michael Paul and Jere Van Patten are hilarious as they use a non-stop parade of costumes, wigs and accents to play all the other characters in the show. The scenes on the train and in the hotel where Paul and Van Patten quickly change from one character to the next are fast paced and skillfully done...."   -Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

A CHRISTMAS STORY - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre - November 27-December 20, 2020

by Phillip Grecian

November 27 – December 20, 2020
Fridays at 7:30PM
Saturdays at 3:00pm and 7:30 PM
Sundays at 3:00PM

Directed by KatiBelle Collins

Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoir of growing up in the midwest in the 1940s follows 9-year-old Ralphie Parker in his quest to get a genuine Red Ryder BB gun under the tree for Christmas. Ralphie pleads his case before his mother, his teacher and even Santa Claus himself, at Higbee’s Department Store. The consistent response: “You’ll shoot your eye out!” All the elements from the beloved motion picture are here, including the family’s temperamental exploding furnace; Scut Farkas, the school bully; the boys’ experiment with a wet tongue on a cold lamppost; the Little Orphan Annie decoder pin; Ralphie’s father winning a lamp shaped like a woman’s leg in a net stocking; Ralphie’s fantasy scenarios and more. A Christmas Story is destined to become a theatrical holiday perennial.

Based on the motion picture A Christmas Story,
© 1983 Turner Entertainment Co., distributed by Warner Bros., written by Jean Shepherd,
Leigh Brown and Bob Clark; and on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd.

Produced by special arrangement with THE DRAMATIC PUBLISHING COMPANY of Woodstock, Illinois

Adult Ralph - Bobby Havens
Ralphie Parker - Charlie Budd
Mother - Annemarie Mulligan
The Old Man - Roy Thielen
Randy - Grady Mulligan
Miss Shields - Lynn Golden
Flick - Jacob Toren
Schwartz - Kenny Kaczmarek
Esther Jane - Claire M. Theodore
Helen - Freya Mira Karve
Scut Farkas - Zander Zeeb

Friday, November 27      7:30pm
Saturday, November 28  3:00pm
Saturday, November 28  7:30pm
Sunday, November 29 3:00pm
Friday, December 4 7:30pm
Saturday, December 5 3:00pm
Saturday, December 5 7:30pm
Sunday, December 6 3:00pm
Friday, December 11  7:30pm
Saturday, December 12  3:00pm
Saturday, December 12  7:30pm
Sunday, December 13 3:00pm
Friday, December 18 7:30pm
Saturday, December 19 3:00pm
Saturday, December 19 7:30pm
Sunday, December 20 3:00pm

Monday, October 26, 2020

The Phoenix Theatre Company announces 2020/2021 Outdoor Shows, plus Indoor shows for 2021!

from our friends at The Phoenix Theatre Company:

To deliver you the best season we can, we are actively preparing for a combination of outdoor live shows and original streaming content featuring local artists. Once we can be assured of the safety of our audiences, artists, and staff we will be ready to resume indoor programming on our stages—currently scheduled for Summer 2021. Tickets and packages for outdoor and indoor performances will be available for purchase in early October.


On our NEW outdoor stage

Happy Birthday Dionne, featuring We3
November 10, 2020 to November 22, 2020

Our favorite trio is back! We3 has created an entire experience celebrating Dionne Warwick and the music she made famous. It’s a genre-hopping trip through one of popular music’s most dynamic catalogues, performed with inimitable verve by pianist Nicole Pesce, vocalist Renee Patrick, and violinist Suzanne Lansford. 

Tickets on Sale Now

UNWRAPPED: An Original Christmas Revue 
December 2, 2020 to December 23, 2020

The Phoenix Theatre Company and Brock Pro Entertainment bring the rock 'n' roll muscle to this original production, featuring songs from Pentatonix, NSYNC, Hanson, and more. Classics and contemporary gems rub shoulders as our local rock heroes put the rhythm and blues in Christmas.

Tickets on Sale Now

Get Happy: Angela Ingersoll sings Judy Garland 
January 27, 2021 to February 7, 2021

Angela Ingersoll has already received national acclaim and an Emmy Award-nomination for this touching and uplifting show. Now she's bringing the magic to our brand new outdoor stage! The Times Square Chronicles declares, "If anyone was ever meant to reincarnate Judy in performance, it’s undeniably her."

Tickets on sale Nov 3, 2020.

