Kids love to pretend, to imagine, and to perform. When you’re trying to entertain them, teach them, and connect with them, a viable option is introducing them to the performing arts and theater. Children learn that art as a social, emotional, and creative outlet is healthy and can lead to self-discovery and awareness. Taking a trip to the community theater, creating a puppet show, or seeing a professional production can be a wonderful family bonding opportunity and serve as an enriching experience. Read on to learn about our top suggestions for awesome theaters around Goodyear. 

Estrella Mountain Community College Performing Arts Center

Community theatre set in Goodyear, AZ.
Image via Flickr by Ronald Douglas Frazier Licensed CC BY 2.0

The Estrella Mountain Community College (EMCC) Performing Arts Center (PAC) is a 30,000 square-foot fine arts building at the Avondale campus. Since the Performing Arts Center’s doors opened in the fall of 2015, it has served as a creative center for students, teachers, and the community. There are individualized learning areas, a media technical library, a costume shop, a music studio, and their Black Box Theater where students can create, rehearse, and ready performances for the Main Theater. 

The Main Theater seats nearly 300 audience members, and is outfitted with state-of-the-art technology like digital projection equipment and professional structures including a pipe grid and a pit lift platform. An exhibition gallery sits at the entrance of the Performing Arts Center where local, national, student, and faculty art is displayed. A magnificent light sculpture, “Breaking Sound,” hangs above the lobby welcoming each guest upon entry. 

The PAC typically has an array of performances planned throughout the year. Several student exhibitions, like the upcoming Dance Estrella are free and open to the public. The current art exhibit series running from May 3 through August 15 is the annual EMMC Art Faculty Exhibition. The PAC is at 3000 N. Dysart Road. For more information, or to learn about future events, call 623-935-8141.

The Mystery Mansion Dinner Theater

Treat the family to dinner and a show at the Mystery Mansion Dinner Theater. Entertaining the Goodyear community since 1989, the theater features a variety of live performances for audience members of all ages. For the theater afficionados in your family will appreciate this interactive take on performance art. 

Upon arriving, guests receive their own name and secret identity which they must guard throughout the performance. As you watch, try to solve the mystery and see if you’re the lucky audience member who gets to take home the prize. The three current running productions are “Murder at Greystone Manor,” “Murder at the Vampire’s Wedding,” and the humorous “Murder at Bedside Manor.” General admission tickets start at $69 dollars, and include a 3-course dinner and a show. 

The Mystery Mansion Dinner Theater box office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, including group deals and party packages, call 480-999-1520.

Valley Youth Theatre

With just a short drive from Goodyear, you’ll find the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix. After starting in 1989 with small productions in a college, community center, and a basement space of a shopping center, the Valley Youth Theatre quickly gained momentum and converted an old car dealership into a 202-seat theater. The now flourishing performance center features a diverse cast, fee-free participation, and supports an inclusive learning environment. The upcoming show, “High School Musical,” is a popular favorite among youth and a family-friendly performance. 

Valley Youth Theatre supports education in the arts and offers several options for those interesting in performance. Classes are available for aspiring performers as young as three, utilize imaginative play and learning, and support the development of social-emotional skills. Treasure Trunk Theater, an 8-week class suitable for ages four to eight, explores acting, improvisation, character creation, movement, and guided storytelling. The enrollment fee for this learning experience is $145 per student and culminates in a live performance featuring the students. 

You’ll find Valley Youth Theatre in downtown Phoenix at 525 North First Street, at the corner of First Street and Fillmore. The office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to noon and 1 p.m to 3 p.m. For more information, call 602-253-8188.

Spotlight Youth Theater

Just 17 miles from Goodyear in Glendale, you’ll find Spotlight Youth Theater. This award-winning 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization provides youths and their families a safe environment that embraces teamwork and encourages creativity. Various programs throughout the year, including theater camps, performance troupes, school shows, field trips, and workshops support youths in finding a creative outlet and learning self-expression. 

Themed-summer camps schedule for this year are “Encanto Park: The Musical,” “The Great Toy Escape,” “Scary Poppins: A Ghoulish Musical,” and “Avengerz: A Musical Adventure.” The camp, available to children ages seven to 18, is Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Participation fees per two-week camp being at $400, with discounts available for early registration or multiple children per family. Another program currently available is a musical theater dance master class that focuses on the skills needed for auditions. 

The theater also has various live performances throughout the year. The Imagine Theater Company has a performance of “Cinderella” scheduled for June 10 through June 12. June 12 is ideal for little ones with an early bedtime as it features a matinee showing at 1:30 p.m. If you have a princess fan, this is the play for them. Check the website for updated ticket prices and showings.

Spotlight Youth Theater is at 10620 N. 43rd Avenue. To learn more about their upcoming schedule, including ticket prices and future audition opportunities, call 602-843-8318.

So there you have it. Crème de la Crème of Goodyear, Arizona, has enjoyed sharing with you our list of the top 5 awesome theaters around Goodyear. Whether you want to take in a quaint play performed at your local community theater or are ready to experience a showing at a classic drive-in theater, you will find something that entertains you in Goodyear. What do you think of our list of locations? Did we miss your favorite theater? If we did, let us know! Leave us a message sharing your ideas and we’ll be happy to check out your suggestions.