100 Creatives

Ally Haynes-Hamblen of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on the Play That Changed Her Life

Every other year, New Times puts the spotlight on Phoenix's creative forces — painters, dancers, designers, and actors. Leading up to the release of Best of Phoenix, we're taking a closer look at 100 more. Welcome to the 2016 edition of 100 Creatives. Up today is 71. Ally Haynes-Hamblen.

You could say that Late Nite Catechism changed Ally Haynes-Hamblen's life. And you wouldn't be wrong.

When reflecting on the show that's had the greatest impact on her life, the director of Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, who has been involved with thousands of productions throughout her career, points to the long-running nun comedy that's a fan favorite at the venue she helms — and across the country.

"I first became aware of Late Nite Catechism in 1998 when it came to the Society Hill Playhouse in Philadelphia, where I was the resident stage manager," the 42-year-old says. Haynes-Hamblen clicked with the producers, and when the show moved to a new venue, they offered her a job to move with them.

"... By September 1999, they convinced me to move to New York City to run the operations of their entire company – including Late Nite Catechism – in more than a dozen markets nationwide," she says. "In my six years with that company, I toured all over the United States and Canada, met hundreds of presenters, visited as many venues, and learned a lot about arts marketing, finance, touring, logistics, and more."

That's also when she became acquainted with Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, she says, "and in 2004, when my company was also producing the national tour of Menopause The Musical, the Center recruited me to give up the life of a touring producer/manager and move to Arizona to work for the Center running its newly renovated Theater 4301."

She took the opportunity and now heads up operations at the Center, one of the Valley's most notable arts venues. And it's not so surprising that the venue's 2016-17 schedule includes three iterations of the nun show.

"Late Nite Catechism was the show that made all of that growth in my career and in my life happen," she says, "and I will be forever grateful to the order of the Sorrowful Sisters of the Weeping Nun — a joke only die-hard LNC fans will recognize — for providing me with the opportunities that have led me to where I am today."

I came to Phoenix with four suitcases and a 1999 Mazda 626.

I make art because it’s part of the fabric of my DNA, and I can’t imagine my life without being involved in the arts.

I'm most productive when I am very, very busy. Idle time feeds my procrastination tendencies, so if I have many demands on my time and attention, my focus is sharper. I actually get a lot more done when I have less time to accomplish my to-do list. Seems counter-intuitive, right?

My inspiration wall is full of quotes from people I admire tremendously, such as Maya Angelou, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Marc Bamuthi Joseph, Leonard Bernstein, [former NBA basketball coach] Kevin Eastman, and many, many others.

I've learned most from the mistakes that I’ve made or witnessed. Failure is really just an opportunity to try again and do better.

Good work should always inspire, amaze, and challenge one’s senses.

The Phoenix creative scene could use more support and promotion. The quality of the work being produced and presented here is extraordinary. I had never been to Arizona before moving here from New York City in 2004 for a job at Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts. I didn’t know what to expect and was amazed by the Valley’s arts offerings. I’m passionate about sharing with as many people as I can what’s being created here. It’s wonderful, and as a community we should be shouting it from the rooftops.

The 2016 Creatives so far:

100. Nicole Olson
99. Andrew Pielage
98. Jessica Rowe
97. Danny Neumann
96. Beth Cato
95. Jessie Balli
94. Ron May
93. Leonor Aispuro
92. Sarah Waite
91. Christina "Xappa" Franco
90. Christian Adame
89. Tara Sharpe
88. Patricia Sannit
87. Brian Klein
86. Dennita Sewell
85. Garth Johnson
84. Charissa Lucille
83. Ryan Downey
82. Samantha Thompson
81. Cherie Buck-Hutchison
80. Freddie Paull
79. Jennifer Campbell
78. Dwayne Hartford
77. Shaliyah Ben
76. Kym Ventola
75. Matthew Watkins
74. Tom Budzak
73. Rachel Egboro
72. Rosemary Close