Murder for Two
February 17, 2021 to February 28, 2021

The murder mystery gets a fresh new spin as two gifted performers take on all the parts from the detective to the killer. Expect witty banter, colorful characters, and delicious suspense. Mystery fans, prepare for a feast.

Tickets on sale Nov 27, 2020. 

Ring of Fire 
March 10, 2021 to April 4, 2021

Johnny Cash captured the spirit of America like few other musicians. Now this spirited production presents 38 songs from The Man in Black’s catalogue to tell stories of change and growth, as we follow a winning cast through important moments in their lives. 

Tickets on sale Nov 27, 2020.

My Way: A Musical Tribute to Frank Sinatra 
April 14, 2021 to May 23, 2021

Frank Sinatra’s story is told through the combined range of four virtuoso vocalists, performing the best of his songs in an intimate nightclub setting. With music including "Fly Me to the Moon," "I Get A Kick Out Of You," "The Way You Look Tonight," and—of course—“My Way,” you’ll be swinging in the aisles at this fresh new Broadway revue. 

Tickets on sale Jan 5, 2021. 


in the Mainstage and Hormel theatres

Becoming Dr. Ruth 
June 2, 2021 to June 27, 2021

The Rocky Horror Show 
June 16, 2021 to August 1, 2021

Something Rotten! 
July 21, 2021 to August 22, 2021

Tickets go on sale January 26, 2021.

Spotlight Youth Theatre seeks Adult, Female, Black actress for EMMETT'S ART PROJECT

Spotlight Youth Theatre is looking for an adult, female Black actor to perform in our powerful and important show about racism called “Emmett’s Art Project”. 

Modest but, focused commitment. Stipend is available. 

Contact Kenny Grossman for details at 623-521-8093 or at

Friday, October 23, 2020

mini review - BENJAMIN SCHEUER: IN CONCERT FROM LONDON - Arizona Theatre Company

by Gil Benbrook

Singer/songwriter Benjamin Scheuer and Arizona Theatre Company's artistic director Sean Daniels are friends who have also worked together; Daniels directed Scheuer in his one man show The Lion, which Scheuer wrote. That show has been performed across the country and in the UK and won a Drama Desk Award for “Outstanding Solo Performance” for its 2014 0ff Broadway production. 

As another example of the strength of Daniels' and Scheuer's friendship, Scheuer asked Daniels if he'd like to use his recent London solo concert as a benefit for Arizona Theatre Company. The filmed concert is streaming through Tuesday, October 27th at 5pm.

Like a modern day James Taylor or Jim Croce, Scheuer's tunes are well-composed story songs that tell either his own stories or stories of others. The theatrical, autobiographical and personable nature of his work makes each song incredibly intimate and relatable with lyrics that are simple yet precise with words and rhymes that are well thought out.  

Some of the songs in the concert come from the popular children’s books “Hundred Feet Tall” and “Hibernate with Me” that Scheuer wrote with his wife Jemima Williams. The concert also includes the upbeat, romantic "Hello Jemima" which is a beautiful love song Scheuer wrote shortly after meeting Williams.

While several numbers in the concert grew out of Scheuer's past, one of the most personable songs in the concert isn't one about Scheuer but a song about a woman he met in a coffee shop in New York, before he moved to London a year ago with his family. “I Am Samantha” tells the story of Samantha's journey as she transitioned. It's an inspiring and moving number and the single of the song and video were released this past March 31st, the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Songs in the concert from The Lion include the poignant "Cookie-tin Banjo" and the rousing "Weather The Storm". The appropriate "Empty Stage" serves as an encore and a beauitful yet bittersweet reminder of our current state of affairs.

Each song in the hour long concert brings the characters vibrantly to life while painting vivid images. This event was Scheuer's first time performing in public since the pandemic struck and the combination of Scheuer's natural performance style and his exceptional song writing makes one hope that Daniels can bring Scheuer and The Lion to ATC for a run in a future season.

CLICK HERE to watch Benjamin Scheuer: In Concert from London, which is available to view for free, though Arizona Theatre Company is accepting donations to help support their digital offerings and the safe return of theatre to their stages.

Talking to Arizona native BEN CRAWFORD about playing the Phantom on Broadway and about his upcoming BROADWAY FRIGHT NIGHT concert next Friday at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts

Ben Crawford

by Gil Benbrook

Arizona native Ben Crawford was born in Tucson, went to the University of Arizona where he earned a BFA in Music Theatre and has appeared in dozens of shows both on Broadway and in regional theatres. Earlier this year he was playing the Phantom in the Broadway production of The Phantom of the Opera when COVID shut down Broadway. 

