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ENMU Theatre Department presents the New Mexico New Works Festival

New Mexico New Works Festival
Department of Arts
New Mexico New Works Festival

STEFFENS: Welcome to Great Arts at Eastern. I’m David Steffens, Dean of the College of Fine Arts. I’m joined today by Leonard Madrid, associate professor of theatre, and we are here today to introduce the New Mexico New Works Festival, which will be on campus Thursday, March 2nd, Friday March 3rd, Saturday March 4th all at 7:00 PM and Sunday March 5th at. 2:00 PM. These will be presented in the University Theater Center. Mainstage Theater and tickets are required through the box office. Leonard, can you tell us what- what is this New Mexico New Works festival?

MADRID: Yes. It’s a part of an exciting initiative that the Theater Department has always had about exploring and promoting new works and new voices. So, it’s 10 playwrights from New Mexico that all wrote new short plays submitted to us. We went through a rigorous process to choose them. And out of quite a few, about 30-40 scripts we ended with 10. So, there will be 10 brand new short plays by New Mexican playwrights. 1/3 of them about, well four were written by ENMU students. Two more were written by enemy alumni, and the rest were written by professional playwrights from around the state.

STEFFENS: Great. And is there a theme among these works other than being by New Mexico playwrights,

MADRID: This time around? No, we just wanted to explore the what- what our voices had to offer amongst the New Mexico playwrights. And they- they vary. There’s a- a magical realism play about a girl who’s afraid to jump rope. There’s another play about an alien from the future who’s living with a cowboy near Ghost Ranch, a lot of plays about people- young people discovering themselves. So, it runs the gamut. There’s a whole variety of plays there

STEFFENS: Are they fairly small in there in they’re cast, and I assume they can’t have wildly different tech needs given that you’re going to do 10 of them in a row.

MADRID: Exactly the most of the casts are four or below, but one of them is about 10 and it basically uses the whole all the other characters from all the other plays. And whenever you do a- a short play festival, usually it has to be incredibly modular with the pieces being used again and again and we have this one of our technical students, Ally, has just painted cubes with beautiful New Mexico landscapes and didn’t a really amazing job on that. But then we used those as modular pieces.

STEFFENS: And are these works appropriate for all ages?

MADRID: I would say keep it PG13. There are a couple pieces that are intended for- for we would call them theater for young audiences or TYA, but I would say keep it 13 and above for some of the other subject matter.

STEFFENS: Great. We’re also joined today by Israel, who’s a student in the theater program at ENMU and is participating in the festival. Welcome Israel.

ISRAEL: Thank you for having me.

STEFFENS: What- What’s your role? How are you involved, and what have you learned from this process?

ISRAEL: So, my role with this particular piece is as stage manager, so I’m doing all the backstage elements, transitioning the scenes, that sort of thing. I also directed one of the pieces, Elephant in the Room, and I also wrote one of the pieces for the show. The Youth in Our Stars.

STEFFENS: Great. So, you have a variety of roles and- and I assume your colleagues from the department are also involved in and they have some of them are acting and some of them are involved in the tech and -.


STEFFENS: -that that kind of everyone’s got different roles.

ISRAEL: Yeah, absolutely.

STEFFENS: Great. Sounds like a good learning experience all the way around.

ISRAEL: Oh, Yeah, it’s provided a lot of opportunity for the students across the board.

STEFFENS: That’s wonderful. So, one more time, the dates are Thursday, March 2nd at 7:00 PM, Friday March 3rd at 7:00 PM, Saturday March 4th at 7:00 PM and then Sunday matinee is at 2:00 PM. General admission tickets are $10, ENMU students are free with a valid student ID’s, senior citizens and I believe active military have reduced rate of $7.00 for admission and you can reach the box office (575)562-2710 for the Tickets available to the New Mexico New Works Festival and we hope to see you there.

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  • Join ENMU College of Fine Arts Dr. David Steffens each week on "Great Arts at Eastern," as he interviews artists, actors, entertainers and musicians about their craft and events they produce at Eastern New Mexico University in Portales. "Great Arts at Eastern" airs once a week about 12:35 p.m. MT on Thursdays on KENW–FM.This program also is available online by clicking the title of an individual episode listed below.