The award-winning Scottsdale Desert Stages Theater will nearly double its theater space when it moves from its current location in Old Town Scottsdale, where it has been for the past 11 years, to Scottsdale Fashion Square in the fall of 2016.
“We are delighted to announce our plans to move into such a prominent location within Scottsdale Fashion Square,” stated Laurie Cullity, co-founder and executive artistic director of Desert Stages, in a press release.
“Our beautiful new space will be more modern and much larger, 12,500 square feet compare to our current 6,500, and we are looking forward to the wonderful experiences this will offer both our audiences and our actors.”
Space has been a frequent complaint of theater-goers who say they felt crammed into their seats at the Old Town location. The new theater space, previously occupied by Harkins Theatres inside Scottsdale Fashion Square, should give attendees some additional elbow room.
A fundraising campaign, which has generated nearly $75,000 thanks to a $30,000 grant from the Arizona Coyotes and proceeds from the theater’s annual gala, is underway. To raise additional funds for the move, Desert Stages is offering multiple naming opportunities for its theaters and other spaces. The names of these spaces will be visible not only to patrons, actors, and families but also the mall’s 11 million annual shoppers, the theater promises.
Monies raised in the fund raising campaign will go towards the renovations necessary to convert the movie theater space into a world-class performing arts theater, complete with two theater spaces, expanded classrooms, and new light and sound packages.
Desert Stages was established in 1995 by Laurie Cullity, the late Gerry Cullity, and Joan Thompson as a community theater bringing children’s, Mainstage and small-cast productions to Scottsdale. Several of the young actors who have performed in the more than 250 productions the theater has staged over the years have gone on to careers in television and movies.