September 2023
Something for Everyone
’23-24 Season Opens at Suze’s Prescott Center for the Arts

This season Suze’s Prescott Center for the Arts is offering more options for live theatrical entertainment than ever before.

The new season starts in the Cabaret Theatre with Man of La Mancha, the beloved story of Don Quixote delivered through the 1965 musical with book by Dale Wasserman, music by Mitch Leigh and lyrics by Joe Darion. Directed by Don Langford, it will run September 14 to October 1.

The new Studio Theatre, which opened in January, will start its season with Larry Shue’s The Nerd, the story of an unassuming landlord, his well meaning tenants, and a cuckoo arriving in the nest. This production is under the direction of Ed Gates, who says he played the role of Axel “300 years ago.” Gates is the production manager at Suze’s Prescott Center for the Arts as well as chair of the play-selection committee. When asked why he wanted to start the Studio Theatre’s season with this particular play, his response was simple: “It’s a funny show, it’s good for the family and it’s a lot of very fast one-liners, sarcastic remarks and vaudeville physical comedy, so it’s just a great show.”

Published in 1981, the play uses the term “nerd” to mean an individual who just doesn’t fit in. Says Gates, “There were a couple of words going around during the ‘70s and ‘80s, ‘nerd’ being one, ‘geek’ another, and they were always kind of cross-referencing each other as to what they meant, so I don’t think there’s a clear-cut definition of ‘nerd’ anymore.” “This is ... just somebody who’s socially inept and can’t read people, maybe a little slow, maybe a little stupid, and [hitting] the ending of every nerve. You run across these people everyday, especially in office environments, work environments, you’re gonna find somebody who’s just doesn’t get it. They’re not autistic, they’re not mentally disabled, they just don’t get it.” The Nerd plays September 21 to October 1.

While the organization’s executive team members know they can’t please everyone, they hope to offer something for everyone. The benefit of having both the Cabaret and Studio theatres is that there is room for both the big, favorite, well recognized shows and the smaller, less known productions.

Coming to the Cabaret Theatre this season: Out of Sight, Out of Murder by Fred Carmichael, She Loves Me by Joe Masteroff, with music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, Lights by Phoenix playwright and actor Michael Grady, Arsenic and Old Lace by Joseph Kesserling, Crimes of the Heart by Beth Henley, Sherlock Holmes by Steven Dietz, The Lion King, Jr, with music and lyrics by Tim Rice and Sir Elton John, and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas by Larry L King and Peter Masterson, with music and lyrics by Carol Hall.

To the Studio Theatre the new season brings Night of the Living Dead by Mark Landon Smith, The Prisoner of Second Avenue by Neil Simon, Other Desert Cities by Jon Robin Baitz, The Last Five Years by Jason Robert Brown, and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? by Edward Albee.

For tickets and more info visit

Lizabeth Rogers covers the local-theatre beat.

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