Crawford comes to Scottsdale next Friday for a special Halloween themed Broadway concert at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts where he'll appear with other performers with Broadway and regional theatre credits.

In addition to Phatom, Crawford has appeared on Broadway in Les Misérables, Shrek The Musical, Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and On the Twentieth Century, in addition to over a dozen regional productions. He's also performed with symphonies and orchestras across the U.S. and Canada.

Crawford sat down to answer some questions about Phantom, growing up in Arizona, the impact of COVID on Broadway and what fans can look forward to at next week's concert

I know you were playing the Phantom in Phantom of the Opera when the shut down of Broadway happened. What can you tell us that experience was like, both as appearing as the Phantom in Broadway’s longest running musical, and the impact of the shutdown?

"Well it was very sudden I’ll be honest. We had a Thursday matinee and as I was sitting in a make up chair I was getting all the sports notifications of certain colleges not participating in the NCAA tournament, then suddenly it was all divisions of schools, and of course the night before the NBA had canceled games so it was a whirlwind to go into work that morning and then within five hours you don’t have a job for now what’s going on over six months and will be over a year and a half once we get back to work.

As a Phantom to be honest it’s no different for everyone else; we’ve all suddenly become weirdly unemployed for something completely beyond our control. It’s very frustrating when you’re not able to do something that you love so much & get paid vwell to do because others didn’t do their jobs."

What have you been doing to stay creative since the shutdown in March?

"You have to get in the right mindset for the situation. It requires a lot of self motivation and in turn I’m trying to use that positively to work on some projects that I’ve been thinking about doing but haven’t had the time to unfortunately until now. 

I have a teaching website called where you can get appointments to work with me virtually live or through uploaded videos and critiques, and I also have a beer blog that is currently on Instagram called Broadway beer time with Ben Crawford: desert edition. It’s a lot of fun and I’m having a great time doing it. A lot of the difficulty during this time is finding an artistic outlet; so I think it’s vital to be self-sufficient and make your own outlets.

I know you grew up in Tucson, and that you went to U of A.  What was your experience like growing up in Arizona?

"Arizona is a great place to grow up. I have a lot of great memories growing up in Tucson, and still keep in touch with a lot of my friends from there. It was definitely a culture shock when I moved to the East Coast to start my career, but it’s always nice to be able to come back to the desert to escape the crazy city LOL."

Were you involved in theatre or appear in any shows in Tucson, U of A, or in Phoenix? 

"Because I came to theater so late in school I didn’t really participate a lot in artistic extracurricular activities- except for the Tucson Arizona boys chorus, which wonderfully enough I am performing at their virtual gala this November.

I didn’t really start doing musicals until my final two years in high school, and those were fantastic because They really opened my eyes to the arts as a living; the application of arts to be more specific.
When I went to the University of Arizona to get my degree in musical theater I was very fortunate to have a lot of opportunities on stage there, and that experience I’m sure helped translate into the career that I’ve had today."

Ben Crawford and Meghan Picerno in The Phantom of the Opera
photo by Matthew Murphy

I know you’ve been back to Arizona to teach some master classes. What do you try to instill in young musical theatre students in your classes?

"Show business is such an interesting concept – you need to fully be yourself to be the best artist you can be, but most of the time you were having to fit that talent within parameters of people who are paying you to be artistic and be your ultimate self. So a lot of what I teach is to really understand how extreme your work ethic has to be, and how the business works. Those are the two fundamental things I try and teach to all ages of students. Of course I’m going to teach it a little less intense to younger children LOL, but it’s good to instill that you need that passion as soon as you can."

I moved to Phoenix in September of 2013, after living and working in NYC for over 25 years, and Big Fish was the last Broadway show I saw before heading west and I thought you were very memorable in that show as the antagonist of the main character.  Unfortunately, that show didn’t last long on Broadway but it has been a staple in regional theatres. I’ve seen three productions in Phoenix and there were also other productions in town I missed. I have to imagine the fact it didn’t have a longer run was devastating since it was the first time you created a role on Broadway. Why do you think the show didn’t find an audience and why do you think it has found a following after the Broadway run?

"You know Broadway is so weird. You can think you have all the pieces and then something happens in the translation and it just doesn’t work out the way you wanted. Big Fish was one of those examples for me where you don’t know what people like; it’s really hard to predict it. I was attached to that show for a little over two years and everyone had such an emotional connection to it- so it was really heartbreaking when I didn’t have that life on Broadway that we all wanted. 

