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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State and ASTC open 2001-02 season with romantic comedy

The New Mexico State University theater department and the American Southwest Theatre Company will kick off the 2001-02 season on Sept. 28 with "The Philadelphia Story," a romantic


by Philip Barry.
"The Philadelphia Story," directed by New Mexico State alumnus Rod Mechem, is a witty story of love, marriage and class distinction during the 1930s in America. The play tells how
members of the upper class have forgotten about the simple joys of life. Tracy, the main character, is a strong-willed young woman who has divorced her first husband and is planning a second marriage to a self-made business man.

Senior Christa Popovich plays Tracy, who struggles in her relationships with three different men. Kevin Mitchell plays her fiancee George Kittredge.

The eve of the wedding is interrupted by the unexpected visit of Tracy's ex-husband, C.K. Dexter Haven, played by Jeremy Gwin, and a young tabloid reporter, played by Gavin Worth, who compete for her affection. Before the wedding, Tracy must decide what kind of life she wants for herself.

Mechem said he is excited to work with the student actors. "(They) have great energy and unharnessed power," he said. "I enjoy the challenge of finding ways to help them express
themselves artistically."

The play was a Broadway hit in 1939 starring Katharine Hepburn and made into a movie in 1940 starring Hepburn, Jimmy Stewart and Cary Grant. In 1998, the American Film Institute
named "The Philadelphia Story" as one of the 100 best American films.

Other cast members include assistant professor of theater Tom Smith as Uncle Willie and students Darin Cabot as Sandy Lord, Chevonne Cook as Elsie/May, Kevin Coyle as Seth Lord, Bradd Howard as Thomas, Kai Malachi as Edward/Mac, Jessica Settles as Dinah Lord, Diane Stern as Margaret Lord and Eleanor Wood as Liz Imbrie.

"The Philadelphia Story" runs Sept. 28 through Oct. 7. Tickets range in price from $7-12. For tickets or more information call the ASTC box office at (505) 646-4515 or toll-free at 1-800-525-ASTC.