June 1st, 2020

To the Desert Stages Theatre Community,

We’re still here!

Thank you for your concern and words of encouragement during some very challenging times. As you know, late Saturday night, looters attacked the Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. Damage was done to storefronts, mall displays, kiosks, and interiors. Lots of glass was broken. Merchandise from high-end retailers was ransacked and stolen.

Currently, clean-up is underway at Fashion Square, so it is closed to the public. Tenants are allowed in by appointment only, beginning tomorrow. Although we have not had an opportunity to see for ourselves, we have been told by multiple sources that Desert Stages Theatre has been spared any damage. We are very grateful.

We are also grateful for the number of calls, texts, and emails we received after the news of the vandalism at Scottsdale Fashion Square Mall. DST students, alumni, staff, parents, volunteers, and patrons reached out to express their concern and to offer assistance. I have had a crash course in the generosity and the community of the Desert Stages family. You are lovely, and I can’t wait to get to know each and every one of you!

With the mall closed, the path forward will be even more challenging as we continue to navigate our post-COVID-19 procedures. The future is not quite certain, but everyone at Desert Stages hopes that it will offer an opportunity for us to grow and change in positive ways. We are learning lessons that we can learn only from fear and obstacles we cannot individually control. We are lucky that we have the arts to challenge us in ways that over time will help all of us sort through and make sense of how we are feeling.

We can’t wait to see you again, and we hope that will be soon.

In the meantime, here are some ways you can help:

  • Sign up for DST Summer Camp. Camps start June 15 and will adhere to DST’s physical distancing and sanitizing protocols. Three two-week sessions feature some of DST’s most popular youth productions. This year’s productions are Honk, Jr., Gerry Cullity’s Cinderella, and Dear Edwina, Jr. Look forward to bonus video footage of this year’s camps included with your dvd of the performance(s)!
  • Our Master Class Series for teens will be educational, informative, and fun. The classes for 14-18 year olds will feature DST alumni who have transitioned to professional theatre and who are willing to share their knowledge and stories with you.
  • Word of mouth is the best marketing tool we have. Please tell your friends about DST Summer Camp and the Master Class Series!
  • Disney’s High School Musical, A Chorus Line, and Jake’s Women are shows that we can’t wait to see on stage, but in an abundance of caution to keep our artists and audiences safe, we are not able to set a re-opening date at this time.
  • Buy a DST gift card. You’ll be able to use it in the future, and the cash flow will help Desert Stages through a difficult period.
  • Make an outright donation by check or credit card.
  • Join the Director’s Circle. Your monthly gift helps to sustain the youth, teen, and adult performing arts programs at Desert Stages, and it comes with benefits!
  • Ask your employer if they will match your gift to DST, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit theatre, TIN 86-0796627.
  • Even better, ask your employer to be a DST sponsor. Sponsorships are available at several levels, and we are ready to start a conversation that will make an ongoing relationship beneficial to both organizations.
  • Include DST in your estate plan. A gift or bequest in your will helps to ensure that our Desert Stages programs benefit generations of children for many years to come.
  • Volunteer. We appreciate help from individuals and very small groups in the form of sorting, organizing, cleaning, building, repairing, heavy-lifting, and sanitizing. Please contact ellen@desertstages.org to sign up for a time to come to the theatre to help! (once the mall is open again)
  • Got space? DST is always in need of extra storage. Your empty garage or storage unit could be a new home for DST’s favorite set pieces and props!
  • Finally, support Youth Theatre across the Valley. When our friends at Greasepaint Theater, Spotlight Youth Theatre, and all of the youth theatres across the Phoenix metropolitan area start staging shows again, go see them. There has never been a time in recent history when we have needed song, dance, art, stories, and community more than we need them now. We can’t live without the arts, and, in turn, the arts won’t survive without our support.

Feel free to call me if you have any questions about the theatre’s responses to COVID-19, the Fashion Square Mall closure, or ways to support Desert Stages Theatre.

Please know how grateful I am to each and every one of you for accepting me into the DST family these last three months. I am so proud to work with such an incredible organization and community. Gary and I are lucky to be facing these struggles together with all of you, and we look forward to returning to the theatre now even more than we did before.

Sincerely,

Ellen M. Versen

Executive Director

 


 

Updated 3/17/20

Dear DST Community,

In light of new recommendations made today we have decided to postpone performances of Jake’s Women for a minimum of 2 weeks, possibly longer. We will resume performances of the show when it is safe to do so. Patrons who have already purchased tickets to Jake’s Women will be receiving email communication from our box office staff to reschedule your tickets.

The health and safety or our patrons, cast, crew, and staff is of upmost priority. We will continue to monitor the changes in COVID-19 to be able to make informed and proper decisions for our immediate future.

Please visit www.desertstages.org for further updates and announcements regarding upcoming events and productions. For further information, patrons may call the Desert Stages Box Office at 480-483-1664.
Questions from the media may be directed to DST’s Director of Marketing and Social Media, Virginia Olivieri at virginia@desertstages.org.

Thank you for your continued support and patronage. We will get through this together as a united community.

Ellen M. Versen
Executive Director

Gary Jurkovich
Artistic Director

DST Board of Directors

 


 

3/14/2020

Dear DST Community,

In light of the unprecedented and rapidly-changing situation regarding COVID-19, as of Monday March 16th, 2020, Desert Stages Theatre has made the difficult decision to postpone shows currently in production including High School Musical Jr. and A Chorus Line. Remaining DST Mainstage, Youth, Teen productions, and Center Stage classes have also been postponed until further notice. We will communicate any further changes or updates.

The final 2 performances of Damn Yankees and the Actor’s Cafe production of Jake’s Women will continue as scheduled, along with the upcoming productions of Steel Magnolias and Bell, Book, and Candle.  As previously communicated, proper disinfecting measures will continue to assure the safety of our patrons, actors, crew, and staff.

Please visit www.desertstages.org for further updates and announcements regarding upcoming events and productions. For further information, patrons may call the Desert Stages Box Office at 480-483-1664.

Questions from the media may be directed to DST’s Director of Marketing and Social Media, Virginia Olivieri at virginia@desertstages.org.

We are extremely grateful to our DST community for their patience and support while we navigate this challenging time…together.

Ellen M. Versen
Executive Director

Gary Jurkovich
Artistic Director

DST Board of Directors