But we all gave so much time to it and that’s the sad part of art- is that sometimes you don’t get a long time on a project, but in some ways that makes you a better artist and makes you understand how fleeting your moments on stage are I suppose."

Besides Phantom and Big Fish, you've appeared in several Broadway shows such as Shrek and in Les Mis where you understudied the lead roles. How difficult is it to be in a show while also understudying the lead male role and what was the experience like when you went on?

"A lot of understudying has to do with your work ethic and the person you’re understudying. I’ve been so fortunate to work with so many talented men who haven’t looked at me as a problem and more as their Savior when they need someone to go on. There can be an interesting chemistry between an understudy and the lead player- but that’s only if someone’s trying too hard. When everyone knows what their role is and everyone’s just coming in to do their job it’s fantastic to be a part of that because it really helps your bond with actors who have more experience with you and you’re able to learn from them and glean from them. 

When it comes to Phantom I am incredibly supportive of the men who go on for me when I’m not there because it gives me the opportunity to rest, it gives me the opportunity to go off and do something else besides a show for a couple days, and it gives them the opportunity to put on the mask and have those fantastic moments. So when you look at it as a win-win situation it’s a really wonderful relationship."

What has been your most memorable stage experience?

"I mean my first night as the Phantom is of course very memorable. But I have some other ones too; the ones where you get asked to do something crazy, like go on for someone with no time to spare and you do and you’re (thankfully) wonderful and you feel good because you worked hard and you showed everyone that you cared because the show wasn’t fractured because you were ready to go on-those are fun, loving moments in theater."

What are your dream roles?

"Two big ones right now are Emile de Becque in South Pacific and Don Quixote in Man of La Mancha. And then of course there’s that elusive new musical that hasn’t been written yet where there’s a lead or supporting leading character written for me; that’s of course my dream role."

What can concert goers expect from the upcoming "Broadway Fright Night" Halloween concert at Scottsdale Center for the Arts? 

"They’re coming in to have a great time, connect with people, & hear some A-class vocalists all while being safe and socially distanced and protecting each other. We need these arts havens right now- where we can still congregate and experience arts together."

Will this be the first time you’ll be singing a song from Phantom since you last appeared in the show at the Majestic Theatre last March?

"It’s not actually! I’ve done a couple virtual galas for some symphonies and music festivals this summer- but it will be the first time live in public so that‘s somethin!"

Thursday, October 22, 2020

Tony Award Winner Trezana Beverley and Grammy Award Winner Patrick Page Headline Southwest Shakespeare Company’s Fall 2020 Season

Southwest Shakespeare Company announces an exciting and diverse virtual and limited in-person Theatrical Season, featuring Hadestown star Patrick Page, and TONY Award winner Trezana Beverley, among others.

Southwest Shakespeare Company answers the demands of this critical moment by offering a bold, diverse Falls Season, packed with star power and available for limited in-person participation as well as virtual attendance. Explore Shakespeare’s demons with Hadestown star Patrick Page in his one-man show All the Devils Are Here - How Shakespeare Invented the Villain. Be thrilled by first Black female TONY Award Winner Trezana Beverly in her musical exploration of the sensational life of Mabel Mercer. Find healing with Lisa Wolpe in her exploration of gender in Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender. Join Arizona’s best performers in an array of additional shows, including Artist in Residence Debra Ann Byrd in her autobiographical Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey. Truly offering something for everyone, drama and comedy, the 2020 Fall Season covers a broad range of human experiences, exploring important topics and helping us to dig deep in order to answer the demands of our world.

Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey  
(Nov 5th-8th) by Debra Ann Byrd 

Smart, thoughtful and transformative, Becoming Othello: A Black Girl’s Journey is a living memoir about a young woman’s trials and triumphs with race and the classics, her memorable experiences growing up in Spanish Harlem and her gender flipped journey on the road to becoming Shakespeare's noble, flawed general. This solo show is complete with moving songs and lyrical language from Black women playwrights, William Shakespeare, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and the King James Bible. A victory over helplessness and hopelessness, it’s sure to leave you feeling uplifted and inspired.

How to attend: Limited in-person tickets for Taliesin West are available by contacting Virtual tickets are available at 

Mabel Madness 
(Nov. 12th-15th) by TONY Award Winner Trezana Beverley

Called “compelling” and “beguiling” by the New York Times, Mabel Madness, written and performed by TONY Award Winner Trezana Beverley, is the captivating miraculous story of Frank Sinatra’s muse. British born, Cabaret singer and unsuspecting winner of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Mabel Mercer tells the story in her own style - Cabaret! 

