Stage Talk by Carol Viescas
‘Bocon’ — Los Actores presents the one-act Spanish language play by Lisa Loomer at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 27-28, La Fe Culture and Technology Center, 721 S. Ochoa. Admission: $6 ($4 age 12 and younger). Information: 820-6351, or losactores.weebly.com.
“Bocon” is the story of a young boy who flees his home in war-torn Central America to reach safety with his aunt who lives in the United States. Witnessing the violent abduction of his parents, he loses his voice. Along his way he encounters mythic characters such as La Llorona and a dastardly coyote who steals his money.
‘God of Carnage’ — Las Cruces Community Theatre, 313 N. Main in the Las Cruces Downtown Mall presents the comedy Sept. 27-Oct. 13. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets: $17 ($14 senior, student and military; $10 groups and children). Information: (575) 523-1200 or lcctnm.org.
A playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter.
Cake and non-alcoholic beverages with the cast and crew follow opening night performance Friday, Sept. 27.
Festival of Monologues — The UTEP Department of Theater & Dance in partnership with Tec de Monterrey presents an evening of monologue performances at 6 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 28, at UTEP’s Fox Fine Arts Studio Theatre. Tickets: $8. Information: 747-5118, theatredance.utep.edu or on Facebook.
‘The Wolves’ — American Southwest Theatre Company opens its season with the Sarah DeLappe Pulitzer-nominated play Sept. 26-Oct. 6 at NMSU’s Center for the Arts in Las Cruces. Directed by Nichole Hamilton. Performances are 7:30 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, plus 2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6. Preview night is 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. Tickets: $17 ($14 seniors; $10 students; $5 high school students with current I.D.) Tickets: (575) 646-4515 or nmsutheatre.com.
The story of a girls’ high school soccer team illuminates the way young selves are formed when innate character clashes with external challenges.
‘Real Women Have Curves’ — The UTEP Department of Theater & Dance presents the play by Josefina López Oct. 10-20, at UTEP’s Fox Fine Arts Wise Family Theatre. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. through Saturday, with 2:30 p.m. matinees Sunday. Directed by Adriana Dominguez. Tickets: $18; $15 alumni (with card) UTEP faculty/staff, seniors, military, non-UTEP students; $12 UTEP students and children age 4-12 (all tickets $10 for Oct. 10 performance). Information: 747-5118, theatredance.utep.edu or on Facebook.
The story of five full-figured Mexican-American women working in a tiny factory celebrates “real women’s” bodies, the power of women and the incredible bond that happens when they work together.
Playwright Josefina Lopez, will speak before the show on Oct. 10.
‘Night of the Living Dead’ — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, opens its 56th season with a new adaptation of the horror movie classic Oct. 11-27. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $15 ($12 seniors, students, military and teachers; $9 children). Information: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
Six strangers are trapped in a lonely farmhouse surrounded by zombies. Can they survive the night?
‘The Who’s Tommy’ — UTEP Dinner Theatre, in the UTEP Student Union West building, opens its season Oct. 11-27 with the musical based on the iconic rock concept album, with music and lyrics by Pete Townsend and book by Townsend and Des McAnuff. Show time is 7 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday; non-dinner matinees are Sunday 2:30 p.m. Oct. 20 and 27; dinner matinee is 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13. Tickets: $33.50 to $43.50 Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday discount dinner performances; $36.50 to $48.50 (Friday and Saturday dinner performances), and $19.50 to $29.50 no-dinner matinee performances (Ticketmaster). Information: 747-6060 or utep.edu/udt.
The story of the pinball-playing, deaf, dumb and blind boy has inspired, amazed and puzzled audiences for more than 40 years. This five-time Tony Award-winning musical’s rock score includes the classic songs “Pinball Wizard,” “Sensation,” “Acid Queen” and more. Adult subject matter and language.
Playhouse auditions — El Paso Playhouse, 2501 Montana, hosts auditions for “Miracle on 34th Street” Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 14-15. Performance dates are Dec. 6-21. Call for audition times: 532-1317 or elpasoplayhouse.com.
