From bash to gala

“It’s been 25 years,” says Actors Theatre, “and it’s time to party!”

They’re one of several Valley theater companies presenting spring fundraisers full of song, dance and other merriment meant to help a good cause — keeping our community theaters thriving through challenging times.

Actors Theatre of Phoenix presents their “25th Anniversary Benefit Bash” this Sat, Mar 26, from 6-11pm at the Sheraton in downtown Phoenix. Think cocktail reception, sit down dinner, live/silent auctions and entertainment.

Valley Youth Theatre of Phoenix presents their “7th Annual VYTee Golf Classic” Tues, Apr 12, with 7am registration and an 8am shotgun start — at the Arizona Biltmore Golf Club’s Links course. An awards luncheon follows the golfing event. VYTee will feature mulligans, 500-yard drive tickets, raffle tickets, a silent auction and prizes.

Childsplay is one of several theater companies holding fundraisers in the Valley this Spring

Greasepaint Youtheatre of Scottsdale presents their “Greasepaint for Tomorrow Gala” Sat, April 16, from 6-10pm at the Kerr Cultural Center in Scottsdale. It’s billed as an evening of “great food, great friends, great entertainment and a great auction.” Kelli James is directing the cast of “Heroes & Villians of Broadway” — which will be performed at the event.

Arizona Theatre Company of Tucson and Phoenix presents their “Curtain Up! Cabaret 2011” Sat, Apr 30, at 6pm. Think hors d’oeuvres and champagne in the Herberger Art Gallery, followed by dinner on ATC’s professional stage — all a prelude to a performance by Susan Egan, accompanied by Christopher McGovern. I’m told a live auction and apres-entertainment coffee/dessert bar are included as well.

Childsplay of Tempe presents their “Childsplay Celebrates its Greatest Hits Gala” Fri, May 6, at 6 pm — at the Scottsdale Plaza Resort. Think cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, silent auction, raffle tickets, dinner and entertainment. Proceeds benefit Childsplay arts-in-education programs, which serve one in five Arizona school children each year.

Desert Stages Theater of Scottsdale presents their 6th annual gala, titled “The Golden Ticket Gala,” Sat, May 14 at the Scottsdale Hilton Resort and Villas. Think auction, dinner and entertainment — with a “Willy Wonka” twist.

Each bash and gala has a bit of a different vibe, so explore them all to find the ones that best match your interests and tastes.

But attend as many as you can, since these events provide critical funding for arts organizations that help our youth develop skills like creativity, problem-solving and teamwork — all so essential in a world growing more complex, diverse and demanding.

Stay home and write a check if you must (they’re always appreciated). But I suspect you’ll have more fun if you party along with some of the Valley’s best performers so that they can feel your love — and you can feel it right back.

— Lynn

Note: Event tickets make fun gifts for holidays like Mother’s Day, birthdays and anniversaries. They’re also unique gifts for teachers and others who work with youth. Remember too that sponsorship opportunities are available for these events.

Coming up: Arizona art schools showcase their works

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