Saturday, April 30, 2022

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST JR - Limelight Performing Arts - May 27-June 4, 2022

The classic story tells of Belle, a young woman in a provincial town, and the Beast, who is really a young prince trapped under the spell of an enchantress. If the Beast can learn to love and be loved, the curse will end and he will be transformed to his former self. But time is running out. If the Beast does not learn his lesson soon, he and his household will be doomed for all eternity.

Fri, 5/27, 6:30pm
Sat, 5/28, 3pm
Sat, 5/28, 6:30pm
Wed, 6/1, 6:30pm
Thu, 6/2, 6:30pm
Fri, 6/3, 6:30pm
Sat, 6/4, 3pm
Sat, 6/4, 6:30pm

511 W Guadalupe Rd Suite 12, Gilbert, AZ 85233

The Bridge Initiative presents talk/concert series featuring local talent, BROADWAY, WHEN'S IT MY TURN? on Thursday May 19

Monthly talk show/concert Broadway Curious presented by The Bridge Initiative offers its final event of this season Thursday, May 19th, at 7:00pm, at ASU Kerr, 6110 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale, AZ 85253. The venue opens its doors at 6:30pm for bar service and meet-and-greet with the artists.

Broadway Curious is hosted by Brenda Foley and Will Rogers. The series centers musical theatre as a catalyst for conversation, inviting a different singer and musical director every month to explore a unique topic through musical selections and conversation. The hosts guide the event and the audience is invited to participate. The series offers the community the opportunity to engage with local professional talent in a way that is not possible when they are onstage in full theatre productions.

The May event, When's it my Turn?, centers hosts Foley and Rogers with support from surprise guests. It will explore questions of visibility and opportunity in musical theatre for women and LGBTQIA+ folks, how the genre can be both expansive and limiting. After more than a decade based in New York, Foley's local onstage credits include Arizona Theatre Company, iTheatre Collaborative, Tempe Center for the Arts, and most recently Jewish Ensemble Theatre at Scottsdale Center for the Arts. Originally from Alabama, Rogers directed and produced theatre in Chicago for many years before relocating to Phoenix to work at Arizona Theatre Company just prior to the pandemic.

Broadway Curious is produced by The Bridge Initiative in collaboration with ASU Kerr and funded in part by a grant from Scottsdale Arts. Tickets are pay-what-you-wish from $10 general admission, $5 students (plus fees):

Thursday, April 28, 2022

ALTAR BOYZ - Scottsdale Desert Stages Theatre - June 10-July 3, 2022

Book by Kevin Del Aguila / Music and Lyrics by Gary Adler and Michael Patrick Walker / Conceived By Marc Kessler and Ken Davenport

A foot-stomping, rafter-raising musical comedy about a fictitious Christian boy band on the last night of their national “Raise the Praise” tour. The Boyz are five all-singing, all-dancing heartthrobs from Ohio: Matthew, Mark, Luke, Juan and Abraham.

Directed by Lisa Figueroa
Music-directed by Jay Melberg
Choreographed by Nick Flores

Matthew - Jeremy Yampolsky
Mark - Declan Skaggs
Luke - Hayden Skaggs
Juan - Evan Kaushesh
Abraham - Jack Yampolsky
Understudies - Connor Klein, Christopher Poulios

Friday at 7:30pm
Sunday at 3:00pm

Appropriate for Ages 13+

ALTAR BOYZ,  opens at Desert Stages Theatre on Friday, June 10, and runs through Sunday, July 3.  (Friday evenings and Sunday matinee performances only)  Tickets are $25 per person, on sale NOW at!

SHREK THE MUSICAL JR - Paige Productions / Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church - April 30, 2022

Bryce Andrew as Shrek, Matthew Schmidt as Donkey, and Taegan Taul as Princess Fiona
 in Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church’s production of Shrek The Musical JR.

