The Arizona Broadway Theatre is launching its first “impact project” with their 2020 theater season. The projects aims to increase the theater’s community outreach and engagement through meaningful ways beyond the production on the stage.
Brad York, director of marketing and development at the ABT, said the group and wanted to find ways to follow the motto “art imitates life.”
“This is our first big project,” Brad York said. “Every show that happens on a stage has themes and subject matters are applicable in everyday life.”
The first impact project is launching in conjunction with the theater’s production of “La Cage aux Folles.” The story is about a young engaged man who is nervous about introducing his fiancee and her straight-laced parents to his father, who owns a drag club, and his mother, the star of the show.
The project is being launched to raise awareness of teen-youth bullying, specifically in the LGBTQ+ community.
“‘La Cage’ is one of the first musicals to have its story centered around a same-sex couple,” York said. “Theater is important and it gives the opportunity for people to think and see the world in perhaps a different way than they came in seeing it.
“While the central theme of ‘La Cage’ focuses on issues of inclusion and acceptance related to the LGBTQ+ community, our intent with the ‘I Am What I Am!’ teen-youth anti-bullying Impact Project is to broaden the focus of inclusion and acceptance among all people.”
Arizona Broadway Theatre partnered with One n Ten, a nonprofit organization in Phoenix aiming to help LGBTQ+ kids and young adults (ages 11-24) who have been kicked out or removed from their homes because of their sexual orientation.
“The hope with the anti-bullying campaign isn’t to preach,” York said. “It’s to make someone ask or answer the question in their own mind ‘that is a big deal. We should be paying more attention.’”
“La Cage aux Folles” opened Jan. 24 at the Arizona Broadway Theater and runs until Feb. 28 before transferring to the Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix.
Tickets for the show, dinner or both can be purchased at azbroadway.org or by calling the box office at 623-776-8400. Arizona Broadway Theatre is at 7701 W. Paradise Lane, Peoria.