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Best Equity Theater Phoenix 2013 - Arizona Theatre Company performing at Herberger Theater Center

A handful of Valley theaters operate under year-round contracts with Actors Equity Association, the union of professional actors and stage managers. Actors Theatre, one of our favorites, does amazing work, employs scads of local artists, and was chewed up and spit out by the economy in February. (But will return next month.)

The states's largest professional theater, Arizona Theatre Company, travels between Phoenix and its Tucson birthplace, and while it was a reported $1 million in the red as of June 30, made significant progress on financial and management issues later in the summer. Money worries moved to the back burner during dynamite 2012-13 shows like the edgy, Broadway-hot rock musical Next to Normal and racial drama Clybourne Park, not to mention literate, girly musical romance Jane Austen's Emma. ATC's upcoming season, featuring Arizona premières of Other Desert Cities and Venus in Fur, fuels the hope that local live theater will keep lighting up our nights.

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