Shrek The Musical JR. opens at Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church on April 30, 2022. This upside down-fairy tale adventure follows an ogre named Shrek who has learned the hard way that “people hate the things they cannot understand.” One day, his peaceful swamp is disturbed by new tenants: fairytale misfits who have been banished there by the villainous Lord Farquaad. In order to gain back his land, Shrek makes a deal with Farquaad to rescue the feisty princess Fiona from a tower guarded by a fierce dragon. Setting off with his faithful companion, Donkey, Shrek begins the journey of a lifetime filled with adventure, romance, and hilarity.

Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church’s production of Shrek the Musical Jr is directed by Paige Beckman from Paige Productions Youth Theater. 

This exciting production includes more than 30 young performers from Fountain Hills, Mesa, Paradise Valley, Peoria & Scottsdale. These performers started rehearsing in March, 2022 and are looking forward to their final performances on April 30, 2022.

Paige Productions Youth Theater is run by Fountain Hills resident Paige Beckman. This theater is an exciting place where kids & teens can find fresh performance opportunities in the Fountain Hills & Scottsdale areas. This company works under a limited rehearsal schedule allowing students to participate in theater year-round. This format allows them to participate in other shows, school activities, studio dance programs and sports, while prepping for a theatrical production. In short, Paige Productions is a great place for busy kids. 

Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church’s Production of Shrek The Musical JR. performs on April 30, 2022 at 4:30 & 7:30 pm at Fountain Hills Presbyterian Church, 13001 N Fountain Hills Blvd., Fountain Hills, AZ 85268. Ticket prices are $5, (ages 3 and under are free). Tickets are available at:

With music by Jeanine Tesori, book and lyrics by David Lindsay-Abaire, Shrek The Musical is based on the Oscar®-winning DreamWorks Animation film and the book Shrek by William Steig.The musical was adapted to be performed by students by educational musical theatre consultancy firm iTheatrics under the supervision of Timothy Allen McDonald.

Shrek The Musical JR. is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI).  All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 Phone: 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684

Cast Announced for NUNSENSE at Fountain Hills Theater

Tanya Schoenwolf as “Reverend Mother”
Courtney Jacobs as “Sister Robert Anne”
Tina Khalil as “Sister Mary Hubert”
Brianne Gobeski as “Sister Mary Amnesia”
Punawai Tietz as “Sister Mary Leo”

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

A Conversation with LEA SALONGA, who will appear in concert at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on May 5

Lea Salonga

by Gil Benbrook

When she was just 18, Lea Salonga had already won the Tony and Olivier Awards for her performance as Kim in Miss Saigon. She was the first Asian woman to win a Tony.

Over the next thirty years, Salonga would gain a huge fan base from other musicals and films she appeared in, including playing both Eponine and Fantine in Les Misérables, the Broadway revivals of Flower Drum Song and Once On This Island, the new musical Allegiance, and singing for two Disney princesses in the films Aladdin and Mulan.

Salonga has appeared continually in concerts around the world, both with her band and with symphony orchestras, and has released several solo albums.

After being sidelined for close to two years due to the pandemic, Salonga is currently back on the road on her "Dream Again" tour and will be in Scottsdale on May 5th at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. 

Lea took a brief break between her concert dates to talk about the impact of the COVID shut down on her live appearances, what she learned from being stuck at home, along with her thoughts on other projects she tackled since I last spoke to her when she was coming to town, including playing Mrs. Lovett in a production of Sweeney Todd.

Lea, your "Dream Again" tour recently went back on the road, and it's been two years since your last live concert. What can you tell us about that experience of your first concert being back in front of a live audience again?

Lea Salonga: "We had ourselves a 'Christmas miracle' for my first show back after lockdowns! I received an invitation to sing at the Dubai Expo on December 25. I’ll admit, I was nervous and uncertain since it had been two years since I last performed in front of an audience. Turns out I didn’t have to worry, my body remembered what to do and we all had a fantastic time. It was exciting and so much fun! So for the tour, it felt like old hat when we opened in Winnipeg. "

2020 and most of 2021 were especially rough on artists and performers, since everything was shut down. What has the last two years been like for you due to the pandemic?

