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NMSU Theatre Department joins movement to save small theatres


A national drive is afoot to save community theatre, and Las Cruces is in on the action.

“It is vital that we save theatres as, to me, they are a beacon of culture and communication and a means that we can use to restore connections in our country during a time where divisiveness seems to sadly be so commonplace,” said New Mexico State University Theatre Department Head Wil Kilroy. 

Kilroy signed and forwarded to New Mexico’s congressional delegation an online petition supporting the Save Our Stages Act, which would provide $10 billion in grant funds to small theatre venues across the United States. The act is before Congress.

“The theatre is where we can create stories to discover our commonality, and engender conversations amidst audience members that can educate, enlighten and unite,” Kilroy said. “Right now, we have original presentations planned for our NMSU Theatre Arts fall season, which may be virtual as required, but will give us the opportunity to address crucial issues with direct student involvement in their creation.”

“Goodness knows this is a difficult time for all live theatres, and hopefully the Save Our Stages Act, if passed, could help keep us all around once live theatres are allowed to re-open,” said Las Cruces Community Theatre Board President Janet Beatty-Payne.

“It’s estimated that without the support, 90 percent of small (500 seats or less), independent performance venues will go out of business over the next six months,” said Kathleen McDonald, publicist for the Spencer Theater for the Performing Arts in Alto, New Mexico.

 Find the petition at www.saveourstages.com.

The trade publication Pollstar was quoted on www.nivassoc.org as saying venues are forecast to lose up nearly $9 billion in revenue if they remain dark throughout the rest of 2020.

For more information, visit www.saveourstages.com.