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Arizona Artists Initiative

Arizona Theatre Company’s Arizona Artists Initiative will spotlight the state’s diverse cultural talent, impact, and lasting imprint.

When David Ivers was named Artistic Director at Arizona Theatre Company, he made a commitment to spotlight Arizona artists: those who live here, were born here, return to or move here or who write about Arizona or our surrounding region. 

That Arizona Artist Initiative will launch when the curtain comes up on the 2018/19 season, the first fully programmed by Ivers.

“Arizona has a rich art and cultural heritage and a remarkable legacy of individuals who have built upon that foundation. Throughout the season, the Arizona Artist Initiative will celebrate the breadth and depth of that diversity in a season about family and coming home to Arizona.” – David Ivers, Artistic Director

Among those coming home so far:

Scott Pask, who has designed more than 50 Broadway productions, earning Tony Awards for The Pillowman, The Coast of Utopia and The Book of Mormon. He currently is represented with five Broadway shows and this season received Tony Award nominations for Best Scenic Design of a Musical for both The Band’s Visit and Mean Girls. Born and raised in Yuma, Pask received a Bachelor’s Degree in architecture and an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the University of Arizona. His current home in Tucson’s Catalina Foothills was featured in The New York Times Style Magazine. He is scenic designer for ATC’s production of the David Ivers-directed The Music Man (Tucson: Dec.1-30, Phoenix: Jan. 5-27).

Tucson native and legendary sound designer Abe Jacob whose remarkable achievements include the groundbreaking rock-and-roll sound system for the 1969 Broadway production of Hair. His credits also include the original Broadway productions of Jesus Christ Superstar, Pippin, The Who’s Tommy, A Chorus Line, Chicago, Evita and Cats, among others. He will design the sound for The Music Man.

Tucson native and renowned lighting designer Philip Rosenberg (Broadway: Pretty Woman: The Musical, The Elephant Man, Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, It’s Only a Play), whose grandfather, George Rosenberg, was an ATC board member and interim CEO in the late 1980s. With Pask and Jacob, he forms a breathtaking trifecta for The Music Man.

Playwright José Cruz González, playwright-in-residence with Childsplay in Tempe, whose vibrant new comedy, American Mariachi (Tucson: March 9-30; Phoenix: April 4-21) is a heartwarming and hilarious play about music’s power to heal and connect, and the freedom to dream big.

Actor Robynn Rodriguez, who returns to the ATC stage for the first production of 52nd season, Native Gardens. Rodriguez was cast as Aoife Muldoon in ATC’s production of Outside Mullingar last season. She also spent several years as a child in Tucson while her father attended the University of Arizona College of Pharmacy.

At Wit's End Poster

Erma Bombeck, the Ohio wife, best-selling author, syndicated columnist and mother-turned-longtime Arizona resident, living in Phoenix for 30 years. Erma Bombeck: At Wit’s End is a memorable and loving tribute written by Margaret and Allison Engel and directed by Casy Stangl. (Tucson: Oct. 20-Nov. 10; Phoenix: Nov. 15-Dec. 2).

ATC’s production of The Music Man (Tucson: Dec. 1-30; Phoenix: Jan. 5-27, 2019) celebrates the musical`s community theme with 11 cast members with Arizona ties.  Featured roles include James Zanellis of Phoenix (Olin Britt); Nate Wiley of Tucson (Winthrop Paroo); Allison Jennings of Tucson (Amaryliss); Cydney Trent of Phoenix (Pick A Little Lady) and Carly Nicole Grossman (Zaneeta).  The ensemble includes Connor Morlely (featured dancer) and Adia Bell (featured dancer), from the University of Arizona; Jules Grantham of Tucson (dancer); and Abe Jacobs’ nephews Damon Matthew Martinez and Jacob Martinez and his niece, Gabby Martinez, all members of the ensemble.

“With the launch of this initiative, we hope to bring to the forefront an awareness of the multitude of artists who have strong ties to this state, and the pride in which Arizonans have and recognize in the impact these artists have generated locally, nationally and internationally. We are incredibly excited about the upcoming season and its many connections to Arizona and our team continues to identify additional opportunities.” – David Ivers, Artistic Director