"Way too quiet. I had gotten accustomed to a life with tours during the spring and summer, corporate gigs, concerts and whatever else. All of that was taken away. I was still fortunate though as I was able to do fundraisers and things from my living room, but it’s something I’d rather not live through again. The level of uncertainty was very uncomfortable. "

Many people found new hobbies during the time they spent home due to the pandemic, were there any new ones that you found? 

"I learned how to bake sourdough and make sauerkraut. Turns out the top of my fridge is some sort of magical fermentation station! I also did a little bit of crocheting and knitting to pass the time. Nothing to write home about though. "

Any books you read or TV series you binged during the pandemic that you've been recommending?

"No, not really. I did finish Drag Race but not much else. I felt largely unmotivated to start something new. "

Anything else you did to keep busy in the early months of the shut down?

"I found BTS. And that kept me very busy! Those guys are the gift that keep on giving!"

Was there anything you learned about yourself during that time?

"That I’m far more resilient and self-reliant than I think. "

The last time you were in Scottsdale was three years ago, right after you resumed your tour after taking some time off due to your skiing accident. Have you had any lasting side effects from that accident?

"Thankfully no. I’m back to walking normally again and standing in high heels. The pandemic and the ensuing sedentary lifestyle probably did more than the accident did. "

When you were in town last, I had the pleasure of asking you some questions about the various stage and screen roles you've played, so I won't ask you about those again, However, since then you've worked on several other projects, including appearing as Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd in Manila and Singapore, and being featured in an independent film with Eva Noblezada, Yellow Rose. What was it like tackling a role like Mrs. Lovett?

"That might’ve been the most fun I had working on a show. Getting to play a villain is far more of a trip than the ingenue, to be honest! Not to mention Stephen Sondheim’s music and lyrics… it was difficult learning everything, but once I got it, it felt amazing to do. "

Eva was recently in concert at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts and in my interview with her she spoke highly about you and the friendship the two of you have. What was it like appearing in Yellow Rose with her, not only since she played Kim in the West End and Broadway revivals of Miss Saigon, but because the film was one of the first Filipino-American films to be released by a major Hollywood studio?

"That woman is a star. Great head on her shoulders, outspoken, well-spoken, smart and hella talented. Working with her on Yellow Rose was so lovely, but because my time on the film was so short I didn’t feel like I got to spend enough time with her. "

In the last few years, there has been an incredible boom of biopic musicals, Tina, MJ, Beautiful, etc. What Asian musician, singer, or figure would you like to see a musical created about?

"Oh my, I don’t know! Ask me again in a few years. "

You recently filmed a recurring role in the HBO series, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin. What was that experience like?

"Okay, off the bat I’m not a watcher of the horror slasher genre because I have a vivid imagination and can’t sleep well at night for days after seeing something scary. Working on Pretty Little Liars was such a fantastic experience because it helped to demystify a lot of what I’m scared of, like seeing how magicians do tricks. Plus the young women that star in the show - the new generation of liars - are so talented and gorgeous. I can’t wait for folks to watch this."

Your concerts always feature a wide range of material - not just songs from shows or the films you've been in but also pop hits and other songs. Are there any new songs or musicals you've discovered in the last few years that you've added to your concert lineup?

"You’ll just have to watch and see. I’m not giving anything away. "

What do you hope audiences will take away from your concert at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts?

"Hopefully audiences leave feeling joyful and optimistic that in some way, we’re all finding ways to move forward. That we’ve all been able to hold on to some amount of joy. "

Line Up Announced for the 2022 FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN THEATRE at The Phoenix Theatre Company, which runs May 6 to May 15

 The Festival of New American Theatre logo

For many playwrights, seeing their work come alive on stage is something they only dream about, but thanks to a passion project at The Phoenix Theatre Company, several of these creators will see their dreams become a reality. This year, The Phoenix Theatre Company continues its longstanding commitment to the development of new works, playwrights and performers with the 24th Festival of New American Theatre, May 6, 7 and 8, and May 13, 14 and 15, 2022.

Hosted annually, the Festival amplifies new voices and expands the landscape of American theatre. This season, the Festival will feature the readings of two new musicals and one play as well as the addition of the Composer Lyricist Cabaret. The Festival is an opportunity for audiences to witness how a production goes from the page to the stage. All three productions are presented without staging, costumes or choreography. It’s not uncommon for parts of a production to be reread and for edits to be made live onstage during the workshops.

