Valley theatre company fights to keep its business running with opening of ‘A Feminine Ending’

TEMPE, AZ — A Valley theatre company is fighting to keep their business running by preparing for what they describe as a make-or-break event.

Under the night sky, inside the Tempe Center for the Arts, rehearsals for a production are underway.

“Part of the beauty of theatre is it inspires empathy, it inspires us to live inside someone else’s story and to live in someone’s shoes,” said the Bridge Initiative Co-founder Brenda Foley.

Foley, who co-founded the Bridge Initiative in 2015, is producing a play called “A Feminine Ending.”

“This play was written in 2017. But, so much of it is about where do I want to focus my time and energy and what’s important to me,” added Foley.

The production, which opens Friday, Jan. 14 at 7:30 p.m., boasts only a 30-member cast and crew and a budget of about $35,000.

The show also includes more understudies than usual which costs even more money.

“I guess that is the answer for this production, but also in this time we are in,” said Director Daniela Crispo.

“COVID had changed our roles completely. We are stepping into the main casts as often as needed,” said Actor Lydia Corbin.

The theatre company, which rents the space, has adopted the same COVID guidelines as the Screen Actors Guild which leads to paying for more testing for the actors and crew.

“Oh my gosh. Our bank account balance? I was actually totaling up our paychecks this afternoon. I mean, we are going to be close to zero,” added Foley.

The show’s producer ultimately needs people in the seats which would bring in money to help keep the theater company going. But, like all of us, she is aware of the pandemic. She has some other ways for people to contribute as well.

“We actually have a donation page on our website,” added Foley. “We also have a series we are running at ASU Kerr which is a very small venue in Scottsdale that sits only about a dozen people every time,” added Foley.

Foley is working to record the show for people to watch away from the theatre.

“A Feminine Ending” by Sarah Treem plays at the Tempe Center for the Arts from Jan. 14 through Jan.22, 2022. General admission is $30. Students and seniors pay $20.

Tickets are available for purchase online, by phone, or in person at the box office.