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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New artistic director plans for exciting 2003-2004 theater season

As the new artistic director for New Mexico State University's Department of Theatre Arts and the American Southwest Theatre Company (ASTC), Michael Wise has made sure the 2003-2004 theater season has something for every theatergoer in Las Cruces.



Michael Wise is the new artistic director for New Mexico State University's Department of Theatre Arts and the American Southwest Theatre Company (ASTC). (Courtesy Photo)


Wise, who had served as associate artistic director for the past year, said he is in charge of the "art element" of the theater. Making sure that the university's, the theater artists' and the public's theater needs are met is part of his job description.

"We have to satisfy the creative talents of the people who are trying to put the season together," he said. "Then we marry that with what we think the public is going to want to see."

Wise said the theater department and ASTC's next season is exciting and touches all of the bases, from familiar plays and a children's production to classics and controversy. A theater season's lineup can start as a list of plays two pages long and it is up to Wise and his selection committee to figure out which shows are going to do the most for all parties involved.

"I'd like to feel like I serviced the community and found plays that spoke to this particular region," he said.

This season, Wise said, ASTC and the theater department would like to put more people in the seats. He said they offer a superior product and something that cannot be found anywhere else. "Theater happens once and then it's gone -- that's what makes it unique and special," he said. "You'll always see a show that nobody else will see."

The 2003-2004 season opens with "The Laramie Project" by Moises Kaufman, followed by "Africa A to Z" by Ruth Cantrell. The holiday show will be "A Christmas Carol." The second half of the season kicks off with "Of Mice and Men" by John Steinbeck. The last two plays of the season will be "What the Butler Saw" by Joe Orton and "Arcadia" by Tom Stoppard.

For more information contact Wise at (505) 646-5418.