How to attend: Limited in-person tickets for Taliesin West are available by contacting Virtual tickets are available at 

All the Devils Are Here: How Shakespeare Invented the Villain 
(Nov. 19th-22nd) by Patrick Page

TONY nominated actor and star of Broadway’s Hadestown Patrick Page takes the audience on a dazzling exploration of Shakespeare’s two-decade-long investigation of Evil from Richard III to Prospero. Moving swiftly and chronologically, Page will trace the evolution of Shakespeare’s malefactors from the mere two-dimensional to the psychologically complex characters that heralded the modern psychopath. Hell is empty and all the devils are here.

How to attend: Limited in-person tickets for Taliesin West are available by contacting Virtual tickets are available at 

Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender 
(Nov. 26th-29th) by Lisa Wolpe

Internationally renowned actor Lisa Wolpe has stepped into many of the Bard’s male characters’ shoes throughout her career. In those shoes she found the power to overcome the unique challenges she faced, as she learned the truth about her Jewish World War II hero father, who infiltrated Nazi intelligence. and other family secrets that revealed themselves over time. A cathartic and deeply human story, Wolpe’s inspiring one-woman show demonstrates the healing power of Shakespeare’s writing.

How to attend:  Virtual tickets are available at

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged) 
(Dec. 3rd-6th) By Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield

Called “Pithier than Python,” by the New York Times, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) was London’s longest-running comedy and now comes to Arizona - holiday style! Join a trio of Arizona’s finest performers in this irreverent, fast-paced romp through the Bard’s plays, weaving their jolly way through all of Shakespeare’s Comedies, Histories and Tragedies in one wild ride that will leave you breathless and helpless with laughter. It’s exactly what the doctor ordered for the Holidays this year.

How to attend: Limited in-person tickets for The Shop in Mesa are available by contacting Virtual tickets are available at 

An Iliad  
(Jan. 14th-17th, 2021) by Lisa Peterson and Denis O’Hare

The Trojan War meets the contemporary world and poetry meets humor in An Iliad, a captivating modern retelling of Homer’s classic. Performed by Arizona’s own acclaimed actor Clay Sanderson, this play promises to provide inspiration, laughs and a good dose of pathos as it explores war and the paths of civilizations, ancient and modern.

How to attend: Limited in-person tickets for Taliesin West are available by contacting Virtual tickets are available at 

Flachmann Seminar
 (Oct. 24th, 2021) by Dr. Susan Willis

The season will kick off with an educational seminar by Dr. Susan Willis “The Life and Times of WIlliam Shakespeare.” This Flachmann Seminar will be presented in conjunction with our production of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), to add color and insight to Shakespeare’s writings. 

How to attend:  Virtual tickets, which will stream live with interaction, are available at

Season Tickets: the 6 Show Virtual Fall 2020 Season Pass is $150 (unlimited at-home participants!) and may be purchased through Limited in-person Fall 2020 Season Tickets are available by contacting

Individual Tickets: VIrtual ticket prices range from $15-$50 (unlimited at-home participants!) and may be purchased through Limited in-person tickets are available by contacting

Arizona Theatre Company announces Auditions for their ATCTeen production of MALCOM


ATCteen is excited to announce AUDITIONS for our first play of the season! 

This play will be recorded over zoom and broadcasted nationally on Broadway on Demand! 

Casting Breakdown 

The adoptive sister of Malcolm. 
A close friend of Malcolm. 
A confident lawyer on this case. This role must be played by a person of color. 
The person who gave Malcolm his last ride.

In addition, we are looking for: 
a BIPOC guitarist who would be interested in playing or creating music for the production
a student interested in being the Stage Manager
a student interested in being the Scenic Designer 
students interested in helping to put together a community panel on the topics of Gun Violence and Police Brutality 


The play is attached for you to read, as well as the rehearsal schedule and audition flier. 

To read more about the play visit:

To read more about the #Enough Plays to End Gun Violence Project and the Broadway on Demand streaming visit:

If you cannot make auditions but are interested in being part of the project, please email me at 

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

TheaterWorks Creates Holiday Immersive Theater Production A CURIOUSER NUTCRACKER

Tyler Sorrels as "The White Rabbit"
Photo by Kristy Velesko Photography 

TheaterWorks Creates Holiday Immersive Theater Production A CURIOUSER NUTCRACKER Following Sold-Out Extended Run of Curiouser & Curiouser 

Following the massive success of TheaterWorks’ revolutionary immersive theater experience CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER, the theater announces a new holiday version of the production opening November 27, A CURIOUSER NUTCRACKER.

