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Gig&Tell: Phoenix Theatre

  • Great Shows, Priorities out of order.    
    12/12/2017  3:12pm

    Like the previous posts say, this is a good theatre with a surprisingly high production value, and talented locals. However, the theatre is drastically under staffed. From the executive/administrative positions to the (non-existent) company management team, all the way down to the backstage crew. The people that ARE here, are very good at their jobs. There just needs to be more of them, especially to produce at the level that the Artistic Director is aiming to produce at.

    Because of this, there is a trickle down effect in productivity overall (i.e. housing issues not being fixed for days or ignored completely, prop/costume issues going unresolved for a couple days, and an overall lack of urgency. People are doing jobs that they were not hired to do.) I think it all stems from the theatre not wanting to spend money. Obviously every theatre looks to save money, but this theatre is borderline cheap, even though they have plenty of money/donors, and sell overpriced tickets. Locals are offensively underpaid (Non Eq Principals being paid less than half of what an out of town Non Eq hire is paid). It is a pretty long run for a regional gig, but the theatre is very hesitant to hire understudies, and have been known to cancel shows in the past due to principals calling out.

    They get away with this because it IS one of two Equity houses in all of AZ, and the only Equity house where locals can work and still have a life/job outside of the show. But the theatre is very far removed from more efficient East Coast regional theatres.

    Overall, the theatre produces great work, is VERY loyal to actors they like (arguably a little too loyal) and everyone who works here is very kind and passionate. I just think they need to hire more staff on the shows, and pay everyone appropriately regardless of whether you are a local or an out of town hire.

    Phoenix itself is beautiful. Housing is on a bit of a shady block but overall the city is great. Plenty to do on days off. The theatre gives a couple cars to share amongst the out of town hires.

  • Great Place!    
    03/18/2015  4:03pm

    Just finished a contract here not long ago, and saw there aren't many reviews. I really enjoyed my time there.

    Contrary to the post reply above, my contract was LORT D (But they are listed both LOA and LORT D with equity). Their equity pay isn't amazing but, its certainly not the worst with a minimum of $600. Non-union pay seems to be anywhere from $145-300 something range (145 for in town locals, I am also guessing on the top number there). The housing is great and well maintained. Though they just purchased a 24 unit building about 5 blocks from the theatre so things on that end are going to change. They offer anywhere from 5-8 equity contracts a show. The production values are high, especially for a smaller sized house. The audiences are really supportive and invested (which was surprising cause their ticket prices are a bit high). The artistic staff is awesome, friendly, approachable and welcoming. I am sure your experience can change depending on the creative team of the show you are working for. But, the company itself prides itself on making a safe and friendly environment for the actor, and that feeling resounds. There are a lot of locals that they higher, and I was surprised by their level of talent. The only downside to that is they all have lives, so there isn't as much of that huge cast bonding. It certainly happens, but not the same way as when you all have nothing to do but a show.

    Phoenix is a great city. More metropolitan than 90% of the places actors get sent. Lots of great food, bars, gay nightlife, straight nightlife, upscale, dive bars, art, coffee shops, other theatres, you name it. There is also some amazing hiking close by. And a little further out there is Sedona (2.5 hrs away) and the Grand Canyon (4.5 hrs away). Lots to keep you occupied in your off time. Overall, I highly recommend this job.

  • Fantastic Theatre, Fantastic City    
    02/24/2015  10:56pm

    PHX Theatre is AZ's biggest Equity house for musical theatre. The Artistic Director is phenomenal, kind, patient, and really great at creating a fantastic ensemble. They treat everyone wonderfully. Non-eq pay isn't great, but it's a LORT Theatre so the AEA contracts pay very well!! Housing is lovely, the theatre is beautiful. Phoenix is a great city to be in (unless you do a show in the summer, which they rarely do anyways). If you get the chance to work here, do it!!

    FYI this is not a LORT theatre. I believe they operate under LOA (possibly Ref LORT)

    03/02/2015  5:28pm