News Column

Las Cruces theater companies unveil 2013-14 theater season

July 21, 2013


July 21--*Play synopses provided by theater companies and sources cited throughout.

LAS CRUCES >> Curtains are rising on new seasons for the "big three" Las Cruces theater companies: Las Cruces Community Theater, the American Southwest Theatre Company at New Mexico State University and Black Box Theatre/No Strings Theatre Company.

The entertainment roster will feature comedy, drama, mystery, musicals, original works and beloved classics, including new and old takes on Molliere's "Misanthrope" by two area theater companies.

Our reputation as the Broadway of the Southwest gets another boost as ASTC marks its first full season in its new home, the state-of-the art Mark and Stephanie Medoff Theatre in New Mexico State University's $37.5 milllion Center for the Performing Arts, where Tom Smith, ASTC's managing director, reports the roster "combines hilarious comedies, a Tony-winning new drama, a children's classic, a family musical and a premiere of a new work."

Las Cruces "Off-Broadway" community, continues to thrive, too, with avant-garde presentations by Lo-Fi Productions and other idie theater groups.

Boba Cafe, 1900 S. Espina St., puts on regular dinner theater cabaret and special events and premieres of original works and musical revues.

The Rio Grande Theatre will host several

theatrical presentations including traveling shows, special revues, free Every Other Tuesday presentations and annual summer Missoula Children's Theater workshops.

"We'll have lots of surprises, including some top theatrical presentations," said Kathleen Albers, director of the Dona Ana Arts Council which manages the Rio Grande Theatre.

For the second year, music theater fans will be treated to a collaboration between the Las Cruces Symphony Orchestra and its conductor, Lonnie Klein, and Tony Award-winning, Academy Award-nominated playwright Mark Medoff.

Medoff directs a 2014 production of "Annie Get Your Gun," with music by Irving Berlin, book by Dorothy and Herbert Fields, and starring Mark Womack, Jessica Medoff and Millinee Bannister. Performances will be Jan. 17, 18, 19 at Atkinson Recital Hall.

"The 'Carousel' production was an overwhelming success and we are again teaming up with Debra Knapp, Bob Diven, Diane Schutz and many other favorite local artists," Klein said.

Other special performances are presented at venues that range from area restaurants to the Pan American Center and the Las Cruces Convention Center.

NMSU Theater Arts Children's Theatre Workshop, now in its 28th year, is a summer program for kids entering grades 1 through 9, founded by NMSU professor Ruth Cantrell. For information, contact 575-646-4517,

A Children's Theatre of the Mesilla Valley (, 575-571-1413) is a local nonprofit that offers year-round theater and film training to area youth.

Starlight Children's Theatre Company of Las Cruces offers productions, too. For information, contact 575-521-7400 or e-mail

Special to the Sun-News The American Southwest Theatre Company will have its first full season in the brand new Mark and Stephanie Medoff Theatre in NMSU's Center for the Arts. (null)


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