ABT Partners with VetTix and Helping Hands for Freedom to Support our Troops

With Veteran’s Day coming up, we wanted to let our community know that because of the sacrifice and service of our veterans, ABT offers a select number of tickets through VetTix as our thank you to those who have served our country as members of our armed services, and to the families of those who have given the ultimate sacrifice to protect our freedoms at home and abroad. To date, ABT has given over $150,000 worth of tickets to the organization.

VetTix provides tickets to events which reduce stress, strengthen family bonds, build life-long memories and encourage service members and veterans to stay engaged with local communities and American life. They support our troops by honoring their service and providing positive family and life experiences, during and after their years of service to our country. VetTix provides tickets to all branches of currently-serving Military and Veterans, including immediate family of troops KIA.

Recently, several military families came to a performance of Sweeney Todd. Here’s what they had to say:

“Thank you for your generous donation. We have wanted to see this show live for many years but were never able to until now. Thank you for giving us a wonderful date night.” — Gregory, United States Coast Guard Veteran, 2000 – 2011

“We had a fantastic time at Arizona Broadway Theatre’s production of Sweeney Todd! The play was excellent and the seats were in the fourth row. The staff was very pleasant and accommodating! Thanks Arizona Broadway Theatre and Vettix for this amazing night with my wife!” — Ralph, United States Army Veteran, 1968 – 1970

“Thank you Arizona Broadway Theater for the Sweeney Todd tickets! The show was amazing and the actors were so talented. I’m so thankful for the tickets. My friend and I had so much fun!” — Stacy, United States Army Veteran, 1997 – 2003

For more information about VetTix, CLICK HERE.

Executive Producer and ABT co-founder, Kiel Klaphake, was a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve from 1990-1994. He wants the theatre to be a veteran-friendly, supportive organization, which is why this holiday season our annual toy drive will be conducted in partnership with Helping Hands For Freedom, a 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting the families of the fallen, wounded and deployed.

ABT’s annual toy drive kicks off on November 22 and will run through December 29, 2019. New, unwrapped toys are welcome and can be brought to the ABT lobby whenever the theatre is open.

For more information about Helping Hands For Freedom, CLICK HERE.

So, please join us in thanking our military and their families for their sacrifice this Veteran’s Day weekend.

Arizona Broadway Theatre Welcomes Donor Relations and Events Manager, Sally Jane Kerschen-Sheppard

Originally from Texas, Sally Jane Kerschen-Sheppard comes most recently to us from Stillwater, Oklahoma. She will be taking on the role of Donor Relations and Events Manager at Arizona Broadway Theatre. Sally Jane received a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College, M.F.A. from Southampton College, and M.A. from Oklahoma State University.  She has extensive experience in the world of the arts in both donor relations and as a playwright.

Sally Jane has worked writing grant proposals for non-profit organizations to submit to corporate donors, city, state, and federal agencies as well as developing linkage agreements with other community organizations at Alley Theatre in Houston, TX, Keren Or, Inc. in New York City and at the Association to Benefit Children, also in New York.

She is the author of Lunch Date and Last Inning (both published by Heuer Publishing, LLC), East HarlemThe Crazy Side of NormalIt’ll DoSubsistence, and several other short plays.  Sally Jane is a member of The Dramatists Guild of America, Inc.

As ABT’s roots continue to grow deeper in our community, we invite you to help us set the stage for future artistic growth. With your donation, ABT can produce exceptional work with our signature high-quality production values, bring the arts to children, honor our seniors, ensure our programming is available and accessible to all, and have an artistic, economic, and educational impact in the Valley of The Sun.

As we begin our fifteenth season, Arizona Broadway Theatre remains rooted in our continued commitment to and investment in you – our community and our neighbors. With the expansion of our existing Encore Room, we have a new gathering space for community engagement and collaboration, a creative workspace for aspiring young artists, and a place to present diverse and varied programming to complement our Mainstage offerings.

