Arizona Theatre Company
The mission of the Arizona Theatre Company is to inspire, engage and entertain Arizonans – one moment, one production, and one audience at a time. The Company is the State Theatre, with the largest subscriber base of any performing arts organization in Arizona. More than 130,000 people each year attend performances at the historic Temple of Music and Art in Tucson, and the elegant Herberger Theater Center in downtown Phoenix. Each season of high-quality productions reflects the rich variety of world theatre – from classic to contemporary plays, from musicals to new works. Live theatre productions are augmented by outreach programs, educational opportunities, access initiatives, and community events. With more than 800 Education & Engagement activities in schools and summer programs, ATC focuses on teaching Arizona’s youth about the creative power of dramatic literature and how it can enrich their own lives in multiple ways.
Managing Director Geri Wright was recruited in January, 2020, to turn around an organization that had experienced what she calls “decades of challenging times,” including a payroll system for over 100 employees that was still being done by hand. YPTC had also just been brought on board at this critical time so Wright and YPTC Associate Mike Sitowitz quickly became partners in a massive restructuring.
Two months later, the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “What started out as a turnaround became a crisis,” Wright recalls. “But Mike has been my godsend. He is, by all accounts, my CFO. He goes with me to finance committee and board meetings, and the board has 110% confidence in his abilities. He’s phenomenal. Because of Mike I don’t have to hire a CFO.”
Working in two cities, the company’s financial model is complicated, and Sitowitz has been invaluable in helping the restructuring. “And we’re not talking about a little restructure,” Wright says. “Mike has helped me look for efficiencies and how to streamline our processes and make sure checks and balances are in place so we’re doing things the right way. Our structure is now sound thanks to Mike’s help.
“I can’t say enough good things about the caliber of the people YPTC has brought in to help Arizona Theatre Company. They’re all capable and experienced professionals. And the beauty of it is that if Mike doesn’t have an answer or is unsure of something he can go to his YPTC network of colleagues to get an answer, and the turnaround is pretty fast.”