Best Equity House - 2010
Arizona Theatre Company
A quick lesson in professional versus non-professional theater: Actors' Equity Association is the labor union representing American stage actors and managers. "House" is, in this context, another word for troupe or theater group. A professional union theater company is referred to as an equity house, while a smaller, non-professional company that pays neither dues to the union nor wages to its actors is called, in polite company, a community theater. And, in our state, Arizona Theatre Company is the best equity house around. Founded in Tucson in 1967 as the Arizona Civic Theater, this company — our state theater, headquartered in Tucson — has been presenting the best local and national performers to a combined audience of more than 150,000 patrons since 1983. ATC's trick seems to be mixing a well-known favorite (like 2008-09's Hair, or the upcoming production of Neil Simon's Lost in Yonkers, to be directed by the company's artistic director, David Ira Goldstein) with "important" plays (many ATC fans are still recovering from the beauty of the company's production of A Long Day's Journey into Night from a few years ago). Brilliant.