If you have questions about donating to Arizona Broadway Theatre, please contact Sally Jane at sallyjane@azbroadway.org. You can also always donate online by CLICKING HERE.

You – our donors, patrons, volunteers, and fans – are responsible for our success. Thank you for investing in our work and in our community.

Arizona Broadway Theatre Rings In The Holiday Season With Elf The Musical, The Annual Community Tree-Lighting Ceremony and Toy Drive

Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) kicks off the holidays in a big way with the wildly-popular, Elf The Musical and the Theatre’s annual Christmas tree lighting on November 22, 2019. Elf will continue to delight ABT audiences through December 29, 2019.

Based on the cherished 2003 holiday film, this hilarious fish-out-of-water comedy follows Buddy the Elf in his quest to find his true identity. Buddy, a young orphan, mistakenly crawls into Santa’s bag of gifts and is transported to the North Pole. The would-be elf is raised by Santa’s elves, unaware that he is actually a human until his enormous size and poor toy-making abilities cause him to face the truth. With Santa’s permission, Buddy embarks on a journey to New York City to find his birth father and discover his true identity. Faced with the harsh realities that his father is on the naughty list and his half-brother doesn’t even believe in Santa, Buddy is determined to win over his new family and help New York remember the true meaning of Christmas.

Elf The Musical opened on Broadway during the Christmas season of 2012-2013 and has seen a number of national tours around the United States during the past five years, most notably last year’s national tour which featured ABT’s own Tristan Klaphake as Michael Hobbs. Tristan is the youngest son of ABT’s Executive & Artistic Producers, Kiel & Cassandra Klaphake, and will be reprising his role in the ABT production.

“It’s hard to believe that almost fifteen years ago in the fall of 2005 we learned we were pregnant with Tristan at the very same time we were working to open our very first production of Anything Goes,” said Tristan’s mom, Cassandra. “No doubt the little guy was hearing a ton of musical theatre from day one, but I don’t think I ever thought he would take to the craft and profession as he has. I’m a very proud mom!”

Elf The Musical has become a staple for theater-goers during the holidays, and Arizonans will be pleased to know that they can find the heartwarming yet hilarious Broadway musical right in their own backyard at Arizona Broadway Theatre.

“This holiday season is special because it marks ABT’s 15th season of bringing high-quality Broadway musical theatre entertainment to the Valley of the Sun. We always take a moment during this time of year to appreciate our community and all of the many volunteers, patrons, sponsors and donors who have made ABT what it is today,” says Kiel Klaphake, Co-founder and Executive Producer, Arizona Broadway Theatre. “It’s our hope that Elf The Musical will be a time for family & friends to gather together this holiday season!”

The annual Christmas tree lighting will take place in the lobby of Arizona Broadway Theatre at 7701 W Paradise Lane, Peoria at 5:00pm on November 22 and is open and free of charge to the public.  Not only will the community enjoy the dazzling lights of the tree and lobby decor but also a short performance of festive holiday tunes by ABT’s youth company, HyRev. HyRev is specifically for young performers ages 13-19 with some previous music theatre/dance /show choir experience, and they truly know how to share the holiday spirit. The annual toy drive also kicks off on November 22 and will run through December 29, 2019.  New, unwrapped toys are welcome and can be brought to the ABT lobby whenever the theatre is open. Toys will go to “Helping Hands For Freedom,” a 501(c)(3) dedicated to supporting the military families of the fallen, wounded, and deployed.

ABT’s production of Elf The Musical is made possible in part through the generous support of Dr. Keith & Kim Haar of Epiphany Dermatology. As part of the Haar’s generous support, members of the Phoenix Children’s Hospital community have been invited to attend opening weekend performances free of charge.

ABT’s Season 15 Broadway Series continues in 2020 with La Cage aux Folles (January 24 – February 28 (in Peoria) & March 6 – 22 (at Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix) and Chicago (March 13 – April 19, 2020). For more information about these and other upcoming productions presented at Arizona Broadway Theatre, visit azbroadway.org or call 623.776.8400.