Southwest 2018/19 Season In Review by Elaine Romero
As the Southwest Region undergoes exponential growth and exciting change, our Dramatists Guild playwrights report productions all over the world.
The Arizona Theatre Company’s production of José Cruz Gonzalez’s American Mariachi now holds the spot of the most produced play in the theatre’s history. This, followed by Andrew Bovell’s Australian play, Things I Know to be True, laid even more ground for new work at a company that produces a full season in both Phoenix and Tucson. The company’s Artistic Director, David Ivers, who brought a heart for diverse work, has accepted the position of Artistic Director of South Coast Repertory Theatre. He hands off the organization to the estimable Sean Daniels, a new play and playwright devotee.
In New Mexico, Augusto Federico Amador’s Atacama received its World Premiere at the National Hispanic Cultural Center and Santa Fe’s El Teatro Paraguas. Matt Barbot’s new work, El Coquí Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, enjoyed a production also at El Teatro Paraguas. And keep your eyes on Querque for the THE SEVEN: 14th Annual Short Works Fest in June at Fusion Theatre.
In Northern Arizona, the Festival of New American Theatre at the Phoenix Theatre Company featured new plays and musicals, including Kirt Shineman’s The Mysterious Disappearance. Also up north, Space 55 produced Guillermo Reyes’ Bad Hombres (Date Me or Deport Me) and Brelby Theatre Company produced John Perovich’s Spy Love You. 2019 Theatre Artists Studio Summer Shorts in Scottsdale, AZ will feature Joseph Bardin’s The Brock Battle Show, Debra Gettleman’s Ashkanazi and Shineman’s Selection and 42 Seconds. In Flagstaff, watch out for Theatrikos Theatre Company’s July summer shorts.
Also in Tucson, Winding Road Theatre Ensemble stepped up with a slate of new plays with Eight 10s in Tucson, including Bardin’s Intermission and Toni Press-Coffman’s Pretty Ruth. Arizona Repertory Theatre produced my play, Like Heaven. Something Something Theatre premiered Kelly McBurnette-Andronicos’ The Hall of Final Ruin. Other recent premieres include Press-Coffman’s Psycho Sarah and Monica Bauer’s The Real Machiavelli.
Looking back and looking ahead, excited to hear Germaine Shame’s musical, If the Spirit Moves (with Erin Murray Quinlan), will open Theatre Elision’s upcoming season and we have so much representation in the Last Frontier Theatre Conference that we should all just spend a chunk of time in Alaska.