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The Herberger Theater Center is currently building a brand new outdoor stage, The Pavilion, which will allow patrons to enjoy the arts in a safer, open-air environment. Located on the east side of the theater, The Pavilion will host performances November 2020 through April 2021, including the 11th annual Festival of the Arts on Saturday, Nov. 14, which will be the opening performance for the new space.
“The opening of The Pavilion outdoor stage is about hope and giving an opportunity for companies to meet their audiences in a new way,” said Mark Mettes, president and CEO of the Herberger. “We have heard from our guests that digital offerings are just not the same. We want to answer the call and provide a live arts experience for the community. These outdoor performances are about being together, yet safely apart, in order to experience performances in a safe and socially distanced way.”
From festivals and concerts to fully-staged productions, a series of new performances at The Pavillion will unite artists and audiences — all while following safe and healthy protocols related to physical distancing, face coverings and cleanliness.
In late November, Arizona Opera will host an outdoor opera film festival in collaboration with The Metropolitan Opera, adding another family-friendly program to its 2020-2021 season.
In December, the sights and sounds of the holidays will fill The Pavilion as one of the Valley’s most celebrated actresses, Katie McFadzen, brings to life Charles Dickens’ holiday classic A Christmas Carol presented by Childsplay. Lunch Time Theater will also make a comeback.
At its current capacity, the stage will seat approximately 160 guests seated six feet apart. As restrictions loosen, the space could accommodate more than 300 guests. Face coverings will be required at all times within the venue for guests, volunteers and staff.
Spanning 36 feet wide and 20 feet deep, the stage will be the largest ever constructed on the Herberger Theater plaza.
The Pavillion was made possible through generous donations by the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, Billie Jo and Judd Herberger, Perkins Coie, the Arizona Community Foundation and the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.
In addition to artificial turf donated by Arizona Artificial Lawns, which will help soften up the area, the space will also have new trees, planters and interactive, sound-responsive lights — courtesy of the Downtown Phoenix Partnership.