Live Theatre Workshop provides performance and education to entertain, enlighten and uplift our community and to develop theatrical talent.
Led by Artistic Director Sabian Trout and Executive Director Michael Martinez, LTW began its tradition of service to the Tucson community under the artistic direction of James Mitchell Gooden, on St. Patrick's Day 1994, with John Millington Sunge's Riders to the Sea. In 1996, LTW mounted its first full mainstage season downtown at the Tucson Center for Performing Arts, with productions such as Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. In the fall of 1997, the company opened its headquarters here on East Speedway with Simon Gray's The Rear Column, which was reviewed as "convincing and credible." There has been no holding us back since.
Beginning in 1996, Live Theatre Workshop added a family theatre series now entitled "All Together Family Theatre" to its programming. ATT involves young people, their parents, grandparents and extended families in the arts by providing affordable and accessible performances designed to be shared by the entire family. In the past, productions have included such titles as Charlotte’s Web, Tales of Africa, Jack and the Beanstalk, Mi Nana y Queztalcoatl, La Serpiente Emplumada, Wild Things and The Pirate Queen of the Caribbean - Curse of the Black Bean. In the summer of 2002, ATT began its first outreach program to schools and organizations in the Tucson area by touring with its production of Beauty and the Beast. This year schools were treated to Little Frida and her Magic Paintbrush, Cinderella, and The Unbendables - Super Hero Team, bringing productions to children who might not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy the theatre arts.
In October 2002, Live Theatre Workshop launched a new performance venue - LTW’s "Reader’s Theatre," a series of four staged readings throughout the season offered at no charge to our audience members. This exciting programming allows LTW to produce plays outside its mainstage format and at the same time expand its commitment to the arts and the community. And in 2004, another program - ETCETERA, LTW Late Nights - was added to bring music and edgier theatre to the Tucson nightlife. Audiences have been tantalized by such productions as Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Titanic, Titus Andronicus, The Big Funk, and Corpus Chisti.
Always interested in producing the best possible plays, LTW has received critical acclaim for its diverse prodictions. Chuck Graham, theatre critic for the Tucson Citizen, wrote, "What sets LTW apart from the other theatre companies... is the quality of plays it chooses." LTW's plays have spanned the spectrum from tragedy to farce, mystery to historical drama, including productions by Shakespeare, Alan Ayckbourn, Wendy Wasserstein, Agatha Christie, Neil Simon, George Bernard Shaw, A. R. Gurney, Paula Vogel and Christopher Durang.
The best possible plays require finding Tucson’s best talent. LTW is proud to be a creative domain for many of Tucson's best actors, directors, technicians, playwrights, composers, musicians and designers. LTW boasts two 2002 MAC Awards: Best Actor (James Mitchell Gooden) and Best Actress (Linda Andresano), given in January 2002 by the Arizona Daily Star critic, Kathy Allen, for their performances in Table Manners). In 2003 6 MAC Award nominations were awarded to LTW: Best Actor (James Gooden in The Hollow), Best Actress (Holli Thenhaus in The Miss Firecracker Contest and Emily Chamberlain in Lettice and Lovage), Best Director (Jeremy Thompson for The Miss Firecracker Contest) and Best Comedy (The Hollow and The Miss Firecracker Contest). In 2004, we again received MAC Award nominations for Best Comedy (Relatively Speaking) and Best Actress (Cynthia Jeffery in Relatively Speaking). In 2005, we received a record 7 MAC nominations. Kristi Loera and Holli Henderson for Best Actress for their performances in Run For Your Wife, Sybille Bruun for her performances in The Heidi Chronicles and Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, Cynthia Jeffery for her performance in No Exit, No Exit for Best Production, Matt Walley for Best Actor for his performance in Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and Amy Almquist for Best Director for The Heidi Chronicles. In 2006, Holli Henderson was award Best Actress for her performance in Sylvia, Jeremy Thompson received nominations for both his performance as Barney Cashman in The Last of the Red Hot Lovers and as Best Director for Sylvia which also received a nod for Best Comedy. And Carlisle Ellis and Toni Press-Coffman both received nominations for Best Actress for their roles as Margaret and Katharine in A Perfect Ganesh. With consistent positive reviews from The Arizona Daily Star, The Tucson Citizen and The Tucson Weekly, LTW has quickly become Tucson’s best kept secret.
Live Theatre Workshops educational program On Stage!, was developed to complement LTW’s production efforts. Led by Director of Education Dana Armstrong, weekly classes and summer and winter drama day camps are taught by trained, experienced actors and directors pulled from the company, and beyond. Starting with one class in a church hall, the program has grown to serve hundreds of young people yearly. This past year the program consisted of 5 terms of 12 classes each, with the duration of 12 weeks and seven drama day camps serving over 685 students. "Destination Drama," the newest leg of OnStage!, launched just over a year ago. This exciting and energetic outreach program offers drama instruction and educational performances to schools, filling in the gaps where arts programming has been cut.
Live Theatre Workshop is a 501-c-3 non-profit organization. Generous support is provided by private and public foundations, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Tucson/Pima Arts Council, the Arizona Commission on the Arts, The Stephen J. Miller Foundation, The Ralph L. Smith Foundation, Target Stores and by its growing list of dedicated patrons.