Phoenix Theatre (Phoenix)

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The Phoenix Theatre is a professional theatre company located in Phoenix, Arizona. Started in 1920 by a theatre troupe known as the Phoenix Players, the theatre is among the oldest continually operating theaters west of the Mississippi River.[1] The theatre is a non-profit corporation and encompasses both the Mainstage and Hormel Theatre productions, as well as Partners That Heal and numerous community-focused programs.


The Phoenix Little Theatre was founded by Harry Behn and Maie Bartlett Heard (who also founded the Heard Museum) as the Phoenix Players in 1920—joining into the Little Theatre Movement of that time.[2] Four years later, it moved into the Heard family's coach house at Central and McDowell Roads.[3][1] In 1928, the theatre applied for its articles of incorporation and by its eighth season boasted 424 members. By 1940, the theatre had close to 1,000 members and remained operational throughout World War II. The theatre moved into its current home, within a municipal cultural complex that included the Phoenix Art Museum and the Phoenix Public Library, in 1951.[1] In 1954, the theatre began its Children's Theatre. In 1985, the "Little" was dropped from the name, leaving it simply the "Phoenix Theatre."


  1. ^ a b c Darnall, Kris (10 December 1992), Phoenix Little Theatre Collection (PDF), Arizona Historical Foundation, retrieved 3 March 2010
  2. ^ "Maie Bartlett Heard (b. 1868, d. 1951)," Arizona Women's Heritage Trail, .
  3. ^ "History of Phoenix Theatre,"

External links[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • Tom Oldendick, Christine Uithoven, The Phoenix Little Theatre: 65 Years of Memories (Phoenix, Ariz.: The Theatre, 1985).