Phoenix Theatre Company’s huge reno: What it means for fans


imageThe Phoenix Theatre Company has been a staple in the community since 1920 when it was housed in a coach house in what is now the courtyard.Big changes are in store for Phoenix Theatre: A groundbreaking on Thursday, Sept.14, sets the stage for the theater’s first major renovation in a decade.

The decision to expand and improve the venue came after a 20-year planning process that began with a comprehensive assessment of the community’s needs and limitations in the existing space, according to Vincent VanVleet, Phoenix Theatre Company’s executive director.

The anticipated cost of the renovation project is $30 million.Fundraising began immediately after the current Hormel Theatre’s opening in 2013-2014 and geared up during the 100th anniversary season in 2019.The project will be funded by a combination of fundraising, donations, corporate partnerships and grants.

The renovations are expected to be completed in 2025.

Here’s what the new Phoenix Theatre will have The black box-style theater currently seats 250 people.

After the renovation it will hold 500.

It will have a proscenium stage with cutting-edge technology that will expand the possibilities for new show development; a full fly loft for suspending, guiding and manipulating scenery from above; a larger stage and orchestra pit; and expanded video capabilities and lighting effects.

The plan is for the new space is to present shows with a higher level of production capabilities, said Michael Barnard, producing artistic director for Phoenix Theatre Company.

“Our goal is to continue our efforts to increase the Phoenix Theatre Company’s brand in the Valley and, with that, increase the economic impact not only in the arts but the entire city and state,” Barnard said.”Our desire is to become a tourist destination and a friend to all individuals in our community.”

Barnard said that attracting new patrons in addition to the over 5,000 current subscribers will benefit local restaurants, bars, hotels, shops and more.

“Over the past century, the Phoenix Theatre Company has played a pivotal role in enriching the cultural landscape of our community,” said VanVleet.

More: Phoenix Theatre Company buys apartment building in central city, readies for big expansion

“We have consistently provided high-quality theater experiences, educational programs and opportunities for local talent.our presence has not only contributed to the cultural enrichment of Phoenix but has also made a significant impact on the local economy by attracting visitors and supporting the livelihoods of countless artists and professionals.”

The Phoenix Theatre Company employs 130 full-time people, has a $13 million annual operating budget and is the largest regional theater in Arizona.

A new name for Phoenix Theatre’s new venue The renovated theater will be named after Dr.Stacie J.

and Richard J.Stephenson.

Stacie Stephenson is a bestselling author and a leader in functional and integrative medicine; Richard Stephenson is the chairman and founder of Cancer Treatment Centers of America.

“Our larger venue will enable us to expand our offerings, bring more diverse and though-provoking productions to our stage and provide increased educational opportunities for aspiring artists,” said VanVleet.

“The best ways for people to help are to come see a show, bring friends and help spread the word about what The Phoenix Theatre Company has to offer.

When the arts thrive, our city also thrives.”

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Meredith G.White is the entertainment reporter for The Arizona Republic | .

You can find her on Facebook as Meredith G.White, on Instagram and Twitter as @meredithgwhite, and email her at [email protected].

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