Wonderland has been taken over by the Mouse King and is stuck in an eternal winter.  A CURIOUSER NUTCRACKER travels through Winter Wonderland with the White Rabbit and the Sugar Plum Fairy to find the four keys, defeat the Mouse King and free the Nutcracker.

Filled with snow and the traditional music of Tchaikovsky, A CURIOUSER NUTCRACKER catapults you into the worlds of Alice in Wonderland and The Nutcracker. This family-friendly, holiday version of  CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER continues the safe and intimate approach to live theater developed by the theater in response to the pandemic restrictions. Audience members walk through every theater, rehearsal space and hallway in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts experiencing winter Wonderland intimately.

Up to 12 audience members per performance will experience this 100-minute immersive theater production flowing through each room exploring, solving puzzles, encountering inhabitants experiencing live theater in a new and safe way.

“The holidays are an important time for the community to engage in traditional stories that help us celebrate this time of togetherness. Our new immersive theater experience will allow people to still have those traditions and participate safely,” said TheaterWorks Managing Director Cate Hinkle.

In order to create a safe space for both audience members and actors, audience members will be required to wear face coverings, temperatures will be taken upon arrival, gloves will be provided to audience members to wear throughout the experience, all touch points will be sanitized between groups and a thorough deep clean will take place each evening, in addition to other safety protocols put in place.

This production is supported by the Constance W. McMillin Trust, Thom and Shelley Gyder, Peoria Mayor Cathy Carlat, Peoria Councilmember Vicki Hunt and in Honor of Dr. Robert C. Sharp and his many pearls of wisdom.

Tickets to A CURIOUSER NUTCRACKER range from $48 - $36 and go on sale October 24. Advance ticket purchases are required. Multiple performances take place on November 27 – 29, December 3 – 6, 10 – 13, 17 – 23, 27 – 30, 2020.

The production takes place at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts, 10580 N. 83rd Drive Peoria, AZ 85345. For more information or to purchase tickets, contact the Box Office at (623) 815-7930 or visit

Monday, October 19, 2020

GHOSTLIGHT - Paradise Valley Community College - October 29-November 1, 2020

Ghostlight by Michael R Duran directed by Andrea Robertson:

Ghostlight is a collection of theatre ghost stories told from the perspective of different theatre professionals from an actress to a stage manager.  "It should be known that each of the stories told this evening comes from personal experiences. Each incident is based on an actual event that happened to me in different theatres throughout my career. And so, with that said.... picture yourself, it is late on a windswept Autumn night, a storm of rain or snow has you gathered around the warm glow of a fireplace, you are safe and comfy and a trusted friend speaks into the quiet and says:   "I’m going to tell you a story, you probably won’t believe it. In fact if you told me this selfsame story- I wouldn’t believe you either, but I know it to be true... because I was there...”   Michael R Duran

 CPA Show Dates: Streaming October 29-November 1 Click here for streaming information

Friday, October 16, 2020

Starlight Community Theater announces November 20 deadline for their 2020 Starlight Community Theater Playwriting Contest

Starlight Community Theater is now accepting entries in our 2020 Starlight Community Theater Playwriting Contest until November 20!

The purpose of this contest is to encourage new works for the stage by providing an opportunity to engage in the playwriting process. Starlight Community Theater values the time and talent needed to write a play. The winner of the Starlight Community Theater Playwriting Contest will receive a staged reading and given consideration for a full production in subsequent seasons. The 2019 winning play, HOLY MATRIMONY! by Dan Marburger, will receive a full production November 13-15 at Starlight.  For complete rules, visit:

Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Actor's Youth Theatre announces Auditions for INTO THE WOODS on November 14

Our First Premiere show of the year for kids 13-19

Auditions are on November 14th at 1:00pm (with callbacks at 5:00pm that day) 

Audition Workshop is on November 7th (Come learn a bit about the show and how to audition for it with the production team!) See to sign up under “Workshops” Tab! 

Show will be in January!! 

COME JOIN THIS BEAUTIFUL SONDHEIM WORK OF ART!! We will be doing this show safely. 