“At The Phoenix Theatre Company, we pride ourselves on being a conduit for new stories, new voices, and new contributions to America’s theatre cannon,” said Michael Barnard, producing artistic director. “We know the value of the creative process and the importance of providing a space for new artists of all kinds to see their work come alive on stage.” Through a partnership with NYC’s Theatre Barn, a primary incubator of new musicals, The Phoenix Theatre Company will also feature the addition of a Choreography Lab this year which will explore how choreographers leave iconic marks on new musicals, on May 14 at 8 p.m. and May 15 at 6:30pm. Featured choreographers will be local favorites Nick Flores and Lauran Stanis. New York Theatre Barn Artistic Director Joe Barros will also present a keynote address on May 8 at 6:30 p.m., to be immediately followed by the New Works Reception with the artists and staff of The Phoenix Theatre Company.

A returning festival favorite, The First Draft Series will feature sit-down readings of three different one-act plays which competed and won Spotlight Youth Theatre’s 2021-2022 Playfest, an annual playwriting contest for young adults. The selections for the 2022 First Draft Series at The Phoenix Theatre Company include Not Driving Ever Summer by Rebecca Bain, The Pickpocket’s Lament by Katie Kloberdanz, and Lost n’ Sound by Zoey Waller. These new works will be presented May 14 a.m. at 11am and May 15 at 11 a.m. The Composer Lyricist Cabaret is returning this year and will present two 45-minute works followed by an audience discussion. Craig Bohmer (composer), will join with Steven Mark Kohn and Marion Adler (lyricists) for a new work presentation. Composer/lyricist Drew Fornarola will also be featured, who penned Tiananmen that will have its world premiere at The Phoenix Theatre Company next season.

Barnard says the Festival is invaluable to artists in all specialties, with many shows workshopped in Phoenix taking the next steps for a national audience. In fact, this April, Americano!, a musical about an Arizona Dreamer, will open off-Broadway after being part of the Festival of New American Theatre in 2019. 

The 2022 Festival of New American Theatre readings in development include:

A Beautiful Place - a new musical celebrating the life of artist Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, who was deported to the Theresienstadt concentration camp in 1942. There, Friedl secretly taught classes to hundreds of children, giving them the ability to escape the world around them by using their imaginations and the remarkable power of art. The legacy of these pieces continues to inspire and remind us how beauty and hope can exist within the darkness of despair. Witten by Linda DeArmond Grady and Michael Grady, with music by Craig Bohmler and lyrics by Steven Mark Kohn, directed by David Ira Goldstein, music directed by Craig Bohmler, this musical can be seen onstage May 6 at 7 p.m. and May 7 at 3 p.m. ASL Interpretation will be provided on May 7 at 3 p.m.
Content Warning: Discussions of the Holocaust and violence.

The Belle of Tombstone - a new musical set in Tombstone, Arizona. Josie Marcus is nothing like the girls at home. Passionate and fearless, she escapes her upper-class Jewish family in 1879 San Francisco for a wild adventure in Tombstone, home of legendary frontier lawman Wyatt Earp. Weaving together Hollywood’s golden era and the legendary West, the all-female musical, The Belle of Tombstone, excavates the untold true story of the Jewish wife of Wyatt Earp and the women of the American West. Witten by Sheilah Rae and Thomas Edward West, with music by Michele Brourman and lyrics by Sheilah Rae, directed by Joe Barros, music directed by Josh Condon, this show will take the stage May 7 at 7 p.m. and May 8 at 3 p.m. ASL Interpretation will be provided on May 8 at 3 p.m.
Content Warning: Drug use and discussion of suicide.

