PHOENIX and TUCSON, AZ.: Arizona Theatre Company unveiled plans for its 54th season last week, including six productions in Tucson and six productions in Phoenix between September and July 2022. Included are two world premieres.
“To say that we’re ecstatic to be back creating live, in-person theatre is an understatement,” said artistic director Sean Daniels in a statement. “We can’t wait for the curtain to go up and for audiences to feel the thrill of a world-class play or musical.” With new plays that will go on to productions Off-Broadway and elsewhere, Daniels called his vision of ATC “the local theatre the world pays attention to, and I’m excited for other states to see what starts in Arizona.”
“Based on the amazing support we have seen from our subscribers and overall excitement and anticipation to attend live performances once again, we are very enthusiastic about our reopening to live stage this fall,” said managing director Geri Wright in a statement. “We have worked hard to position ourselves stronger than ever to be ready for our patrons and provide them with high-quality entertainment while contributing to their journey of life-long learning.”
“Live theatre reminds us that we are not alone,” Daniels continued, adding that research shows that audience members’ heartbeats are synchronized when attending live theatre. “Theatre is more than what’s onstage; it’s the powerful engagement one feels from the audience as a whole—a truly shared experience at a time when we have all been separated for too long.”
The season begins with the musical My 80-Year-Old Boyfriend (Sept. 25-Oct. 16 in Tuscon, Oct. 21-Nov. 7 in Phoenix), book and Lyrics by Christian Duhamel, music and lyrics by Ed Bell, conceived and performed by Charissa Bertels. Daniels directs this new musical about a 20-something Broadway baby who meets a Shakespeare- and Schubert-loving octogenarian.
Next is Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley (Nov. 6-Dec. 4 in Tucson, Dec. 9-Jan. 2, 2022 in Phoenix), by Lauren Gunderson & Margot Melcon. Daniels directs this popular Austen-inspired holiday show, a sequel to Pride and Prejudice focusing on Mary Bennet.
Daniels also directs the next offering, Women in Jeopardy! (Jan. 15, Feb. 5, 2002 in Tucson, Feb. 10-17, 2022 in Phoenix), by Wendy MacLeod. This comedy tells the story of Liz and her friends, who want her to be happy—but suspect that the dentist she’s smitten with may be a serial killer.
Next is Christina Ham‘s Nina Simone: Four Women (Feb. 26-Mar. 19, 2022 in Tucson, Mar. 24-Apr. 10, 2022 in Phoenix), directed by Tiffany Nichole Greene. This face-to-face musical evening with the fiery genius, activist, and musician is infused with traditional hymns along with Simone’s own songs and covers, and puts her in dialogue with three other African-American women from various backgrounds and experiences.
A much-anticipated new musical, Justice, follows (Apr. 9-Apr. 30, 2022 in Tucson, May 5-22, 2022 in Phoenix). With book by Lauren Gunderson, music by Bree Lowdermilk, and lyrics by Kait Kerrigan, it tells the story of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s arrival on United States Supreme Court and her friendship with the court’s the only other woman, Sandra Day O’Connor.
Next is the world premiere of how to make an American Son (Jun. 4-25, 2022 in Tucson, June 30-Jul. 17, 2022 in Phoenix), by christopher oscar peña, a new artistic associate at ATC. Kimberly Senior directs this play, about a Honduran-born business mogul who feels he must rein in his over-privileged American son, Orlando, when tragedy strikes. Produced in association with New York City’s Rattlestick Playwrights Theater.
Two previously announced shows, The Legend of Georgia McBride by Matthew Lopez and Pru Payne by Steven Drukman, will appear in the 2022-23 season.
And while ATC’s stages have been dark, audiences nationwide have tuned in to the theatre’s digital play readings over the past year. With more than 250,000 views of its digital work and 5,000-plus students at 70 schools across the state watching, these offerings have given audiences a peek into the playmaking process and provided a welcomed option when live theatre was not possible. In addition to its mainstage productions, ATC will continue to provide digital play readings and access points throughout the coming season.
Arizona Theatre Company is Arizona’s preeminent professional theatre, with the most extensive subscriber base of any performing arts organization in Arizona. More than 130,000 people each year attend performances at the Temple of Music and Art in Tucson and the Herberger Theater Center in Downtown Phoenix.
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