Wearing Masks during rehearsals and shows, socially distancing as much as possible both during the show and during rehearsals. 

ASU Music Theatre and Opera announces their Fall 2020 Season!

From our friends at ASU Music Theatre and Opera:

We are hard at work preparing an exciting season of online and physically distanced performances for the 2020-21 season. Each project will be announced 6-8 weeks in advance. Please follow us on social media or signup for our newsletter for regular updates!

In order to remain most flexible during COVID-19, details of each production will be announced as information becomes available. Please follow us on social media, and check for the most up-to-date information on any of the exciting projects we have planned. Stay tuned!

Alumni Cabaret
Oct 17, 7:30 p.m.
Streaming event
Free Admission on ASU Music Theatre and Opera Vimeo

Speed Dating Tonight
Music and libretto by Michael Ching
Based on a concept by Dean Anthony
Ticketed event, online only

Opera Under the Stars
Nov. 6 and 7, 7:30 p.m.
Nov. 8, 7:30 p.m. rain date
Details and location to be announced.

Opera Online
Nov. 8, 2 p.m. (MST)
Online event
Free Admission on ASU Music Theatre and Opera YouTube Channel

Music, book and lyrics by Elizabeth Swados
Dates and location to be announced
Ticketed online event - subject to change

Holiday Cabaret
Nov 30, 7:30 p.m. (MST)
Ticketed online event - subject to change

Check Music Theatre and Opera Upcoming Events for the most up-to-date information.

Details of our spring productions and performances will be announced in December or early January.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Acting Zone presents THE MURDER AT MOSS CREEK, October 16-24, 2020

The Murder at Moss Creek 

Written and Directed by Zoe Davis and Hailey Buford

October 16 - 7PM
October 17 - 7PM
October 23 - 7PM
October 24 - 2PM 

Murder at Moss Creek CAST

Danny- Brandt Marberry

Piper- Katherine Behling

Lea- Kensey Buford

Frankie- Jackson Gibbons

Chief- Jaryn Scott

Vivian- Jocelynn Brown

Officer Jones- Ainsley Pollard

Officer Donald- Mason Williams

Reporter- Adia Goodman

Cameraman- Nathan Guerra

Mom/Teacher- Keeley Davis

Sister (Margo)- Ashley McKinley


Claire- Izabella Holwerda

Lexi- Mia Williams

Hannah- Avery Counts

Butch- Brian Shahenian

Ivy- Julia Goto

Monday, October 12, 2020

Space 55 presents THE PLAYGROUND, a month long performing arts intensive

Space 55 is very pleased to announce the return of The Playground for 2020! The Playground is a month-long, online, multi-discipline performing arts intensive which culminates in a weekend of performances via Zoom.

Nine top-notch teaching artists (including several AriZoni award winners!) have been enlisted to offer 10 very affordable, hands-on, material-developing workshops that explore the intersection of performance and writing; playwriting, storytelling, improvisation, songwriting, sketch comedy, and lots more.

Participants at all experience levels are encouraged to deep dive into the whole mind-boggling festival (more than 30 hours of workshops), but are welcome to dip their toe in one workshop at a time.

Workshops run Monday and Tuesday* evenings from 6:30-8:45, and Saturday mornings from 10am to 12pm Oct. 19 to Nov. 17.

*Tuesday, November 3rd class is moved to November 4 (Go vote!).
Performances November 20th and 21st.

Check out to sign up for classes and to see the wide array of talented local theater artists & professionals we've assembled to teach these workshops. And for additional information, Playground organizer Kim Porter did a recent Q&A about what to expect at this year’s workshop series with Space55 Artistic Director BJ Garrett: 

Arizona Broadway Theatre's October Events


SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (Encore Room Oct 14)
Everybody loves a matinee! Hosted by David Appleford, award-winning Valley film and theatre critic, these special screenings of classic movie musicals are a perfect way to spend the afternoon. October through December showings will include Singin’ in the Rain, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Paint Your Wagon, Meet Me in St. Louis, and of course, Irving Berlin’s classic White Christmas! LEARN MORE

Starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds

When the transition is being made from silent films to `talkies’, everyone has trouble adapting. Don and Lina have been cast repeatedly as a romantic couple, but when their latest film is remade into a musical, only Don has the voice for the new singing part. After a lot of practice with a diction coach, Lina still sounds terrible, and Kathy, a bright young aspiring actress, is hired to record over her voice.
Get up close and personal (safely). This distinctive concert series showcases outstanding local musicians in the intimacy of ABT’s Encore Room.

