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Great art at Eastern this week talks with Ricardo Quintana of ENMU's Department of Theatre in digita

GENTRY:  And now the season finale of Great Arts at Eastern, from the Portales campus of Eastern New Mexico University. I'm Jeff Gentry, Dean of the College of Fine Arts here on KENW, Your Public Radio Network. Today my guest is Ricardo Quintana of Eastern's Department of Theatre and Digital Filmmaking. Thank you for joining me today.

QUINTANA:  Thank you so much for having me, Doctor Gentry.

GENTRY:  So, Ricky, you chaired the season selection committee for the ENMU theatre. Anything special to announce to our listeners?

QUINTANA:  Ah yes, we have a selected a season for the following school year. We are opening off with Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward. Followed by Gruesome Playground Injuries by Rajiv Joseph. Then in the spring, we have a nice collaboration with the Department of music. We are producing Little Women, the musical. And we're closing off the season with Six Stories Tall by Marco Ramirez.

GENTRY:  Great, and these crowd-pleasing shows feature comedy in the fall. was that deliberate under, you know, 'cause we're trying to come out of COVID?

QUINTANA:  Yeah, I think we wanted everyone to have a good laugh and be welcomed back to the space.

GENTRY:  And then, in the spring, you're doing Six Stories Tall, which is a set of vignettes by Marco Ramirez. What is the connecting theme?

QUINTANA:  I think growing up, each story places a child as the heroine of each story. So it's a TYA place. So, I think audiences, specifically children are able to see themselves as the heroes of their own story.

GENTRY:  And what do we mean by TYA?

QUINTANA:  Theatre for the young audience.

GENTRY:  Great, so it seems like all of the plays are reasonably youth-friendly.

QUINTANA:  Yes, I would say so Gruesome Playground Injuries is kind of the more edger play of our season. But I think a lot of high schoolers do enjoy it. That's kind of why we picked it. And actually, a lot of high schoolers who auditioned for the theatre program here at ENMU did a monologue from the play. so-.

GENTRY:  Oh, great.

QUINTANA:  Yeah.

GENTRY:  Well, that put it on your radar if it wasn't there already, right.

QUINTANA:  Yes.

GENTRY:  OK, and Blithe Spirit by Noël Coward was adapted into Hollywood films 75 years apart, in 1945 and 2020. With that kind of longevity, would you call it a classic comedy?

QUINTANA:  I mean, indeed, its timeless keeps coming back and back again.

GENTRY:  Right, I caught the film, I think, on Netflix recently. The new film. Right, I still need to see the one with Rex Harrison. But anyway.  You guys are taking that story and bringing it to the stage in three dimensions which is great. And then you're doing a musical play, and-. So what has been your experience in the past, either as a performer or crew member on musicals?

QUINTANA:  Well, I grew up doing musicals. I mean I-. I think they're just, so fun to be in; it's a joy. It brings actors together in a really strong ensemble and community. And is just audiences to watch the magic happen on stage. That's- I fell in love with theatre through musical. So, I think that's a great introduction for people who are just seeing a show for the first time. Many people here is probably the closest thing they will get to a Broadway musical if they don't go to New York.

GENTRY:  Right, and you have Travis Sherwood and Gregory Gallagher directing. So, there's that collaboration.

QUINTANA:  Yes.

GENTRY:  And right now, I walked over to your theatre today, and it's being all torn apart. What's going on there?

QUINTANA:  We're getting a new pit that we're going to utilize for the musical. So very exciting. Our money is going-, is going to get things.

GENTRY:  Right yeah, that's really well-timed, I think. So that you can have a nice orchestra working on the play. And so, getting back to Six Stories Tall, would it properly be called a Hispanic folklore-inspired selection?

QUINTANA:  Yes, Latino folklore. A lot of people call it an urban hip-hop play. There is optional dancing if you'd like. But yeah it-. I think it brings what's good about the urban arts everything that we enjoy about it into this play. And introduce it to young people.

GENTRY:  Wonderful, thank you, Ricky Quintana, for joining me on Great Arts at Eastern. Look for season ticket sales at ENMU Theatre's Facebook page in the coming weeks. this program is now on hiatus until August, but I look forward to next week's pledge drive, where I'll share more news about the Fine Arts here on the High Plains. Thanks for listening on KENW, your Public Radio Network.

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