‘Boy Gets Girl’ — No Strings Theater Company presents the play by Rebecca Gilman, directed by Autumn Gieb, Oct. 18-Nov. 3, at Black Box Theater, 430 N. Main in Las Cruces. Showtime is 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 31. Tickets: $15 ($12 students and seniors over 65; $10 all seats Thursday). Information: (575) 523-1223 or no-strings.org.
A blind date turns into a living nightmare in this play that examines stalking, sexism and romantic pursuit.
‘The (Un)Documents’ — The UTEP Department of Theater & Dance presents the play by award-winning actor and poet Jesús I. Velles at 6 p.m. Friday, Oct. 25, at UTEP’s Fox Fine Arts Wise Family Theatre. Directed by Rudy Ramírez. Admission is free. Information: 747-5118, theatredance.utep.edu or on Facebook.
‘Curves’ playwright speaks at opening
Few good scripts exist for really top-notch all-women shows. Good comedies are even rarer. Take it from someone who used to direct or help direct UIL one-act plays for high school, where young women generally predominate in theater classes.
Paul Zindel’s “The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds” was always a favorite, as was Federico Garcia Lorca’s “The House of Bernarda Alba (La Casa de Bernarda Alba).” But both are heavy dramas.
The best scripts can make a person laugh and cry in the same story. Such a story, and a really good and timely story for this part of the country, is Josefina Lopez’s “Real Women Have Curves,” presented Oct. 10-20 by UTEP Theatre Department. Topping off the excitement, author Lopez will be there opening night to speak before the show.
“I reached out in hopes that we might be able to connect through e-mail and she has been incredibly generous with her time and talent,” said Assistant Professor Adriana Dominguez, who directs the play. “We are actually doing a Skype session as part of rehearsal. In addition to her talking before the show, she will be conducting a workshop on Oct. 11 at UTEP at 11 a.m.-1p.m. in the Studio Theatre that is open to all (first come, first served). I am so grateful that she wants to connect with our students and community.”
The show brings back a lot of good memories for Dominguez.
“This was my very first show in college; it solidified that I needed to do theatre for the rest of my life,” said Dominguez, who received her B.A. in Theatre from UTEP, her M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University, and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from New Mexico State University.
Some might be familiar with the movie made from the play, which was the launching pad for actress America Ferrera. That version was heavier on the drama and less on the comedy. But the story is essentially the same, based on author Lopez’s experiences working for her sister’s sewing factory in Los Angeles while waiting a year after she got her U.S. residency to be eligible for college financial aid.
As the author explained in her play notes: “At the factory, there were a few Latina women, all older then me. They liked working for my sister because she wasn’t stingy. We spent so much time together working, sweating and laughing, that we bonded. I remember feeling blessed that I was a woman because male bonding could never compare with what happens when women work together.”
Paola Dubrule plays aspiring student Ana. Isabelle Rivera plays Estela, her sister and factory owner. UTEP students Jenelle Villa and Larissa Reyes Arzate are cast as workers Pancha and Rosali. Rounding out the cast is 2019 UTEP grad Alexis Medina as Carmen (Ana and Estela’s mother) who, as a woman with an unfiltered mouth, gets a lot of great comedy lines. Reyes Arzate spent the summer with Lyric Repertory in Logan, Utah, in the ensemble of “Mamma Mia.” Fans of the UTEP Dinner Theatre might remember seeing Medina as Vandergelder’s hilarious “date” Ernestina in summer’s “Hello, Dolly.”
Dominguez said working with these young women has brought back the feeling she had for her first UTEP show.
“I’ve been experiencing the magic all over again, through the eyes of the students. Although we are very early in the rehearsal process, there have already been some amazing moments of power and community between the women.”
As Director of Theatre Programs and Audience Development for UTEP, Dominguez often dedicates her time to working on pieces/projects that promote diversity and inclusivity. Her most recent project was co-directing “Luna” at Del Valle High School.
She promises that “Real Women Have Curves” will “be an energy packed show full of community, energizing music, heart-felt acting, and a great flashback to the ‘80s. I hope that the audience leaves the theatre with a sense of empowerment and are pumped to take on the world.”
Carol Viescas is a veteran of
community theater and teaches
journalism at Bel Air High School.
Feature storyCopyright 2019 by Cristo Rey Communications.
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