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NMSU theater season to include plays, storybook musical, staged readings


The New Mexico State University Theatre Department has something for everyone in its 2021-22 season. All shows will be performed at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts, 1000 E. University Ave., at the corner of University and Espina Street on the NMSU campus. Performers will be NMSU theater students and staff as well as community actors.

Here is the schedule of shows for the fall of 2021 and the spring of 2022:

  • “Fefu and Her Friends,” written by Cuban-American playwright Maria Irene Fornes (1930-2018) and directed by Theatre Department assistant professor Nichole Hamilton. The play will open Thursday, Sept. 23 and continue through Sunday, Oct. 3.

The play, which is the dramatic equivalent of a collection of poems, tells the story of seven friends who gather at Fefu’s house for a kind of reunion, explore their lives – the pain, strain, comforts and fragility of women’s experiences. After the initial scene in the living room, cast members visit the kitchen, a bedroom and a garden, with actors performing the same thing four times so the audience can see it from each different perspective.  

  • “The Thanksgiving Play” will be a staged reading of a play written by California-based Native American (Sicangu Lakota) playwright and choreographer Larissa Fasthorse. It will be directed by Theatre Department professor Claudia Billings, and will be performed Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 16-17. How does one celebrate Thanksgiving and Native American Heritage Month at the same time? That is the question facing three “woke” white thespians tasked with devising an elementary-school pageant about the first Thanksgiving while avoiding any cultural missteps.
  • “Syd, The Solstice Kid,” is the Southwest premiere of Storybook Musical Theatre (SMT) for the whole family. The adaptation is by Lani Brokman, with music and lyrics by Susan Bardsley.

In the show, Syd wants answers! Why are the days so short in December? Where does the sun go? Join Syd as he travels around the world finding answers.

  • “Mojada,” by Luis Alfaro, directed by Theatre Department associate professor Larissa Lury and performed Thursday, Feb. 17 to Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022. From www.dramatists.com: “After a harrowing journey across the U.S.-Mexico border, Medea and Jason have made it safely to the States, where they can work toward a better life for their family. While Jason is convinced the future looks bright, Medea fears a darker fate as they face the challenges of living without documentation. The play is a blending of Euripides’ classic Greek tragedy with Mexican folklore as it explores the tragedy behind America’s immigration system and the destiny of one family caught in its grip.”
  • Two staged readings will be presented Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, 2022. The NMSU Theatre Department’s High Desert Play Development Workshop, founded in 2005 as a bi-annual program that solicits new plays from 15 to 20 nationally renowned, emerging playwrights, will present new works by two playwrights in a weeklong developmental reading program in which a director, a dramaturg and actors prepare the script for a public staged reading. The workshop is currently managed by Larissa Lury.
  • Broadway Onstage, the annual Theatre Department fundraiser, will be presented by the department and the American Southwest Theatre Company, the nonprofit created by Tony-winning playwright Mark Medoff to benefit the students and staff of the Theatre Department. Broadway Onstage will feature favorites from current and past Broadway shows. It will be performed Friday and Saturday, April 29-30.

“Our students and all of the faculty/staff at NMSU are thrilled with the plans to once again open our doors to the public and provide live theater to our community,” said NMSU Theatre Department Head Wil Kilroy. “While we remained active during the Covid restrictions with numerous video presentations, nothing can compare to having performers there ‘live,’ with an audience – to hear their laughter, gasps and applause. It truly is an exchange between performers and audience and it’s been sorely missed. We will hope to celebrate with an opening-night reception for our first show with all ticket holders for that night invited to come meet the cast and crew.”

For more information, including buying season tickets, visit theatre.nmsu.edu.