Family Fun: A Dramatic Night Out through Live Theatre

March 26, 2019 pixelmark

“There more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy” is a quote my high school English teacher once wrote on the top of one of my essays.  

Live Theatre | Crucible performing on stage

Written by Daniel Gonzales

The quote comes from one of Shakespeare’s most famous plays, Hamlet, and has stuck with me the rest of my life. My teacher was telling me to get out of my comfort zone, do something that was challenging and different than what I usually do, try something new.

The technology that surrounds us all in this world has become so fast and so direct, that often we can lose some of the human contact that is also surrounding us.  I am not a person that looks down at all on the forward progress of technology, so long as it a tool, however, I am one that likes to put it all down for a while to enjoy the beauty that exists around me. The Organ Mountains, the beautiful desert, and of course the sunsets that are bestowed upon our Mesilla Valley are like masterpieces of all the greatest artists of all time painting simultaneously for a few fleeting minutes. Another beautiful piece of art in our great city is the live theatre that has been cultivated here in Las Cruces.

Recently, I met with three different theatres here in Las Cruces to talk about the differences and similarities between them, and what great shows they are looking to deliver the rest of the season. The next time you are looking for a remarkable and entertaining evening out with your friends or loved ones, I would like to remind Las Cruces, that there is still nothing like watching live theatre. I suggest you turn off the ringer, go have a wonderful dinner, and buy a couple of tickets to see a play you’ve never seen before or one you’ve seen twenty times performed by your fellow Las Crucens. Just go to one show, and I promise, it won’t be your last!

No Strings Theatre Company

Since the year 2000 Ceil and Peter Herman have provided the City of Las Cruces with a Black Box theatre right in the heart of downtown.  The goal of No Strings Theatre Company is to provide an experience by presenting contemporary or little-known works, as well as giving opportunities to local playwrights to develop, and give Las Cruces the chance to see less traditional theatre.

When you walk into the intimate theatre, you know right away you are in for a new experience, because the action is right in your lap.  The seats can configure in many ways, depending on the needs of the show, which is a luxury No Strings has that other theatres do not. “The audience can play a significant role in every show, because they are so close to performance,” says Herman, “It is a totally immersed experience.”

The No Strings Theatre Company has open auditions for most roles, in almost all shows, and are very inviting to the Las Cruces community for support both on the stage and behind the scenes.  They have held tours for middle and high schools’ drama clubs and offer for volunteer positions in all facets of the theatre, with little to no experience needed. All they ask is that you have a love for the theatre and some spare time.

If you so desire to get tickets, audition, become a volunteer, or become a contributor, please contact No Strings Theatre Company.

No Strings Theatre Company
430 N. Main Street
(575) 523-1223

Ticket prices are $15 dollars for regular admission, $12 for students and seniors over 65, and all Thursday shows are only $10


Alice in Wonderland
March 22-April 7
Directed by Karen Caroe

May 3- May 19
Directed by Ceil Herman

2019 Emilie: La Marquise Du Chatelet Defends Her Life Tonight
May 31-June 16
Directed by Nikka Ziemer

Live Theatre | Crucible on stage

Las Cruces Community Theatre

There is another playhouse square in the middle of downtown Las Cruces called The Las Cruces Community Theatre, that has been there since 1976. Nearly 200 Las Crucens can fit in seats to watch a wide array of shows during their season.  

“LCCT is 100% volunteers from the community,” says President Janet Beatty-Payne, “everything for the lighting to set building, to the actors and directors, we all pitch in to get the show going.” As Beatty-Payne explained, the goal of LCCT is to get the community involved as much as possible. The mix of shows will range from comedies, to dramas, musicals, and a holiday show every year that is perfect to bring the whole family to.

The Las Cruces Community Theatre really tries hard to promote all auditions and constantly wants more people to be involved in their world of theatre. “Las Cruces has so many talented people, who come tryout for a role,” Beatty Payne goes on, “and whether they get the role they want or not, more times than not, they get the bug, and keep coming back to audition for other roles.”

President Beatty-Payne went on to explain how the volunteers that paint sets or do lighting work so hard, and nothing would be possible without them. “We are blessed to have so many enthusiastic people make our shows what they are.”

Every year LCCT holds a One Act Play Festival to promote local writers, this year it will happen March 15, 16 and 17. LCCT accepts submissions from anyone and everyone in the community who wants to try to be a part of the festival.

Las Cruces Community Theatre
313 N. Main Street
(575) 523-1200

Ticket prices are $15 dollars for regular admission, $12 for military, students, and seniors, and all groups of 10 and children under 12 years old are $10. There are also the “STUDENT RUSH” tickets that are given 15 minutes prior to show time to all students for only $5.


The Crucible
February 1-17 Directed by Norman Lewis

The Mel Brooks Musical Young Frankenstein
April 25-May 12 Directed by Susie Ouderkirk

Glorius! The True Story of Florence Foster Jenkins: The Worst Singer in the World
June 7-23
Directed by Vanessa Dabovich

The Associated Students of New Mexico State University

Live Theatre | interior shot of NMSU theatre

It was 2013 that the Theatre at NMSU was moved to the beautiful building that you see on the corner of Espina and University.  This facility is beautiful both aesthetically as well as functionally. The Mark Medoff Theatre provides a venue that every seat seems to be great, with every play looking as glamourous as can be.

The actors in the shows are predominantly theatre students, but there are still open auditions to anyone on campus and even the community for some roles.  “There is so much to do for every show, “ Department Head Dr. William Kilroy comments, “we love to have volunteers from Las Cruces come out to help in any way.”

Live Theatre | exterior shot of a building

NMSU is the only theatre of the three that does have professionals working on sets, costumes, lighting, etc.… There are of course professionals teaching and mentoring the students that aspire to be professionals, so the quality of the production reflects this.  The choices of shows at NMSU range from the artistic to popular well-known plays in their season.

“We always have a reception after the show on opening night,” Kilroy says, “and after most shows the actors come to the lobby to introduce themselves.”

On March 9th, NMSU will be hosting as musical show called “Broadway on Stage” and will cost $20, which will cover refreshments, as well as many of Broadway’s best-known songs.

NMSU is also always looking for theatre loving Las Crucens to volunteer, if you are interested please contact the theater.

The Associated Students of New Mexico State University
1000 E. University
(575) 646-1420

Ticket prices are $17 dollars for regular admission, $15 for seniors over 65, $10 for kids and NMSU current student ID over 65, and $5 for all high school students with current ID.


Silent Sky
February 22- March 3
Directed by Claudia Billings

My Fair Lady
April 26-May 5
Directed by Larissa Lury

The post Family Fun: A Dramatic Night Out through Live Theatre appeared first on Neighbors magazine.

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