It took a pandemic to get the Arizona Theatre Company and the Tucson Museum of Art to join forces once again.
Nowadays, ATC is the sole art organization that makes its permanent home in the Temple of Music and Art. But back in the 1920s, when Tucson was smaller, the Temple was host to a multitude of arts, including theatrical groups that were the precursor of ATC. And the Tucson Fine Arts Association—the forebear of the TMA—was the equal of the other groups.
It “used to occupy gallery space on the second floor,” says Jeremy Mikolajzak, director of the Tucson Museum of Art, displaying art and bringing in esteemed lecturers from the likes of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Eventually the association moved on to other digs, and in 1975 built the Tucson Museum of Art and took that as its name.
Now, thanks to the pandemic, ATC and TMA are sharing some space, just as their forebears did long ago. The theatre now rents six offices in the museum’s Baker Center, while still maintaining its theatrical home in the Temple, a 15-minute walk away. Luckily, the actors won’t be rehearsing Shakespearean sword fights or other scenes in the museum. The rehearsals will still be in the Temple, in a large hall that is also useful for stashing scenery.
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