By Seth Reines, October 2018 Issue.
Phoenix’s newest theatre company, BLK BOX PHX (BBP) was created by producing artistic director Daniel Davisson as “a means to provide the Valley with an alternate theatre option.”
With more than 30 years of involvement in the local theatre scene, Davisson is best-known for his work as a lighting designer for many of Arizona’s top professional and community theatre and dance companies. He’s also the guru behind Davisson Entertainment. As the director of production for numerous performing art organizations in the Valley, Davisson has experience producing various large-scale events, festivals, shows and other entertainment outlets throughout the state.
This season he adds BLK BOX PHX to his list of collaborative efforts.
“We are a group of collective theatre artists and designers who have worked in the Arizona theatre scene and have decided to form our own 501(c)3 performing arts theatre company,” he explained. “By working so heavily in the local theatre scene, we have experienced a number of repetitive shows and have learned a lot of ‘what not to do’ that we want to provide the Valley with content that we would want to see.”
One objective that’s central to BBP’s mission in inclusivity.
“We want to include everybody in our works and to give artists a means of work and opportunity to those that may not normally have them,” he said. “We understand the art of collaboration and professional theatre and aim to provide an outlet to Arizona artists. Being an organization primarily cultured around the inclusive movement, we plan to fully support everyone, especially our LGBTQ family and friends. That can be seen in our closing show this season, I Am My Own Wife.
According to Davisson, audiences can expect productions that fall outside of “average run-of-the-mill programming” at BBP.
“We want to provide professional theatre, from a different perspective,” Davisson explained. “By opening our arms, we will welcome all the varying talents in our state to flourish and grow with us. We encourage diversity and establishing work for local artists … We plan to learn from our mistakes and to listen to our communities … we value qualities that result in noble leadership to establish the communities we live in.
Once consideration made for every production that BBP takes on is, whether or not those involved would find the subject matter interesting and want to attend.
BBP’s inaugural season kicks off with a classic tale of good and evil in Ray Bradbury’s Something Wicked This Way Comes, playing Oct. 31-Nov. 11. Two boys become lured to a mysterious carnival that passes through their town. Soon they discover the diabolical truths behind the funhouse mirror maze and the eerie cast of characters. The boys fight to save their town from the sinister Mr. Dark who threatens to destroy it.
The theatre’s second show, S#!tfaced Shakespeare, combines the words and characters of Shakespeare with the maniacal tomfoolery of a totally smashed cast member. Audiences get to pick the play and which actor they would like to see stumble through Shakespeare, after imbibing a few shots of whiskey. This show runs Nov. 30-Dec. 31 with a special performance and party on New Year’s Eve.
I Am My Own Wife closes out BBP’s inaugural season. The Pulitzer- and Tony award-winning show, written by Doug Wright, is based on a true story of an East German transgender woman, Charlotte von Mahlsdorf. The play, a vivid portrait of a unique person whose ability to endure and survive the Nazi onslaught and the repressive East German regime, plays March 7-16, 2019.