ARIZONA IS KNOWN FOR ITS BROAD, SWEEPING VISTAS; rocky mountains that tower above the clouds, only to give way to canyons sculpted by winds and rain; endless expanses of open desert; and vast blue skies that start shifting colors an hour before the sun sets. When monsoon clouds gather on the horizon, we are gifted with some of the most spectacular sunsets in the world. Those clouds also bring lightning, micro-bursts, and flash floods. It’s a daily reminder that drama here isn’t just about people—it’s about people struggling to survive against the backdrop of a beautiful, and often volatile, environment.

The beauty of the landscape, and the room to grow, have brought theatre artists and administrators to Arizona to make their lives and their art. While some were born here, newcomers arrive in waves, searching for something they couldn’t find elsewhere. Just as the weather shapes the landscape, the challenges that Arizona theatremakers face—a transient population, diverse cultures, and finite resources—compel us to adjust to our environment. We’re challenged to think in new ways, and to develop new approaches to our work and our communities. While other states have a more fixed identity, Arizona is still trying to figure out who it is. Those of us who live here are playing an active role in helping to shape its future. (Phoenix was to be the site of Theatre Communications Group’s annual conference in June; visit for information about TCG’s two-part virtual conference, May 6-8 and June 2-5.)

The youngest of the conterminous states, Arizona was added to the union on Feb. 14, 1912. Today its capital, Phoenix, is among the five largest cities in the U.S. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, it was the fastest-growing city in the U.S. between 2017 and 2018, tying with San Antonio, Texas, the year before. Yet Phoenix is an anomaly. While this steady flow of people would appear to offer endless opportunities for theatres to expand their audiences, as well as their donor bases, reaching them has proven challenging.

“To reach these new residents,

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American Theatre
Published by Theatre Communications Group EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Rob Weinert-Kendt MANAGING EDITOR Russell M. Dembin SENIOR EDITOR Allison Considine PHOTO EDITOR Caitlyn Halvorsen EDITORIAL INTERNS Alex Durham Caroline Meredith CREATIVE DIRECTOR Kitty Suen
National Council For The American Theatre
* Judith O. Rubin, Council Chair; Playwrights Horizons * Eve Alvord, Seattle Children’s Theatre Ralph Bryan, La Jolla Playhouse James Chosy, Guthrie Theater Bunni Copaken, Kansas City Repertory Theatre Sophie Cripe, South Coast Repertory Brad Edgerto
Tcg Board Of Directors
Kathryn M. Lipuma, Chair Larissa FastHorse, Vice Chair Meghan Pressman, Vice Chair Ellen Richard, Treasurer Eileen J. Morris, Secretary May Adrales, Associate Artistic Director; Milwaukee Repertory Theatre Joseph P. Benincasa, President and CEO; The