The Phoenix Theatre Company An American in Paris Ensemble photo credit Billy Hardiman

Nonprofit of the Month: The Phoenix Theatre Company

In its 103rd season, The Phoenix Theatre Company has long provided lovers of the arts with an escape from the everyday and some of the Valley’s best live theater performances. Here, Michael Barnard, producing artistic director at The Phoenix Theatre Company, discusses how readers can contribute to the arts, what first-time guests can expect and its goals for the remainder of the year.

What is the mission of The Phoenix Theatre Company? The Phoenix Theatre Company creates exceptional theatrical experiences by using the arts to articulate
messages that inspire hope and understanding.

What prompted the start of the nonprofit? The desire of Phoenicians to have live theatre in their community is what prompted the beginning of The Phoenix Theatre Company. Founded in 1920 during the Little Theatre Movement, The Phoenix Theatre Company has grown exponentially from our start in a coach house in what is currently our courtyard. Now in our 103rd season, we are a $13 million organization with 125 staff members producing more than 500 performances year-round on three stages reaching a combined audience of over 100,000 people annually.

The Phoenix Theatre Company

What is the greatest reward in being involved with the nonprofit? Being part of an arts organization that genuinely cares about its patrons and brings entertainment, joy and relevant subjects to life for the purpose of finding hope and acceptance in the difficult world in which we live.
What is the biggest challenge the nonprofit faces? In September, we will break ground on a new 500-seat, technologically updated theatre that is key for
our vision of the next 100 years (pictured below). We’ve been very successful raising the funds, but unfortunately post-COVID inflation keeps moving the goalposts. We’re constantly playing catch up. Just recently, we learned that we have an additional $1.5 million to fundraise. We have been truly fortunate in having some extremely generous support from the community and our donor family, but funding, along with increasing our visibility is always a never-ending challenge.

For those who haven’t experienced a performance at The Phoenix Theatre Company, what can they expect? Anyone who attends a performance at The Phoenix Theatre Company can expect an energetic space, great shows on stage and a group of staff members that provide wonderful customer service – from the box office staff to our bartenders, servers and ushers. We offer free parking, including ample accessible parking. Guests can enjoy a pre-show drink at our full service ArtBar and Bistro and can even preorder one for intermission. Patrons can see and be seen in our vibrant lobby spaces, dine in our bistro or grab some concessions snacks if it is close to curtain. A performance at The Phoenix Theatre Company is not just a theatrical presentation; it’s a theatrical experience from arrival to departure!

RENDERING The Phoenix Theatre Company

What are your goals for the remainder of 2023? Our goals for the rest of the year are to continue our great work on stage, to continue our capital campaign as the construction of our new theatre begins and to support our staff, patrons and artists in the best way possible.

How can readers help? The best way for readers to help The Phoenix Theatre Company is to come see a show, bring friends and/or contribute to the theatre at

Does The Phoenix Theatre Company have any events or fundraisers on the horizon?  Our next big event is the Applause Gala: Building a Legacy that will be held this fall.

Featured photo credit: Billy Hardiman

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