Desert Foothills Theater Roars Back to the Stage

By Kathryn M. Miller

Actors see the world in a different way. That is according to Terry Temple, managing director of Desert Foothills Theater (DFT) since December 2019.

The heart of the theater, actors “march to the beat of a different drummer and they have a particular need, I have found, for like-minded people to be able to be expressive and creative, bounce things off of, and be accepted,” he said.

As he and his team were gearing up for DFT’s upcoming season, Temple shared his thoughts on what theater means to actors, to him personally and to a community in general — and what it means to be without it.

Like other Arizona performing arts organizations, DFT had to cut its 2019–20 season short. They closed in February, during production of Honk, Jr., “And we were in full production for two subsequent shows,” shared Temple. “We had to shut down very close to opening of Steel Magnolias and just after we had started rehearsals for Godspell.”

With theaters closed, the DFT team sat down to map out their next move. The upcoming season had to be reimagined. And what about all of those young actors who were now home from school, too?

“Theater is a place where kids get to learn interdependence, learn responsibility, learn public speaking, confidence in front of others,” Temple shared. “The reason I found theater was because it just allowed me to get comfortable being in front of people and being myself and discovering myself. It is just an essential…”

Beyond what theater does for the actors, though, is the connection that is made with the audience Temple said.

“They desire that momentary escape, and a good story, something that they can invest [in] and relate to.”

He added that the community plays an integral role in the health of local theater and expressed that DFT’s community has been fantastically supportive over the years.

“Communities need theater and theaters need communities. We do as much for the community as the community does for us.”

What DFT did for the community over the summer months was to provide a creative outlet for area children. A number of parents contacted the theater looking for ways to keep their children engaged.

“We heard that term several times, ‘Our kids are sliding back,’ that they’re missing their friends, that they are spending way too much time in front of the screens when they’re not in school, in front of the screen,” Temple related. “They are doing their social activities in front of a screen even, talking to friends or online gaming. And they just said, ‘It’s time.’”

So, DFT created smaller, more safely manageable summer camp programs for children. They “dipped their toes in” and it was a huge success.

“And that’s kind of what propelled us to start looking at our new season and say it’s time to come out of the cave, as it were, and just look at how we can do traditional shows but under the umbrella of the COVID restrictions.”

DFT will kick off its fall season at the Holland Community Center with The Lion King, Jr., Sept. 18–27.

“The shows that we are going to be producing this year are going to be high quality,” Temple said. “We are not dropping the quality of the shows, COVID is not going to affect us at all that way. The only thing it is going to do is affect our audience size.”

Expressing his hope for the community to be a part of that audience, he concluded, “We are going to keep them safe and keep them distanced. But we hope that they will take a little bit of a chance and come out and see live theater again.” |CST

Learn more: 480.488.1981; dftheater.org

Escape The Heat & Discover The Great Indoors!

Summer classes at Holland Community Center

Foothills Community Foundation (FCF) offers an abundance of ways for residents to beat the heat while having fun and meeting new people this summer. FCF hosts classes and programs at the Holland Community Center year-round, but when the heat is on, a friendly respite may be just what is needed. Here are some of the events taking place in July.

 

Belly Dancing for Fitness
July 12, 19, 26 and August 2; 10–11am

Suitable for all ages and stages of fitness, belly dancing is low impact and gentle on the joints. It can help strengthen the core, lower body and even arms, while also improving cardio fitness. Music and coin hip scarves provided. Instructor Shoshanna Qamar is an artist, actress and dancer with a background in contemporary dance technique, ballet and international folk. The cost is $60 per student for this four-week class.

 

Learn to Draw from Life
July 13, 20, 27 and August 3;10am–12pm

Learn to see as never have before, and discover a new talent, or rediscover an old one, by learning to draw from life. Instructor Joan Milman will teach participants to work with charcoal, kneaded eraser and a newsprint pad to bring objects to life. The cost is $125 for four weeks of instruction.

 

Canvas & Coffee — Southwest Pottery
July 15; 10am–12pm

Join Sunny Hall, owner of Paint and Gogh, for a morning of canvas and coffee. Start the morning with a relaxing and creative painting experience that is guided step-by-step, and take home a 16” x 20” acrylic painting at the end of the class. All supplies are furnished, including easels, paint, canvas, aprons and brushes. No experience necessary. The cost is $40 per student.

 

In addition to structured classes, bingo is offered every Thursday at 1:30pm, and duplicate bridge (must have a partner) is offered Monday and Friday at 12:30pm.

Holland Community Center is located at 34250 North 60th Street, Building B, in Scottsdale. Online registration and details are available at www.azfcf.org. Call 480.488.1090 for additional information.

Making The Holidays Brighter For Families In Need

fcf2The Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center and its team of donors and volunteers will brighten the holiday season for children, families and seniors in the North Valley foothills community. The food bank is working with more than a dozen local organizations and churches to provide gifts, holiday meals and hope for those in crisis in the community. The 14th annual Adopt-a-Family program will be held on Saturday, December 10, in Black Canyon City at High Desert Park from 9am-12pm and on Sunday, December 11, at Holland Community Center in North Scottsdale from 1-4pm.

According to Pam DiPietro, executive director of Foothills Food Bank, all families must be signed up by December 7. Individual donors as well as donor groups such as businesses, HOAs, churches and schools, are encouraged to participate in this year’s Adopt-a-Family program. Interested donors determine the size of the family they are willing to adopt then a family wish list is provided as a shopping guide. Monetary donations also are accepted to support the program. All gifts must be wrapped and delivered in December either directly to the family or dropped off at the event site. Checks are payable to Foothills Food Bank. All gifts and donations are tax deductible according to tax laws.fcf1

For information about the 2016 Adopt-a-Family program or to request a donor sign-up form, email adoptafamily@foothillsfoodbank.com or pick up a form at the food bank. Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center is located at 6038 East Hidden Valley Drive in Cave Creek. Residents can learn more about helping area families year-round by calling 480.488.1145 or visiting http://www.foothillsfoodbank.com.

Holiday Donor Sponsors Sought For Families In North Valley

LogosThe Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center seeks donors to brighten the holiday season for children, families and seniors in the northern Arizona foothills community. The food bank is working with more than a dozen local organizations and churches to provide gifts, holiday meals and hope for those in crisis in the community. The 13th annual Adopt-a-Family program will be held on Sunday, December 13, at Holland Community Center in North Scottsdale. A second site for Black Canyon City and New River residents will be held on Saturday, December 12 at High Desert Park.Adopt Family Photo 2015

Individual donors as well as donor groups such as businesses, HOAs, churches and schools, are encouraged to participate in this year’s Adopt-a-Family program. Interested donors determine the size of the family they are willing to adopt then a family wish list is provided as a shopping guide. Monetary donations also are accepted to support the program. All gifts must be wrapped and delivered in December either directly to the family or dropped off at the event site. Checks are payable to Foothills Food Bank. All gifts and donations are tax deductible according to tax laws.

For information about the 2015 Adopt-a-Family program or to request a donor sign-up form, email adoptafamily@foothillsfoodbank.com or pick up a form at the food bank. Foothills Food Bank & Resource Center is located at 6038 East Hidden Valley Drive in Cave Creek. For more information, visit www.foothillsfoodbank.com.

%d bloggers like this: