Culture News

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

The play Más opens a new Performance in the Borderlands season.
The play Más opens a new Performance in the Borderlands season. Borderlands Theatre Company
click to enlarge Kate Shindle as Alison in Fun Home. - JOAN MARCUS
Kate Shindle as Alison in Fun Home.
Joan Marcus
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.


click to enlarge Filmmakers whose work is part of The Bechdel Test Fest at Tempe Center for the Arts. - BRIDGE THEATRE INITIATIVE
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.

click to enlarge Ballet Arizona's Ballet Under the Stars is being performed at five outdoor venues. - ROSALIE O'CONNOR
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.

click to enlarge The play Más opens a new Performance in the Borderlands season. - BORDERLANDS THEATRE COMPANY
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.

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.
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Lynn Trimble is an award-winning freelance writer and photographer specializing in arts and culture, including visual and performing arts
Contact: Lynn Trimble