Zāo is a Greek verb meaning to live, breathe, be among the living, to enjoy real life. Theatre is defined as a collaborative form of art that uses live performers to present a real or imagined event before a live audience. That is exactly what we do at Zao Theatre; we live, breathe, and enjoy real life.
Zao Theatre became a living, breathing entity in October of 2014 with our production of Neil Simon’s The Odd Couple. Shortly after that, we offered another Simon play, Barefoot in the Park. The first important hurdles for a new theatre had been achieved; actors were willing to work with us and the audience found us. Zao Theatre was alive!
In 2015 we forged ahead with the gripping drama, To Kill a Mockingbird. As soon as we closed the show, we started getting ready to move the church and theatre to our current location at Ironwood and Broadway. We are now Zao Theatre on Broadway!
As soon as we got settled on Broadway, we jumped into our very first musical offering, Godspell. With another successful production under our belt, we started looking around for plays and musicals that would fit our venue and our director's vision. We soon learned that the size of the vision was not limited by the size of the stage, which seemed to grew with each new production.
Beginning with the 2017-2018 theatre season, Zao Theatre was privileged to be eligible for nomination for the prestigious ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence. Each year after completion of an exhaustive judging process, (involving close to 100 Adjudicators) awards of excellence are presented to those individuals who have excelled in performance and production during the just-completed season. Zao Theatre was thrilled to be nominated in nine categories for it's 2017 production of Ragtime, The Musical including best over-all musical production. Zao was honored with nine nominations again in 2018 for The Elephant Man with three nominations and The Hunchback of Notre Dame with six nominations including best over-all musical production.
Under the creative leadership of five time Zoni Awarding Artistic Director, Michael E. Bryce, Zao Theatre is alive and growing with each new season. Come see one of our shows. You'll be glad you did.
A BRIEF HISTORY