United Colors of Arizona Theater brings a summer of love to Scottsdale
United Colors of Arizona Theater (UCAT) will bring a summer of love to the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts in August.
Founded in 2016, UCAT began as a Facebook group to create space for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) within the fine arts, theater, and film communities in Arizona. Members of the United Colors of Arizona Theater make theater accessible to everyone by providing opportunities for workshops, dance lessons, and audition preparation. The organization’s initiative normalizes BIPOC creatives on stage to create theater that truly reflects the community.
In August, UCAT will present the summer series United Colors of Arizona Theater – The Summer of Love. These performances will explore love in all its forms, from readings of classic stories told with a BIPOC perspective to musical explorations and cabarets. There is something different and new in every presentation.
“For the second consecutive summer, we are thrilled to welcome United Colors of Arizona Theater to Stage 2 at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts,” said Meribeth Reeves, the center’s general manager. “UCAT’s mission is to strengthen Arizona’s fine arts community by advocating for diversity, inclusion, access to opportunity, and global awareness. A long-term dream is the development of a BIPOC summer stock program, and I believe that this year United Colors of Arizona Theater has a program that audiences won’t want to miss.”
Starting this summer of love is an evening of readings, including two new works all linked to a Shakespearean theme. The first is an abridged bilingual version (Spanish and English) of “Romeo and Juliet”, created in collaboration with Pima Community College. The second reading of the evening is Andrew Rincon’s “I Wanna F*** Like Romeo & Juliet” – a queer love story of epic proportions that investigates God and mortals, realism and fantasy, as well as shame and joy in queer love of color.
On August 6 and 14, Alyssa Chiarello, singer/actress who performs throughout the valley, offers “Yours Truly”. His first solo cabaret was a personal performance through the songs of musical theater that gave Chiarello strength, love and an outlet to find and use his voice.
“‘Yours Truly’ is a personal performance sharing the memories and experiences that allowed me to find my voice through music, especially musical theatre,” Chiarello said. “The United Colors of Arizona Theater has always been an encouraging, compassionate organization that champions artists of color to showcase who they are and the talents they have to share. I’m honored that they chose me and recognized me for this opportunity. , and I am beyond grateful to share this project of love with the Phoenix community.”
Also performing in his first solo cabaret, Damon J Bolling presents “Taking the Wheel”, a journey of love and determination through the decades. Bolling explains that “Getting behind the wheel” is about controlling your own destiny and not being a passenger in life. This performance will explore love, lost love and finding it again through some of her favorite songs.
“It took me a long time to realize that things only ‘happen’ if they are made to happen. I have no right to anything. You have to be brave and sometimes a little ‘intrepid’ to take the first steps of make it happen,” Bolling said. “You might miss an opportunity if you don’t ‘try’. I’m still on this journey, and I hope this performance can help others who can relate to find some comfort in knowing that we’re all on this journey together.”
Audience members can join The Summer of Love at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, 7380 E. 2nd St., Scottsdale, Arizona. Tickets for each performance start at $29, or audiences can purchase tickets for all three shows for $64. For more information, visit ScottsdalePerformingArts.org/events or call 480-499-TKTS (8587).
Through its partnership with the City of Scottsdale, the non-profit organization Scottsdale Arts creates diverse and inspired arts experiences and educational opportunities that foster active and lifelong community engagement with the arts. Since its founding in 1987, Scottsdale Arts has grown into a regionally and nationally significant multidisciplinary arts organization offering an exceptional variety of programs through four renowned branches – Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts, Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), Scottsdale Public Art and Scottsdale Arts Learning & Innovation – serving over 600,000 participants each year. Together with the City of Scottsdale, we also welcome more than 200,000 people a year to our campus through a strong rental program.
Since 1975, the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts has provided a stage for a wide range of artists and genres, creating shared and inspiring experiences for the community that celebrate artistic excellence and cultural awareness. Now one of the premier performing arts venues in the western United States, the Center showcases a diverse season of music, dance, theater, comedy and film from around the world.
Photo courtesy of United Colors of Arizona Theater