Elevate Theatre

Rendering of the stage door entrance of the new theatre, as seen from corner of Alvarado and McDowell Roads.

Nearly every Broadway hit you see today—shows like Hamilton, Jersey Boys, and Les Miserables—got their start in a regional theatre like The Phoenix Theatre Company! When it comes to pre-Broadway show development, Broadway producers choose to partner with theatre companies that are artistically strong, financially secure, and that have a technically sophisticated theatre capable of modeling a Broadway venue. With the construction of the new Stacie J. and Richard J Stephenson Theatre, The Phoenix Theatre Company is able to offer: 

Exceptional in-house production facilities including on-site scenic, properties, costume and paint shops as well as electrical and sound facilities. 
A new, technically sophisticated, 500-seat, Broadway-sized theatre. 
One of the strongest balance sheets of any nonprofit theatre in the country.

Pre-Broadway show development projects are attractive to top level talent. In addition to the element of fun this will inject into our local theatre-going experience, it will also attract cultural tourism, which has proven to be an economic boon to cities that have regional theatres with pre-Broadway show development programs, like San Diego, Minneapolis, Denver, St. Louis, Chicago and Seattle. And, if the show is a hit, it could potentially generate millions for us as the originating theatre, enabling further artistic and technical enhancement that would raise the bar for future audience experiences and catapult our theatre company into national prominence. 
Cultural tourism attracted by a strong pre-Broadway program at The Phoenix Theatre Company could have a multiplier effect on growth in local arts and culture and entertainment sectors. In a recent report, 75% of visitors cited culture as a top driver in destination choices. One study revealed that the cultural tourist spends 38% more per day and stays 22% longer than the average traveler. They search out the local cuisine, visit local bars and restaurants, shop for local crafts and buy from local artists. They want to experience local customs and lore, local celebrities, and historical sites. 
The Phoenix Theatre Company officially launched construction of our new theatre with a ceremonial groundbreaking on September 14, attended by Governor Katie Hobbs, Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego, and more than 200 campaign donors. We also hosted a hugely successful gala celebration on October 26 with this visionary project as its centerpiece. The Dr. Stacie J. and Richard J Stephenson Theatre is scheduled to open in mid-2025. 

We are also excited to report that on November 7, 2023, Phoenix voters approved a $500 million General Obligation (GO) Bond Program, which includes $6 million in urgently needed funds to build an ADA-compliant Arts Innovation and Training Wing adjacent to our existing production shops at the corner of Alvarado and Coronado. This addition will contain fully accessible rehearsal spaces, sized to support the new theatre, administrative offices, and educational facilities. It will be transformational for children with mobility issues who cannot currently participate in our summer theatre camp because our current rehearsal facilities are not ADA accessible and will enable us to employ artists and staff whose mobility is compromised.

This project is supported by many well-known philanthropists, locally and nationally, including Steven Spielberg, Billie Jo and Judd Herberger, Mr. Richard J Stephenson and Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson, Bill Pope, Carole and Arte Moreno, Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, The David E Reese Family Foundation, Linda Herman, Jeff and Nancy Werner, and Judith Hardes, as well as support from municipal, state and federal sources. We are sincerely, humbly grateful for the community’s continued strong financial support of this visionary effort.

There is incredible promise in what we are doing—onstage and in the community. We have the ability and the vision to build this legacy, while we contribute significantly to the economic and cultural development in this region for decades to come.


We enjoy a strong reputation for excellence among national producers and playwrights and we field multiple serious inquiries from Broadway producers every season about The Phoenix Theatre’s Company’s capacity to bring pre-Broadway development investment to Arizona. To compete for these projects, we need a theatre with a full fly loft, below-stage traps and the infrastructure to model a Broadway production.

History is manifested either through man’s wars or man’s arts. I have a tendency to want to believe that the arts are the more passionate, more caring, more loving, and also more enduring legacy.


Producing Artistic Director

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We have made remarkable strides in our fundraising, securing $28 million of the required $32
million for the project. While construction progresses, our focus is now on gathering the remaining funds to equip the new space with cutting-edge theatrical technology. This investment is crucial to attracting pre-Broadway show development projects, and we have already engaged in discussions with several Tony award-winning producers in New York. The prospect of hosting such prestigious productions positions the City of Phoenix, our arts community, and the Phoenix Theatre Company as a national regional theatre powerhouse, a role we are eager to embrace as we enter our second century of operations.

There are ways to give that fit every budget. We want everyone to have the opportunity to elevate our community by participating in this exciting and historic expansion project!

Giving a gift of any size supports all of our Campaign initiatives. Or, if you prefer, you may designate your support to a specific aspect of the Campaign. Either way, you will be making a powerful investment in the future of the Phoenix Theatre Company and helping to position Arizona as a major player on the national stage.

For those on fixed incomes, a bequest can be a perfect way to support this Campaign. We will be happy to talk with you about tax benefits and how to leave a living legacy of your love for the theatre. Visit phoenixtheatre.giftlegacy.com

We are happy to acknowledge major contributions to this Campaign with naming opportunities. Every unnamed space in our new and existing buildings represents a chance to celebrate your gift! Contact Marisa Butler, Director of Development at m.butler@phoenixtheatre.com or call 602–889–5288 to learn more.