Kate Shindle as Alison in Fun Home.EXPAND
Kate Shindle as Alison in Fun Home.
Joan Marcus

Your Guide to 11 Must-See Performances in Metro Phoenix This Fall

Whether you favor new works or classics, the fall performing arts season in Phoenix has something you'll likely appreciate. It’s filled with eclectic offerings exploring everything from sexual identity to systemic racism. Here’s a look at 11 performances worth seeing.

Chances are, you’ll gravitate towards some, and feel indifference towards the others. But keep an open mind, because art is all about stretching yourself with new ideas and experiences. And sometimes the best ones come from unexpected places.

Fun Home
ASU Gammage
Through September 10

Check out the touring production of Fun Home, which won five Tony Awards, including best musical, in 2015. Told through the eyes of a comic-strip writer, it explores the turbulent underpinnings of a family feigning normalcy while running a funeral home.

Filmmakers whose work is part of The Bechdel Test Fest at Tempe Center for the Arts.EXPAND
Filmmakers whose work is part of The Bechdel Test Fest at Tempe Center for the Arts.
Bridge Theatre Initiative

The Bechdel Test Fest
Tempe Center for the Arts
September 9-10

The Bridge Initiative is partnering with Tempe Center for the Arts to present a mash-up of new play readings, film screenings, and live music spotlighting women’s voices. Participating artists include Angelica Howland, Maren Maclean, and Xanthia Walker, to name a few.

Ballet Arizona's Ballet Under the Stars is being performed at five outdoor venues.EXPAND
Ballet Arizona's Ballet Under the Stars is being performed at five outdoor venues.
Rosalie O'Connor

Ballet Under the Stars
Locations vary
September 21-30 (select dates)

This Ballet Arizona tradition, featuring excerpts of several ballets performed on outdoor stages, returns for five free performances around the Valley. Venues include Steele Indian School Park and Tempe Center for the Arts.

The play Más opens a new Performance in the Borderlands season.EXPAND
The play Más opens a new Performance in the Borderlands season.
Borderlands Theatre Company

Más
Phoenix Center for the Arts
September 23

Just last month, a U.S. District judge ruled against those who banned ethnics studies for Tucson students. Now you can see the play that the explores what happened to the community when the class got nixed back in 2012. Más blends theater, dance, and masks by Mesa artist Zarco Guerrero.

Scene from I'm Not as Think as You Drunk I Am choreographed by Jessica Rajko.
Scene from I'm Not as Think as You Drunk I Am choreographed by Jessica Rajko.
Tim Trumble

I’m Not as Think as You Drunk I Am
Mesa Arts Center
October 12-13

See the dance work Jessica Rajko first presented at Crescent Ballroom, which explores drinking culture and related issues.

The Nether
Lyceum Theatre
October 13-22

Blurring traditional lines between theater, dance, and digital arts, ASU’s Herberger Institute presents a new work exploring virtual reality and the dark corners of human imagination.

Building the Wall
Herberger Theater Center
October 20-November 4

This new political thriller, written by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner Robert Schenkkan, explores questions about America’s identity – and its future. Its being performed by iTheatre Collaborative, a resident company at Herberger Theater Center.

Read on for more of this fall's best performing arts offerings.

CaZo Dance Company is part of the next [nueBOX] Experimental Art Night.EXPAND
CaZo Dance Company is part of the next [nueBOX] Experimental Art Night.
CaZo Dance Company

Experimental Art Night
Mesa Arts Center
October 21

See what happens when the new works development group [nueBOX] convenes a diverse assortment of local installation and performance artists to share works in progress in a casual, creative setting. Participating artists include Alyssa Puleo, House of Cirque, Cazo Dance, Chequamegon Bollinger, and Cruz Control.

Hercules vs Vampires
Symphony Hall
October 21 and 22

Seizing on the call for opera that reaches fresh audiences in new ways, Arizona Opera opens its season with Hercules vs Vampires, which pairs operatic performance with a screening of a 1961 cult film called Hercules in the Haunted World.

Crossfade Lab: Carla Morrison and Natalie Diaz
Crescent Ballroom
October 27

Explore the intersection of poetry and music as CALA Alliance presents its fifth Crossfade Lab, featuring Arizona Mohave poet Natalie Diaz along with two-time Grammy Award winner and former Phoenix resident Carla Morrison. It’s moderated by 2016 MacArthur Fellow Josh Kun.

See the Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Company at ASU Gammage.EXPAND
See the Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Company at ASU Gammage.
Lisa Voll Photography

Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Company
ASU Gammage
November 18

The renowned dance company returns to Tempe for a performance of Analogy/Ambros: The Emigrant. It’s an investigation of memory, storytelling, and form that considers the types of wars people fight, including wars within themselves.

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