Josiah Duka

Lauren Hardcastle as Queen of Hearts

Theater Works’ daring and highly successful immersive theater experience CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER – developed in response to pandemic restrictions – was named Best Play and Best In-Person Production in the 2021 BroadwayWorld Phoenix Awards.

The Chris Hamby-directed CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER TOO won Best Direction of a Musical and Best Lighting Design of a Play or Musical. Jeff A. Davis was the lighting designer.

The 2021 Regional Awards honor productions which had their first performance between Oct. 1, 2020 through Sept. 30, 2021. The Regional Awards are the largest theater audience awards, with more than 100 cities worldwide participating.

Curiouser & Curiouser youtu.be

“Wow!,” said Theater Works Managing Director Cate Hinkle. “What makes these awards even more meaningful and compelling for the entire Theater Works team is that they are voted on by audiences and we know that there were tremendously creative productions by other Arizona theater companies.”

Theater Works devised CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER in the fall of 2020 as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This production, which opened on Sept. 10, 2020, was the first of its kind in Arizona and opened to sold-out performances and national attention for its innovative response to the challenges presented to theaters by the pandemic.

For the productions, all theater stages, rehearsal halls and hallways at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts were transformed into the dark and wild world of “Alice in Wonderland. ”The productions featured multi-media design, music, puppetry, dance, theater and visual art.

Jennie Rhiner as White RabbitJosiah Duka

CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER TOO opened on June 3, 2021 as an extension of the original CURIOUSER & CURIOUSER. The productions were supported by the Constance W. McMillin Trust, Thom and Shelley Gyder, FirstBank, GCON and the West Valley Art Museum.

Theater Works had hoped to add A CURIOUSER NUTCRACKER to the body of work during the recent holiday season, but because of concerns about the ongoing impact of the Delta variant in combination with the growing number of individuals infected with the Omicron variant, the company decided not to move forward.

ABOUT THEATER WORKS

Theater Works at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts is in its 37th season of providing exceptional theater to the West Valley.Theater Works is a non-profit 501(c)(3) theater of the community whose mission is to provide opportunities for children, patrons and artists to experience theater that inspires, enriches and enlightens through the experience of the performing arts with programming for every age and ability. Theater Works acts as the managing tenant for the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts which features more than 200 events a year including: live theater, music concerts, storytelling, dance, comedy, cultural events, festivals, and much more. For more information, call 623.815.7930 or visit www.theaterworks.org.For more information about Theater Works and its upcoming productions, visit www.theaterworks.org.

Photo courtesy of Michael Feinstein.

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I think it’s fair to say we all want that #fitlife, especially with Spring around the corner — as well as Gaypril on the way. Whether it’s pool season yet or not, everyone would choose to look fit over not looking fit, if they could have it with a snap of their fingers. OK, the vast majority of us would.

If you’ve met me, or have been reading my articles, you know that I live, sleep, eat and breathe fitness; it’s my heart and soul. That being said, I’m here to tell you that the concept of “fitness” is oftentimes tragically misunderstood.

Before you get too aggressive with your goal for pool season, let’s dive a bit deeper into what fitness means on the inside versus what it looks like on the outside, and common misconceptions around this concept.

1. Beware of the cultural pitfalls and misleading information around fitness.

Most of the bodies you see in the media are probably not real, they just look very convincing. As a trainer who also moonlights as a photographer and Photoshop wizard, I’m telling you that it is incredibly easy to alter pictures in materially misleading ways. Once you know the tricks of the trade, the imposters are easily spotted. But that’s not what this is about.

The point is: to the untrained eye, it can be devastatingly defeating to see such impossible standards. It seems as though the cultural pressure to look a certain way, to look perfect, has spread all the way from runway models to fitness novices with the help of smartphone apps.

The truth is that we fitness models look that cut, and that lean for only a couple days at a time. That’s it! In many cases, months or even close to a year of training, dieting and programming all go into looking like that for ONE day. Let that sink in for a second. Day to day, I am less cut, less tan and much flatter muscularly than what you see in some of my pictures. That’s just the nature of the beast. So, when you have a bad day on the scale, in the mirror or in any other scenario, remember that we’re all human and that the most legitimate photos you’re comparing yourself against were from someone’s very best day. That should help to keep things in perspective.

2. Most people want the results, without actually doing the work.

Fitness is not six pack abs, it’s not superficial, it is not temporary and it’s not an isolated phase in your life. Further, fitness is not something you do for someone else, do to spite someone else or even to impress someone else.

Fitness is confidence, toughness, dedication, coordination, power, balance, speed, strength (both literally and figuratively) and persistence in the face of all obstacles. This includes control over your attitude, your mood, your sleep, your schedule, your diet and other aspects of your life. This means getting that workout in when you least feel like it.

It’s not easy, and it’s definitely a grind that has good and bad days. You must show up and keep working on the days you’re tired, stressed, rushed, defeated, doubtful, afraid and so on. The days you actually have to overcome something instead of just checking your workout off your to-do list are the days you have the greatest opportunity to really make progress, push your body and see the most improvement.

3. Fitness is really an internal mindset. The external physique is the fringe benefit.

I’ve said this time and time again, and it might sound strange coming from such an aesthetic-focused trainer, but you are not your body. Your body is a tool, it’s a means to an end, to express your internal mindset, belief system, discipline and dedication to your workout program. Your physique will come and go. Your strength will come and go. Your abilities will wax and wane depending on what you’re training for at the time.

The outside will, and should, be always changing, but the inside is what we’re really after here. Good trainers want to train you to believe in yourself when sh*t gets hard. We want to train you to be resilient in the face of injury, obstacles and other setbacks. We want you to set ambitious goals and shoot for the moon because you can get there with smart programming and relentless will (do yourself a favor and ditch the crash diets and the photo editing software).

So, as you make your spring preparations for swimsuit season, try focusing on developing a sterling, unshakeable internal character and the muscles will come along the way, this I promise you.

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