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Children's Theatre Workshop ends with "Improvisation!"

Eleven Las Cruces students who participated in the second Children's Theatre Workshop at New Mexico State University will showcase their new improvisational skills in "Improvisation!" at 6 p.m. Friday, July 25, at the Hershel Zohn Theatre.

From left, Neal Peckham; Tom Smith, New Mexico State University assistant theater professor; Crystal Martinez; Dale Peckham and Ben Clark prepare for Friday's "Improvisation!" showcase. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

Tom Smith, assistant professor of theater, taught the 7th-12th grade students the basics of comedy, ways to free creativity and short-form improvisational skills, similar to the improvisational comedy used on the television show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Short-form improvisation involves games with specific goals or obstacles, including "Without the Letter," in which actors must perform a scene without words that contain a specific letter and "Scene in Verse," where an entire scene is performed in rhyming couplets.

Cast members include Christina Brillante, Gabriella Brillante, Ben Clark, Matt Jameson, Crystal Martinez, Alejandra Olivas, Dale Peckham, Neal Peckham, Susan Rockstraw, Alexandra Smith and Robby Zimmerman.

The performance is free and open to the public. For more information call the Department of Theatre Arts at (505) 646-4517.