Phoenix Theatre Company to expand central Phoenix campus

The Phoenix Theatre Company is starting the second phase of its campus expansion!
The Phoenix Theatre Company is starting the second phase of its campus expansion!(Phoenix Theatre Company)
Published: Jan. 2, 2023 at 11:55 AM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) - The Phoenix Theatre company is expanding this year, groundbreaking on a massive campus update and expansion to a 500-seat theatre!

The Phoenix City Council voted to give $6 million in funding to the project. The new facility will be fully ADA accessible, allowing everyone to enjoy the performances, workshops, and programs. “If approved by the voters in the fall, this funding will be transformational to children, artists, and staff like myself who have mobility issues,” said Matt Schaefer, Phoenix Theatre’s Managing Director who is a T6 paraplegic. “For 16 years I have pulled myself up a steep non-compliant ramp to get to my office.”

The company currently employs 130 full-time employees and is the largest regional theatre in the state and one of the largest in the southwest. It’s a far cry from rehearsals first meeting in a horse barn in the outdoor courtyard more than 100 years ago.

The Phoenix Theatre Company is starting the second phase of its campus expansion!
The Phoenix Theatre Company is starting the second phase of its campus expansion!(Phoenix Theatre Company)

The project has been 20 years in the making, with a total of $70 million being invested from the city council’s $6 million to private donors, including donations from those like Steven Spielberg, Rob and Melani Walton Foundation, Judith Hardes and many others. The fundraising is a little over 75% complete.

Michael Barnard, Producing Artistic Director for the Theatre, said that this expansion could mean even more productions making their way to Broadway. “Our plan creates an expanded facility that allows us to produce pre-Broadway work here in Arizona, offering hundreds of local jobs to artists, technicians and creatives while also capitalizing on substantial outside investment in our local economy,” he said.