Madcap musings

Madcap Theaters located in Centerpoint on Mill in Tempe

“Geeks’ Night Out” comes to Tempe this week as the Arizona SCITECH Festival meets “Third Thursdays” in Tempe’s Mill Avenue District — and the fine folks at Madcap Theaters host an Allied Paranormal Investigations team who’ll be “showing the equipment they use in researching potential hauntings.”

MADCAP's mission is providing affordable community-based performance space

Other “Geeks’ Night Out” happenings, taking place at various Tempe locations, feature everything from robotics to astronomy — plus a pop culture trivia competition. Think “Star Wars” vs. “Star Trek.” Folks can dress up like their favorite inventor or don the geek version of business attire for a tech job fair.

Harry Potter meets musical theater at Madcap Theaters in Tempe this month

A little something called “It’s a Musical Showcase” comes to Madcap Theaters for just two shows next weekend. It was conceived and created by a pair of ASU theatre majors, and it features fare you’ll have a hard time finding elsewhere — including a work from “A Very Potter Musical.”

“It’s a Musical Showcase” includes 14 songs, but only the first of two acts is dubbed “family friendly” so parents concerned about such things can opt for having the kids leave at intermission. Featured shows include “Chicago,” “Rent,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Wicked,” “Spring Awakening,” “The Little Mermaid,” “Avenue Q,” “Moulin Rouge” and more.

This view of Madcap's snack bar demonstrates that perception is everything

A digital arts festival called “PLAY” comes to Madcap Theaters next month thanks to UrbanSTEW. The festival “celebrates the union of art and technology” — and this year’s theme is “disability perception.” It’ll feature music, dance, activities and exhibits exploring human limits and abilities. Special guests include Crossing 32nd Street, Dulce Dance Company and ASU’s laptop orchestra.

There's plenty of artwork to enjoy in and around Madcap Theaters in Tempe

Temple Grandin, Ph.D., a professor of animal science at Colorado State University best known to most for her advocacy on behalf of those living with autism, comes to Madcap Theaters in March for an Autism Society of Greater Phoenix event that also features Dianne Craft, M.A., CNHP, of Child Diagnostics in Denver.

Three large rabbit sculptures surround a pond near Madcap Theaters

Grandin is a proponent of neurodiversity, the author of many works (including “Animals Make Us Human” and “Animals in Translation” with co-author Catherine Johnson) and the subject of a semi-biographical film (“Temple Grandin”) starring Claire Danes that was released by HBO Films in 2010.

Mellow Mushroom near Madcap Theaters is full of art ala skateboards

Those who favor venues with diverse “off the beaten path” offerings have a friend in Madcap Theaters. A geeky friend, perhaps. But a friend nonetheless. Learn more about upcoming events, included those noted above, by visiting Madcap Theaters at www.madcaptheaters.com.

— Lynn

Note: Click here for details about the Autism Society of Greater Phoenix 13th Annual Autism/Asperger’s Conference, and here to explore Mellow Mushroom offerings.

Coming up: A trio of Tempe galleries, Hands-on history

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