A Change of the Seasons: Downtown Phoenix Theaters Announce New Shows for 2023-2024

by Elizabeth Montgomery
Arts & Culture Elizabeth Montgomery October 31, 2023

The seasons are changing in Downtown Phoenix. In the air and on the stage. 

After a tumultuous pandemic that left many Downtown Phoenix theaters with uncertain futures, today, the Downtown Phoenix arts and culture scene is thriving. 

Just recently, the Americans for the Arts released a study that showed Arizona’s nonprofit arts and culture industry generated over $1 billion in economic activity in 2022.

“Arizona Opera has been continually producing before the pandemic and even through the pandemic, we stayed very active. What drives us is our mission to connect people through this art,” said Joseph Specter, President and General Director of Arizona Opera. 

“People have a need to be connected through storytelling and through music and particularly through singing. There’s something about a singing voice as a vehicle for bringing stories to people and connecting people that’s just so powerful. It feels almost stronger to me now than it did before COVID.”  

The good news keeps coming. Local theaters have announced their new 2023-2024 seasons with many shows hitting the Phoenix stage for the first time. 

Herberger Theater Center celebrates a series of firsts by announcing an inaugural presenting season.  

“Over the years, there have been lots of different chapters in our in our history, in our growth and development. This is a new chapter for us,” said Mark Mettes, President and CEO of Herberger Theater Center. 

“We’re part of the picture and in a new way and that’s very exciting to me. The shows in our first presenting season are all premiers. Since it was our first season of presenting it made sense for our first to have other premieres and firsts. Now it becomes a platform for the future.” 

Here are the new theater seasons coming to Downtown Phoenix. 

Yolanda London as Billie Holiday at Phoenix Theater Company. (Photo: Billy Hardiman)

Phoenix Theater Company 

Back for its 104th season, Phoenix Theater Company presents a lineup of shows across three stages. The theater also announced the expansion of Hormel Theatre from 250 seats to 500 seats. 

  • “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill” Sept. 6 – Nov. 26 
  • “Tiananmen: A New Musical” Oct. 4 – 29 
  • “Elf” Nov. 22 – Dec. 30 
  • “Sister’s Catechism Christmas: The Mystery of the Magi’s Gold” Dec. 1 – 30 
  • “The Festival of New American Theatre” Jan. 5 – 21
  • “The Lehman Trilogy” Jan. 24 – Feb. 11 
  • “The Truth About Winnie Ruth Judd” Feb. 7 – March 17 
  • “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” March 6 – April 28 
  • “What the Constitution Means to Me” April 10 – June 16 
  • “Fiddler on the Roof” May 22 – July 7  
  • “Fully Committed” July 10 – Aug. 11 
  • “Cabaret” July 31 – Sept. 1 

Details: Click here for tickets 

Herberger Theater Center 

The Herberger Theater Center’s inaugural presenting season features three productions and a Mariachi & Folklorico Festival. The line-up includes a world premiere, an Arizona premiere, and a chilling drama.  

  • “Islander” Jan. 11 – 28 (Arizona premiere) 
  • “The Woman in Black” Feb. 8 – 25 (Arizona premiere)  
  • “Mariachi & Folklorico Festival” March 2 
  • “Mad Hatter the Musical” May 1 – 19 (world premiere) 

Details: Click here for tickets   

Black Theater Troupe 

As the oldest African-American theater in the Southwestern United States, the 2023-2024 season will mark the 53rd season the company has celebrated the Black Experience. 

  • “The Gospel at Colonus” Oct. 27 – Nov. 12 
  • “Black Nativity” Dec. 8 – 17 
  • “The Piano Lesson” Feb. 2 – 18 
  • “Storyville” March 22 – April 7 

Details: Click here for tickets 

The world premiere of “Frankenstein” performed by the Arizona Opera. (Photo: Tim Trumble)

Arizona Opera 

The 2023- 2024 Season highlights the classics, offering four stunning, iconic operas, certain to please lifelong opera lovers, first-time attendees, and everyone in between. 

  • “Frankenstein” Oct. 13 – 15 (world premiere) 
  • “The Barber of Seville” Jan. 27 & 28  
  • “Romeo & Juliette” March 2 & 3 
  • “Don Giovanni” April 20 & 21 

Details: Click here for tickets 

Phoenix Symphony 

The Phoenix Symphony’s 77th season brings classical masterpieces, world-class guest artists, and new concert experiences to the Valley from Symphony Hall to the Orpheum and Arizona Financial Theater. 

  • “Beethoven’s Fifth & Magnificent Mendelssohn” Nov. 3 – 5 
  • “Prohibition: The Music of Moulin Rouge, Boardwalk Empire and More” Nov. 10- 12 
  • “Mature Masterpieces by Mozart & Rachmaninoff” Nov. 17 – 19 
  • “Disney’s Encanto in Concert Live to Film” Nov. 24 – 26 
  • “Holiday Pops” Dec. 1 – 3 
  • “Handel’s Messiah” Dec. 14 – 17 
  • “New Year’s Eve with Troupe Vertigo: Cirque Spectacular” Dec. 31 
  • “Tchaikovsky’s Pathetique” Jan. 5 – 7 
  • “Broadway Tonight” Jan. 26 – 28 
  • “Rodrio’s Concierto de Aranjuez” Feb. 2 – 4 
  • “The Ultimate ABBA Tribute” Feb. 9 – 11 
  • “Mardi Gras in New Orleans” Feb. 23 – 25 
  • “The Music of Queen” March 2 
  • “Rachmaninoff & Dvořák” March 8 – 10 
  • “Star Wars: A New Hope in Concert” March 15 – 17 
  • “Strauss & Beethoven” March 22 – 24 
  • “She’s Got Soul” March 29 – 30 
  • “Aida Cuevas: The Queen of Mariachi” April 12 – 14 
  • “Reverb: Contemporary Music Festival” April 18 & 20 
  • “Mozart & Shostakovich: The Power of 10” April 26 – 28 
  • “Mahler’s Symphony No. 2 Resurrection” May 10 – 12 
  • “The Resurrection Mixtape” May 17 – 19 

Details: Click here for tickets 

Valley Youth Theater announced new shows for their 2023/2024 season. (Photo: Valley Youth Theater)

Valley Youth Theater 

Whether on stage, in class, or in the audience, young people involved with Valley Youth Theatre are given self-confidence, leadership skills and the ability to find their voice through participation in the performing arts. See the young theater group in action during their 2023-2024 season.  

  • “A Winnie the Pooh Christmas Tail” Dec. 1 – 23 
  • “Peter and the Star Catcher” Feb. 9 – 25 
  • “The World According to Snoopy” April 5- 21 
  • “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” June 7 – 23 

Details: For tickets click here  

The Great Arizona Puppet Theater 

This non-profit professional puppet theater, founded in 1983, provides a fun and exciting puppet show year-round for children. Here’s the current 2023-2024 season.  

  • “The Little Red Hen” Nov. 1 – Dec. 3 
  • “The Night Before Christmas” Dec. 6 – Dec. 24 
  • “Cinderella” Dec. 27 – Jan. 13 
  • “The Little Engine That Could” Jan. 17 – Feb. 4 
  • “Hotel Saguaro” Feb. 7 – 23 
  • “Imagine This!” Feb. 28 – March 3 
  • “Jack Rabbit & The Easter Basket” March 13 – 31 
  • “Big Bug Circus” April 3 – 14 
  • “Jack and the Beanstalk” April 24 – May 12 
  • “The Three Wishes” May 15 – 26 

Details: Click here for tickets 

Welcome back to the theater. Get your tickets, kick back, enjoy the show, and turn your phones on mute!