Southwest Shakespeare Needs Help to Rise from the Ashes

by Michael Eddy

On Saturday, June 17, a fire destroyed Mesa, AZ-based Southwest Shakespeare Company's (SSC) production warehouse. Fortunately, no one was injured, but 23 years of stored materials and tools were lost in the fire. A GoFundMe page has been created to help raise funds to help rebuild. Alternatively, if any theater companies or theater artisans have extra props, costumes, or equipment that they don't need, consider reaching out to them to help. SSC opens their new season on September 8, with The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged).

Among the losses are hundreds of costumes and accessories from every century; everything from Anthony and Cleopatra to Blythe Spirit were lost. As were power tools, staple guns, screw drivers, drills, saws, welding equipment, ladders, wrenches and hand tools, building materials, along with rigging, lighting and sound equipment. Set pieces and props like books, glasses, tea sets, crowns, lamps, foliage, etc. were lost. All types of furniture need to be replaced: chaise lounges, love seats, sofas, chairs, benches, upholstered pieces, tables, cocktail tables, side tables, end tables... The list goes on and on.

Like a phoenix, SSC will rise bigger and better than ever! #shakespearerising

A GoFundMe page has been set up to accept donations to help the theater company rebuild. They have a goal of $20,000 of which they are currently closing in on $13,000. Donations of any amount are greatly appreciated; every cent will help the company rebuild. To make a donation, you can go to:

For further information from Southwest Shakespeare Company: