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.
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.
The Bechdel Test Fest
Tempe Center for the Arts
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 Under the Stars
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.
Phoenix Center for the Arts
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.
I’m Not as Think as You Drunk I Am
Mesa Arts Center
See the dance work Jessica Rajko first presented at Crescent Ballroom, which explores drinking culture and related issues.
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.
Experimental Art Night
Mesa Arts Center
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
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
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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.
Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane Company
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.