Hollywood Nurses - a play that explores clandestine love. Nurse Jenny Tyler is running from her past. Nurse Suzanne Medford is running from her present. When the secret worlds of these nurses collide at Holly View Hospital, they ignite forbidden passions, erupting into a dangerous scandal that even the most modern medicine cannot cure. Hollywood Nurses is an homage to the lesbian pulp novels of the 1950s. Written by Peter Michael Marino and Sheila Head, directed by Carl Andress and produced by Norma Lana, this show will be presented May 13 at 7 p.m. and May 15 at 3 p.m.
ASL Interpretation will be provided on May 15 at 3 p.m. Content Warning: Sexual violence

For more information or to get tickets, visit

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Video auditions for MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at State of the Art Productions being accepted through April 30

State of the Art Productions presents:

Merrily We Roll Along
A Sondheim classic hosted on the Spotlight Youth Theatre stage Jul. 8-9, 2022.

Book by George Furth
Music and Lyrics by Stephen Sondheim

Friday, Jul. 8 at 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, Jul. 9 at 2:00 p.m. & 7:00 p.m.
Ticket purchase will be linked here when available.

Ages: 14-22
Virtual Auditions: Apr. 10-30
Virtual Callbacks: May 1-17

Provide résumé and head shot photo.
Provide any known conflicts from Jun. 9-Jul. 9, 2022.
Please prepare to audition with 32 bars of a proper cut and appropriate style musical theatre song.
Video auditions will be accepted until 9:00 p.m. Apr. 30. Email complete with name, contact information, résumé, and attachment of (or link to) audition video.

Director: Finnegan Clisham
Music Director and Choreographer: Jonah Fried

ALL SHOOK UP: SCHOOL EDITION - Studio 3 Performing Arts - May 6-May 15, 2022

The music of Elvis comes alive in All Shook Up. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, All Shook Up follows a small Midwestern town that is thrown into a frenzy with the arrival of Chad, a good-looking, motorcycle-riding roustabout, who rides from town to town with a guitar on his back, blue suede shoes on his feet, and a song in his heart. Repressed by their conservative mayor, the town begins to come alive once more under Chad’s influence. Lovers meet, woo, pursue, and more, all in one zany night that will change the town forever. All Shook Up is a rocking, heartwarming tale about following dreams, opening up to love, and the power of music.

Fri, 5/6 7:00 PM (Opening)
Sat, 5/7, 2:30 PM
Sat, 5/7, 7:00 PM
Mon, 5/9, 7 PM
Wed, 5/11, 7 PM
Sat, 5/14, 2:30 PM
Sat, 5/14, 7:00 PM
Sun, 5/15, 2:30 PM (Closing)

Event Address:


Monday, April 25, 2022

WEEK AT A GLANCE: April 25-May 1, 2022

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



Sunday, April 24, 2022

THE SOUND OF MUSIC - Almost Famous Theatre Company - May 6-8, 2022

The Sound of Music
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II
Book by Howard Lindsay & Russel Crouse

The world's most beloved musical. Featuring a trove of cherished songs, including "Climb Ev'ry Mountain," "My Favorite Things," "Do Re Mi," "Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and the title number, The Sound of Music won the hearts of audiences worldwide, earning five Tony Awards and five Oscars. The inspirational story, based on the memoir of Maria Augusta Trapp, follows an ebullient postulate who serves as governess to the seven children of the imperious Captain von Trapp, bringing music and joy to the household. But as the forces of Nazism take hold of Austria, Maria and the entire von Trapp family must make a life-changing decision. 
Director: Jan Williams
Music Director:  John Luke Osorio
Choreography: Melia Coury, Tristin Miller

Friday, May 6, 7:30 PM
Saturday, May 7, 2:00 PM & 7:00 PM
Sunday, May 8, 4:00 PM

Kroc Performing Arts Center
1375 East Broadway Road
Phoenix, Arizona 85040

Tickets $30 

Maria Marjani Taylor
Captain von Trapp Jason Isaak
Mother Abbess Katherine Todd
Elsa Schraeder Leslie Kempton
Max Detweiler Garth Williams
Sister Berthe Giselle Fox
Sister Margaretta Amy Wilson
Liesl Vivienne Spamer
Friedrich Christopher Devous
Louisa Sienna Stoll
Kurt Charlie Darling
Brigitta Charlise Darling
Marta Piper Fried
Gretl Ryann Monn
Sister Sophia Sharesa Uher
Nun/Contestant Lynn Golden
Frau Zeller/Nun LaGina Bevans
Postulant/Nun Morgan Tefft
Baroness Elberfeld/Nun  Elice Taylor
Nun/Contestant Margaret Mason
Frau Schmidt/Nun Kat Noone
Rolf Lincoln Hoekstra
Franz Keith Chandler
Herr Zeller Steven Settefrati
Baron Elberfeld Dakota George
Priest/Ensemble Michael Leeth
Admiral von Schreiber     Eric Lee Olsen
Contestent/Ensemble Branden Large

