Herberger Theater Center adds three resident companies bringing 800 shows to downtown Phoenix

PHOENIX - The Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix will host more than 800 productions next year --about 300 more than its current season -- with its addition of three resident companies.

The Phoenix venue announced Monday that Arizona Opera, Childsplay, and Arizona Broadway Theatre have been added as official resident companies, bringing more of their shows to downtown Phoenix.

They join Arizona Theatre Company, Center Dance Ensemble and iTheatre Collaborative. Valley Youth Theatre, whose home is a short walk away, also produces two of its larger productions at the theater each season.

Mark Mettes, president and CEO of Herberger Theatre Center, said the additions would bring a more diverse range of shows to the venue.

"Today is all about more," said Mark Mettes, president, and CEO of Herberger Theater Center. "More audience means more art because more resident companies mean more performances, more audience, more activities and more excitement."

Tempe-based Childsplay, an internationally recognized theatre troupe focused on shows geared towards children, will make the largest move by bringing their entire season to the Herberger. It is currently housed at Tempe Center for the Arts.

Arizona Opera and Arizona Broadway Theatre will continue to produce shows at their venues, but will also perform shows at the Herberger.

The Arizona Opera will launch a fall series called Arizona Opera RED at the Herberger. That series will feature two productions with more theatrical elements better suited for more intimate venues, the theater said.

Peoria-based Arizona Broadway Theatre will bring more of its large-scale musical productions to downtown Phoenix hoping to reach audiences in the East Valley.

It showcased "A Christmas Carol" at the Herberger last year and will again put on that production next month.

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