Going to see live theater is an amazing experience for parents and children alike. There’s an excitement that comes from watching costumes, sets, props, and characters work together to bring a story to life. In Mesa, you have many different live theater venues to choose from. That’s why Crème de la Crème of Mesa has put together this list of some of the best theaters in and around Mesa so your family can enjoy the live theater experience together.
The Mesa Arts Center
The Mesa Arts Center is the perfect local theater to see live theater, live music, dance performances, and special touring shows. Music lovers can get tickets to see renowned touring artists, like instrumentalists, choirs, and pop artists. The nature documentary fans can come here to see NatGeo’s live special presentations featuring professional scientists. The Center also hosts live comedy shows, local productions of Broadway plays and musicals, Shakespeare plays, and much more.
East Valley Children’s Theatre
The Mesa Arts Center is also the performing home for the East Valley Children’s Theatre. This organization brings its community plays and musicals for kids, by kids. There are four main stage shows each year, and the EVCT troupe perform a few other shows throughout the year, too. What’s more, the theater holds auditions in the months before the show, so you and your kids can audition and perform together.
Mesa Encore Theatre
The Mesa Encore Theatre has been bringing fantastic live theater to the community for 85 years, and they also call the Mesa Arts Center their stage home. This organization puts on both classic and contemporary shows, including Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Their work covers a wide variety of topics, cultures, and human experiences, providing the community of Mesa and surrounding towns a truly diverse theater experience.
The Mesa Amphitheatre is a huge outdoor performance space, so you can watch live plays and live music, including everything from rock bands to orchestras, all under the stars. You can come here to see popular touring acts from all music genres, including pop, hip-hop, rock, and country. The outdoor venue features tiered, open-lawn seating, and many of its shows don’t have fixed seating arrangements, so you can get there early to score an awesome view of the stage. Lastly, Mesa Amphitheatre is also home to many large-scale community events and local festivals.
Mesa Community College Performing Arts Center
The MCC Performing Arts Center is a 450-seat venue with two separate performing spaces, each with great views of the stage and awesome acoustics. This theater is where MCC music and dance students perform a variety of shows throughout the year. You can come watch the seasonal showcases that feature the school’s best performers, orchestral concerts, and dance performances. You can also catch a few shows put on by the school’s theater students, including musicals.
Mesa Community College Theatre
The MCC Theatre is a 270-seat venue where the school’s theater program does most of their performances. This theater’s design ensures audience members around the room can see and hear actors from every seat in the house. You can purchase tickets to one of these shows to support local aspiring actors, stage technicians, costumers, and theater designers.
The Neighborhood Comedy Theatre
If you’re looking for a place to watch sketch and improv comedy, then the Neighborhood Comedy Theatre in Mesa is the place for you. This venue hosts shows every weekend where the audience gets involved in the show by providing suggestions to the cast. Performers then use these ideas to craft hilarious skits on the spot. While some other comedy theaters may be more for a parents’ night out, the shows at the Neighborhood Comedy Theatre are appropriate for all ages. So grab tickets for the whole family to enjoy a truly unique live show.
Have you ever thought about doing improv, sketch comedy, or standup? Sign up for a few classes, or practice your material at one of the theater’s open mic nights.
Arizona State University Gammage
Support more theater, music, and dance students when you buy tickets to a show at ASU Gammage in nearby Tempe. Here you can watch seasonal showcases for the orchestra, choirs, bands, and individual performance arts students. In addition, ASU Gammage is known for its amazing Broadway shows, with performances of “The Lion King,” “Oklahoma!,” and more. This venue also hosts performing artists from around the world, including popular touring acts and artist residencies. You can also attend lectures and special presentations from artists, writers, speakers, activists, and others.
Hale Centre Theatre
Located in nearby Gilbert is Hale Centre Theatre, your go-to theater to see Broadway shows brought to life by local actors. This theater company does classic and contemporary shows, and they specialize in musicals. You can come here to see high-quality shows like “Footloose,” “The Little Mermaid,” “The Music Man,” “Guys and Dolls,” and “Annie.” They also host musical tribute shows for a number of artists, including Elton John and Johnny Cash. You can also make it a holiday tradition to see “A Christmas Carol,” which they do every winter.
Arizona Broadway Theatre
Have dinner and a show at the Arizona Broadway Theatre in nearby Peoria. Like its name suggests, the Arizona Broadway Theatre puts on famous Broadway shows, with performances of “Flashdance,” “Ghost the Musical,” “The SpongeBob Musical,” and “The Little Mermaid.”
This venue has hundreds of tables, fitting about 470 audience members who receive table service before, during, and after the show. While sitting at a table may seem like there are seats where you won’t be able to see the stage very well, there’s no bad seat in the ABT house. The stage construction and layout of the tables makes it so everyone can see and hear incredibly well, no matter where they’re seated.
So there you have it, 10 awesome local theaters around Mesa. At Crème de la Crème of Mesa, we use theater and storytelling in our curriculum, including through the Coconut Theater, Krem TV, and Music Studio classroom rotations. Did we miss your family’s favorite local live theater spots? If so, contact us, and we’ll be sure to add it to our list!