UAP/Arizona Theatre Matters' 2022 FESTIVAL runs May 19-22, 2022

UAP/ATM 2022 Festival

View all content at the Arizona Theatre Matters YOUTUBE Channel 

Made possible by grants from the Arizona Commission on the Arts, a State Agency
and The National Endowment for the Arts, a Federal Agency. 

Lisa Wolpe in her universally acclaimed solo show, Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender. Internationally renowned theater artist Lisa Wolpe is a critically acclaimed actor, director, and visionary who has been leading the movement for gender parity and diversity in the arts with a special focus on Shakespeare and Gender.
Cornelius Hobonocker (AKA Lil’ Beezus) is a seven-year-old mixed-race muppet. His career as a rapper, DJ, humorist, and philosopher began in 2020, when he looked up from his Cracklin’ Oat Bran and realized the world was going to heck in a handbasket. His three albums, Woke, What Would Beezus Do?, and What Would Beezus Do Too? are highly acclaimed by Mrs. Krenski’s 2nd-grade class. He is currently working on his fourth album Felt. He is very excited to share his perspective and unique song stylings with ATM this year and would like to thank Jeanmarie Simpson, Samantha King, and Deb Fink for their support (because sometimes his head falls over).

Samantha King hails from Northern California, where she studied at The American Conservatory Theatre, The Academy of Media and Theatre Arts, and The American Academy of Dramatic Arts.

She did educational children’s theatre for ten years touring schools in Northern California, Denver, Dallas, and Atlanta. She then wrote The Best Me which, before COVID, toured as part of Kaiser Permanente’s Educational Theatre Programs. Her play Chicken Dance was performed at The Edmonton Fringe Festival.

She was a member of The Actor’s Ensemble of Berkeley, where she choreographed and played Velma Kelly in Chicago. She also appeared as Lorraine Sheldon in The Man Who Came to Dinner, Kitty Duvall in The Time of your Life and choreographed Kiss Me Kate. At The Masquer’s Playhouse, she choreographed New Girl in Town and Kismet.

She was a founding member of Central Works in Berkeley, CA, where she was in Halcyon Days, Two Precious Maidens Ridiculed, Golden Era, and wrote Roux.

Her friendship with UAP/ATM Artistic Director Jeanmarie Simpson took her to Pullman, Washington, where she played Truvy in Steel Magnolias, Flo in The Odd Couple, Bonnie in Anything Goes, and Rosie in Bye, Bye, Birdie.

In Reno, Nevada, Jeanmarie produced and directed a version of The Tempest interwoven to the soundtrack of Hair. Samantha choreographed and played Ariel.

Sam has been teaching theater in New Orleans Public Schools since 2000. Trained in Arts Integration at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga, she developed the elementary theatre program at Lusher Charter School where she taught elementary, middle, and high school students for 14 years.

Currently an Arts Integration Specialist with KID smART, she develops and implements Arts Integration professional development, and has an Arts Literacy residency at Langston Hughes Academy. She is also a member of The Greater New Orleans Writing Project and has taught Creative Writing at Tulane’s Upward Bound program.
In The Shneedles, Bowart and Robison combine the raw skills of circus acrobats, the rapscallion absurdity of Monty Python, and the comedic perfection of Buster Keaton in a production about a stalking suitcase. Each night, The Shneedles begin with said suitcase standing in a lone spotlight. Robison, playing a wizened, scary-haired crank, and Bowart, his twitchy puppy-like protégé, wander onstage and unwittingly steal the limelight from the magical valise. In a story involving a toaster full of flying bread, a missing red sock, an increasingly desperate duel for the affections of a lady in the front row and a paper rat that refuses to die, the show explodes into a full-scale comic nightmare that leaves audience members of all ages breathless with laughter and buzzing with sheer delight.

