Arizona Theatre Company Launches New Works Program With Reading & Workshops

Posted By on August 1, 2019

As part of Artistic Director Sean Daniels’ vision to introduce Arizona theatergoers to new works from the world’s best playwrights, Arizona Theatre Company has scheduled the first three New Works Programs readings and workshops in the Valley.  

The readings and workshops also will be the official launch of The Cohort Club that offers 20 members each in Tucson and Phoenix the chance to follow ATC main stage productions from first rehearsal through opening night and new plays from first read to staged readings. Daniels introduced The Cohort Club concept to ATC after seven successful seasons in other cities.

“Part of our plan to grow Arizona Theatre Company as a national company and to deepen our local roots is the creation of a new work program,” Daniels said. “We’ll be bringing in the best playwrights and directors from around the world to work with the local actors of Phoenix and Tucson – with the goal of developing work here in Arizona that will later be seen on stages around the world. 

“If you want to see what will be taking New York by storm in a few years, come to Arizona now.”

Readings are:

• Pru Payne by Steven Drukman.  Rehearsals: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., July 31 to Aug. 3; Final Reading: 5 p.m., Aug. 3, at Arizona Opera, 1636 N Central Ave, Phoenix.  In 1988, one of America’s leading public intellectuals starts to lose it a bit—or is she really gaining more of herself? With pathos leavened by bawdy humor, Pru Payne grapples with love and family, the battle between thinking and feeling, and ultimately asks: how is it best for anyone to be remembered?

• Bleeding Hearts by Steve Yockey.  Rehearsals: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 8-11; Final Reading: 5 p.m., Aug. 8 at Arizona Opera. Sloane isn’t sure why exactly her husband Timothy brought home a probably dangerous drifter with a knife, but she definitely doesn’t like it. Of course, it’s hard to focus when her wealthy neighbor keeps dropping by to steal anything that isn’t nailed down. And then things get violent. Bleeding Hearts is a wildly dark comedy about the disappearing American middle class & how easily people forget to put themselves in each others’ shoes.

• How to Make an American Son by Christopher Oscar Peña. Rehearsals: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Aug. 27-30; Final Reading: 5 p.m., Aug. 30 at Phoenix College, John Paul Theatre, 1202 W. Thomas Rd., Phoenix. A “Model Immigrant” and business mogul, Honduran born Mando’s cleaning empire is bracing for a downturn and he must rein in his over-privileged American son Orlando — who is living large on his dime. To teach him a lesson, he puts Orlando on the floor with the cleaning team, but in the wake of a personal gay-bashing, Orlando suddenly finds himself responsible for the fate of a treasured undocumented worker and the future of his father’s entire enterprise. A play about the complexities of privilege, status, sexual identity and legal status within a newly wealthy immigrant family.

ATC’s Cohort Club will include a diverse group of 20 people in Tucson and 20 people in Phoenix who will have “unprecedented access to the artistic process through all rehearsals, including technical rehearsals; one-on-one time with actors, artists and staff; exclusive invitations to special events; tickets to all preview performances and more,” Daniels said.

“We want members to learn about the creation of theater through observations and conversations with professional artists,” he added.

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