Celebrate this special time of year with piano classics especially arranged and performed by Nicole, including Roger Williams’ “Autumn Leaves,” Green Day’s “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” Vernon Duke’s “Autumn In New York,” and more!

Pianist, keyboardist, composer, and arranger Nicole Pesce entertains audiences with her unique blend of virtuosity, humor, and pizzazz. Nicole’s YouTube “Happy Birthday Variations” video currently has nearly six million views. At the age of 7, Nicole began playing piano and quickly committed over 100 songs to memory. By age 10, over 500 songs were memorized and she won First Place in the Discovery National Television Competition. At age 11, Nicole began composing music; by 14, she appeared on the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon which aired to over sixty million viewers followed by an extensive US tour. During a year-long residency in Las Vegas, Nicole had the pleasure of performing on stage with Debbie Reynolds at Debbie’s hotel and Casino. Numerous performances followed for Rich Little, Buddy Greco, Pat Boone, Lew King, and Barbara Stanwyck. LEARN MORE

Hear a preview of Nicole’s music by visiting her website and downloading clips at
GET A CLUE OR DIE! (Encore Room Oct 16 & 17)
ABT is excited to welcome back to the Encore Room our friends from the long-running Murder & A Meal Mystery Theatre. Murder & A Meal has been serving-up heaping platefuls of belly-laughs in the Valley of the Sun since 2005. A fully-interactive entertainment experience, Murder & A Meal is set in an intimate (yet COVID-conscious) environment where audience members become part of the action. Participants will enjoy a 3-course meal re-imagined to meet with current health & safety protocols.

Mr. Boddee’s birthday celebration is this evening! All of his so-called “friends” are on the guest list: the gold-digging Miss Scarlett, the eccentric Professor Plum, the intoxicating Mrs. Peacock, the secretive Col. Mustard, the ill-tempered Mr. Green, and poor, mistreated and misunderstood Mrs. White. They all have a reason to have a distaste for
Mr. Boddee’s erratic, arrogant and selfish behavior and have a desire to get even with him. Somebody gets bumped off…and it is up to you (the Audience) to establish who the maniacal murderer is. With the help of the lovable security guard, Stoo Pidderdenmost, you will be guided through a web of deceit where you must determine WHODUNNIT! LEARN MORE
PIANO MEN: GENERATIONS (Mainstage Oct 16 & 17)
Piano Men: Generations celebrates the musical influences of Billy Joel and Elton John brought to you by the amazing father and son team of Terry & Nick Davies. Not only have Billy and Elton written and performed music that transcends four decades of music lovers – both have done so not standing center stage, but seated behind the ebony and ivory of an instrument that will forever define the spirit their music: THE PIANO! Join Terry & Nick on this journey through the careers of two music icons! LEARN MORE
A Celebration of Song! Join us as we pay homage to the most beloved melodies and unforgettable music of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber. This Mainstage series will feature the extraordinary vocal talent of esteemed ABT Stars Liz Fallon (Funny Girl, Shrek, Xanadu, Chicago and more ), Stephen Hohendorf (Camelot, Mary Poppins, Sweeney Todd, La Cage aux Folles and more), Renee Koher (Kiss Me Kate, Carousel, Camelot, Mary Poppins, Addams Family, Xanadu, Sweeney Todd and more), Nick Kuhn (Little Mermaid, Best Little Whorehouse, Mamma Mia, Hair and more), Carolyn McPhee (Trailer Park, 9 to 5, Camelot, Forbidden Broadway, Catch Me If You Can, Bridges of Madison County, Elf and more), Jamie Parnell (A Christmas Carol, Showboat, Mary Poppins, La Cage aux Folles and more), and Morgan Springer (Bye Bye Birdie, 42nd Street, Full Monty, Hello, Dolly! and more). LEARN MORE
"ROMANCE, ROMANCE!" BROADWAY LOVE SONGS (Encore Room Oct 29 & 30) Hosted by ABT's Kurtis Overby
Join us for fun and games, and something completely NEW! What could be better than Broadway AND Bingo! This unpredictable, interactive cabaret-style event, hosted by ABT’s very own Kurtis Overby, is the coolest game in town. With the song list determined by the numbers called, you could win the chance to pick your favorite Broadway Hits to be performed by our special local guest stars! Come play for fun and fabulous prizes! Each “show” will be completely unique, and chock-full of (physical-distanced) comedy and camaraderie. LEARN MORE