The production debuted in Seattle, then at Australia’s Melbourne International Comedy Festival, where Bowart and Robison performed at the Opening Night Gala, and has subsequently been performed in countries around the world.

The Shneedles, aglow with the flavor of an antediluvian circus, offer up a show that recalls Chaplin and Tati.
-- The Seattle Post-Intelligencer, USA


For over 25 years, Bill Robison has charmed audiences young and old around the world with his unique and masterful style of physical comedy. Using his rubber-like face, elastic body, and limitless energy, he transports audiences to a zany, unpredictable and hilarious world.

His performances are a synthesis of outlandish comedy, a penchant for the absurd, and a reckless sense of abandon.

His extensive background in all types of theatrical and physical performance allows him infinite creativity in creating seamless comic situations, combining the timeless feel of old Vaudeville with European-style clowning.

Photo by Jeremy Center

Alistair Barnswallow's Spectacular Airship!!

Bill has performed on stages large and small at Fairs and Festivals,Cruise Ships, Television, German Variete Theatres, Comedy Clubs,Cabarets, Schools, Private Events and much more.

Believer Skeptic Podcast is a podcast that delves into strange and humorous phenomena including seeing Jesus on your toast, supernatural sightings, crypto-zoology, and so much more. Cody and Chris have created a platform on which they can discuss both sides of the phenomena (real or bulls**t) while sipping on booze and spirits that represent their chosen topic. They hope to entertain, enlighten, and maybe even educate you on all things fun and weird. Whose side will you be on? Are you a believer or a skeptic?

Chris R. Chávez is a native of Northern New Mexico and has been living in Phoenix since 2003. He has always had a deep interest and love for strange and macabre subjects since as far back as he can remember. This can probably be attributed to his introduction to horror movies by his mom as a kid. Chris is a believer or a believer in the possibility of many of the subjects they discuss. He has been a huge fan of Podcasts for some time and finally decided it was time to give it a go himself. When not podcasting, Chris works in higher education and intermittently dabbles in community theatre. Chris lives in the arid desert of Phoenix with his cat Zebulon. Stay strange, stay spooky, and most of all, let him make a believer out of you.

Cody Wagner loves talking about random crap. Chris actually introduced him to podcasts and he's quickly become obsessed, listening to at least two of them. Since then, he thought it's the perfect place to introduce his love of crap. Talking about it, that is. Cody is also an author. His award-winning debut novel, The Gay Teen’s Guide to Defeating a Siren, recently “came out”. See what he did there? Check out his writing and see more of his wackiness at or find him on Twitter @cfjwagner, Goodreads at, and Amazon at
L Martina Young

A scholar of Comparative Mythology and poetic perception, a multi-year recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship, a concert dance artist, Somatic Movement, and Certified Labyrinth Facilitator, and master Pilates Educator, L. Martina Young, Ph.D. was born with good fortune to wise parents who raised her in an open, accepting, and culturally-diverse environment. From her visual artist father, a painter and political cartoonist of African American Blackfoot Indian French Creole lineage, and her opera-trained and political activist mother born of Russian Jewish parentage, Martina inherited an expansive worldview, a moral imagination, and a deep sense of humanitas.

Coming of age in a working-class home, Martina lives by a primary ethic: the intrinsic dignity of every human being — a core ethos at the heart all of her work. A practitioner and theorist of the indigenous wellness practices of her cultural roots, Ms. Young perceives our sentient body-selves as transparent and highly intelligent, wholly human, offering nuanced expressivity throughout our lifespan. The culture-at-large, according to Ms. Young, need only cultivate and apply a deeper sentience to both private and public endeavors in order to make sustained, positive affects on all our lives. She brings attention to shared global concerns as physical, spiritual, psychological, biological, aesthetic, ethical, and caregiving persons.

“What the World Needs Now/A Grammar of Empathy©” — an immersive, community-based workshop informed by 30 years of work with youth and adults on cultivating empathy — was invited as a Talk for the 2020 Northern Nevada Diversity Summit. Her artistic collaboration as the solo dancer-choreographer in filmmaker Julie Dash’s film, Four Women, to Nina Simone’s song of the same title, positioned Martina to assist with initiating the first Black Film Festival in 2021 at the University of Nevada, Reno, where she served as a Humanities Lecturer from 2017-21.

Martina is also known as the solo dancer in Stevie Wonder’s Ribbon in the Sky music video, an industry in which she worked in Los Angeles from 1982-86. For more information, please visit:


The son and grandson of writers and painters, Wolfe Bowart was always encouraged to pursue his passion. His innate talent for physical expression showed itself early – Bowart learned the circus arts from age 9 and began performing as a teen. On gaining his classical training at Seattle’s Cornish College of the Arts (the specialist visual arts and performing arts university), Bowart furthered his studies with mentors as diverse as performance artist Rachel Rosenthal and members of Cirque du Soleil. ​

As a playwright and multidisciplinary performer, Wolfe Bowart’s work has been produced for the theatre in the U.S., Australia and in Europe. Harold’s Big Feat and Smoke Fire Fish had their premieres at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum, where in the 1990s Bowart was installed as the Resident Clown. The California Youth Theatre commissioned Seven Baskets for Khalid, Intermedia Arts in Minneapolis produced Table Settings and Maine’s Arts Centre at Kingdom Falls commissioned and produced Bowart and fellow performer Beverly Mann in The Daft and the Daring. Bowart's play Lemmings and Pallbearers won the Best of the Festival at the New City Theatre Festival in Seattle. Charcos Secos was created for Atenau Popular in Barcelona, Spain. The award-winning Through the Sipapu was co-written with friends Steve White (Blue Man Group) and Bill Robison. 

In 2002, Bowart founded the company Spoon Tree Productions. Under this banner he has written, performed and garnered international recognition for The Shneedles, LaLaLuna, and the Helpmann Award® nominees Letter’s End and The Man the Sea Saw. In 2013, Bowart was the recipient of the Creative Development Fellowship, awarded by the West Australian Department of Culture and the Arts. In the same year, Bowart was a Finalist in the 2013 Australian Arts in Asia Awards, honoring his tours of The Man the Sea Saw and LaLaLuna in Hong Kong and South Korea. As a director and artist-in-residence, Bowart has brought physical theatre to people of all ages in conjunction with the Los Angeles Music Centre, Wolf Trap, the Ahmanson Theatre, the Playwrights Project, California Youth Theatre, the Virginia Avenue Project, the Mark Taper Forum and Australia’s National Institute of Circus Arts.


Jeanmarie wrote and performed hundreds of times (including a run Off-Broadway) the play A Single Woman, about the life of first US Congresswoman and lifelong pacifist Jeannette Rankin. She also starred in the film version that featured Judd Nelson, the voices of Martin Sheen and Patricia Arquette, and the music of Joni Mitchell. In 2007, she appeared at the historic Beverly Hills Theatre 40 in the American premiere of the solo tour-de-force Shakespeare’s Will, directed by Leonard Nimoy.

Jeanmarie toured internationally with Coming In Hot, which she co-adapted and in which she played 19 American women who had served in the military from Viet Nam to Iraq-Afghanistan. She was commissioned by the Be the Change project to create a piece based on interviews with DREAMers; Liberty’s Children premiered at the Potential Workshop in Reno, Nevada,

From 2011-19. She toured the world again with her original solo performance work, HERETIC. The piece explores the life and struggles of Quaker martyr Mary Dyer, hanged in Boston in 1660.

In the past year, her plays Pineapple and Other Options and The Jewish Question were performed worldwide via Zoom. In 2022, her plays Bambino Mio – Bright Little Flame, The Jewish Question and When Churchyards Yawn are having readings in public spaces, both in the US and Canada. 

When Churchyards Yawn was one of the few theatre offerings in ARTOWN’s celebrated 2021 festival.