Copperstar Repertory Company, a local performing arts nonprofit, is reaching out to the greater East Valley this season as it opens a new studio in Chandler and begin performances at the Mesa Arts Center and the Tempe Center for the Arts.
In the past, the group performed at the Higley Center for the Performing Arts in Gilbert. Desiring to reach a broader audience, President Mary-Jo Okawa decided to move performances to the venues in Mesa and Tempe that she says are more “centrally located.”
“I think it’s going to help us gain even more community support and involvement,” Okawa said.
A year ago, a fire destroyed Okawa’s home, which housed some of the costumes, props, sets and other essentials of the company.
“That was a huge catalyst for change for us,” Okawa said. “We just had to make some changes and move our theme shop away from our home and just kind of revamp and renew and reinvent ourselves, if you will.”
After the fire, the company had to reach out to the community to fund their performances, a studio and a theme shop for the company. Without the support of other local theater groups, the company would not have been able to perform their shows for the past year.
The group received the keys to their new studio on Tuesday night, which is located on Arizona Avenue and Elliot Road, between the two new performance venues.
Copperstar is still raising money for flooring, mirrors and signage for the new studio using an online crowdfunding source called Razoo. They are also selling T-shirts to raise money through Teespring.com. T-shirts are $18 and they have a goal of selling 250 shirts. Shirts will not be printed until they meet that goal.
In the past, the group had to rehearse at schools or other locations because they did not have their own studio. Now, they have space to rehearse and host dance, acting and singing classes.
“It’s like we’re putting in roots and we’re really going to be a legitimate theater company,” Okawa said. “It’s going to be a different ball game for us from here on out and it’s super exciting.”
Brady Quisberg, who has been with the company for four years and will play Joseph in the upcoming production of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoats,” said the new studio will bring Copperstar to a new level.
“It’s going to give Copperstar a whole new life as far as bringing the community in because now we can actually invite people into our home and teach them why we love what we do,” Quisberg said.
How to help
What: Donate or purchase a t-shirt to help fund supplies for the Copperstar Reportory Company’s new studio.
See a show
What: Groupon has a season ticket package that includes two tickets to the next four shows and two Copperstar season tees for $120.
Jessica, a junior studying journalism at ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication, is an intern with the Tribune this semester. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (480) 898-6548.