About Fountain Hills Theater
FOUNTAIN HILLS THEATER
Two Stages. Three Genres. Endless Artistry.
The History of Fountain Hills Theater
Now entering its 32nd season, Fountain Hills Theater is a non-profit organization, dedicated to providing quality theatrical and educational experiences while encouraging overall cultural development. The large volunteer organization has been solid financially since its inception by Sandi McGee in 1986, largely due to the direction of its then Executive Director, Val Stasik. The theater began staging two plays a year in a local elementary school gymnasium. Incorporated in September 1987 and granted a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit status in April 1989. FHT has a history of managed growth and planning. In 1995, FHCT moved into a building that once housed the Towns first library. Built in the 1970’s, the one-story structure encompassed 8,000 square feet. The front half was the Town Community Center while the back 4,000 square feet became the theater. Programming increased from to 9 shows per year (5 main stage, 1 youth and 3 summer stock). After-school classes and a teen summer camp were initiated. In 2002, with the opening of a new Community Center, FHT received the vacated front area, doubling FHT’s area. Programming was increased to 14 shows, plus additional workshops and camps. The added space required considerable upgrading and construction, 90% of which was covered by a generous grant from the Virginia Piper Charitable Trust. Upon completion of the renovation, the old stage became what is now the current Youth Theater, while the renovated space became the Mainstage.
FHT has established several artistic goals reflecting the highest integrity as it continues to accomplish its overall goal to evolve and grow as an artistic and educational entity. Fountain Hills Theater is committed to choosing and producing high-quality plays and musicals based on a mix of popular appeal, artistic merit and manageable logistics.
Measures of Success
Our dedication to quality has earned us many awards over the years, including recognition as Arizona’s finest non-contract theater. Over the years, FHT has garnered hundreds of statewide ariZoni nominations and numerous additional awards.
The Youth Theater
In addition to popular musicals and plays geared towards all ages, FHT’s Youth Theater regularly produces high quality shows with a social or moral value. Our annual YABOY (Young Actors Benefiting Other Youth) program has confronted issues of teen runaways, the challenges faced by blind youth, teen depression and suicide, and issues facing the handicapped. These issues are very real in our society. The student actors experience a feeling of true community service and social obligation by visiting and working with experts in the field pertaining to each production, and sharing their talents with school groups at special performances. A portion of ticket sales is donated to a partnering organization involved with the issue at hand. Thus far, we have worked with and shared revenues with Home Based Youth Services, The Center for the Blind, Teen Lifeline, EMPACT Suicide Prevention Center and ARC, among others. In addition to producing live theater, FHT is a forum for education, expression and team-building for our youth. After-school workshops in voice, dance and acting are offered throughout the year. Summer camps for teens and pre-teens are regularly full to capacity. On a community level, the theater continues its history of involvement with the Town of Fountain Hills. We have provided costumes, props, technical support, set pieces, presentations and entertainment to the schools, the Chamber of Commerce, The Historical Society, the Scouts and numerous civic organizations such as the Kiwanis Clubs, Women’s Clubs, and Rotary Clubs. FHT organizes special day-time performances for the Charter School, Fountain Hills School District, Home-Schooled Students and the Boys and Girls Club. We regularly offer discounted and free tickets to seniors.