Theater stage with wooden floor and red curtains. Vector.

“The idea of ABT was just a scribble on a bar napkin when now-cofounders and ABT producers Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake first mentioned ABT to me back in early 2000,”

Now in its 14th season, Arizona Broadway Theatre (ABT) has named Arizona State University graduate Brad York as its new director of marketing and development.

Yorke has been intimately involved with ABT since long before its opening in the West Valley in the fall of 2005.

“The idea of ABT was just a scribble on a bar napkin when now-cofounders and ABT producers Kiel and Cassandra Klaphake first mentioned ABT to me back in early 2000,” York said. “It was at a cocktail hour at their apartment in Inwood (a quaint neighborhood nestled at the top of Manhattan in New York City) when they first said, ‘We’re moving to Arizona to open a theatre.’ Nineteen years later, I could not be prouder to take on this new role knowing firsthand how far we’ve come since the idea of ABT was born.”

As ABT’s director of marketing since 2011, York has overseen the enormous growth of its popularity amongst Valley theatergoers. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Linfield College and a Master of Music degree from Arizona State University.

“Brad has brought a uniquely qualified set of skills to the table,” said Kiel Klaphake, executive producer. “It’s one thing to understand the daily principles and practices of marketing, but it’s Brad’s theatrical background — his firsthand knowledge of the shows we produce and the actors we hire — along with his personal investment in ABT and its patrons that have made Brad’s contributions to ABT and our marketing efforts extra special.”

With an annual operating budget of close to $7 million, ABT is one of Arizona’s largest nonprofit arts organizations and relies on the generous support of individual contributions and corporate sponsorships to cover operating cost beyond ticket sales. York will be tasked with overseeing both the earned and contributed income streams for the organization.

“The work we’ve done to expand the awareness of ABT and the quality of our productions to new audiences throughout the Valley of the Sun has yielded wonderful successes at the box office over the years,” York said. “Yet it remains that as ABT continues to grow, so too does the need to generate awareness and support beyond just ticket sales.

“We have so many stories to tell and new chapters to write. I’m excited to continue to foster ABT’s deep commitment to its community, which is firmly rooted in the belief that access to the theatrical arts and arts education is vital in sustaining the highest quality of life and livability for our city and region.”