iTheatre Collaborative was announced as the newest resident company at downtown Phoenix's Herberger Theater Center on March 3. Other resident companies at the arts venue, built in 1989, are Arizona Theatre Company and Center Dance Ensemble, both longtime staples of the Arizona arts scene.
Founded in 2002, iTheatre focuses on creating performing arts productions that "capture and galvanize" the local community. Since then, it's produced 53 productions, given 429 performances, reached 24,605 patrons, and worked with 147 different local artists, according to Valerie Monaco, marketing and development associate for Herberger Theater Center.
This is the first time Herberger Theater Center has named a new resident company since Actors Theatre left in 2012, citing financial struggles that eventually caused the company to shutter in December 2014.
iTheatre often performs works by internationally renowned playwrights, including Suzan-Lori Parks, Moises Kaufman, Tracy Letts, Edward Albee, David Mamet, and others.
Many of the company's 53 productions have been performed at Herberger Theater Center, where it will present the Arizona première of Eric Coble's The Velocity of Autumn. The play, which explores several generations of family dysfunction, had a brief run on Broadway in 2014 with acting maven Estelle Parsons in the lead role.
But things weren't looking so good for iTheatre Collaborative last fall. In October 2015, the company announced that it would be cancelling its production of Port Authority after learning it had not been approved for a $5,000 grant received in previous years from the City of Phoenix. The show would have been performed October 16 to 31 on the Kax Stage at Herberger Theater Center.
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As a resident theater company, iTheatre Collaborative will "produce smaller scale works that focus on the story and artists' performance," according to Herberger Theater Center. It will continue to perform on The Kax Stage, which is the venue's black box theater space.
Mark Mettes, CEO for Herberger Theater Center, praises the theater company for its distinct perspective and storytelling style. "The addition of iTheater Collaborative as a resident company reinforces our commitment to provide thought-provoking and entertaining theater experiences."