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Showing of new film by Mark Medoff to raise funds for Dona Ana Lyric Opera

An advance screening of Mark Medoff's new film "Children on Their Birthdays," benefitting the Dona Ana Lyric Opera Company (DALO) at New Mexico State University, will be shown at 5 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 5, at the Allen Theatres Telshor Cinemas.



Mark Medoff gives instruction to his daughter Rachel Harrison and her husband Bobby Harrison, both Las Cruces natives, on the set of a new film, "Children on Their Birthdays," which he directed in Chicago. Tickets are now available for an advance screen..

"Children on Their Birthdays," by Truman Capote, is a story of friendship, first love and coming of age. Under the direction of Academy Award nominee and New Mexico State professor emeritus Mark Medoff, Capote's tale has been brought to the big screen.

The story takes place during the summer of 1947 in Medda, Ala., and tells the experiences of two 13-year-old boys, Billy Bob Murphy and Preacher Star, who fall in love with the same girl, Miss Lily Bobbitt.

"The film will appeal to anyone who's fallen in love for the first time," Medoff said.

The film stars Sheryl Lee, Christopher McDonald, Joe Pichler, Tania Raymonde, Jesse Plemons and Tom Arnold. Jessie Gonzalez, a 2000 graduate of New Mexico State's theater program, was Medoff's assistant on the set and Paul Quaintance, a 1991 theater graduate, has a speaking role in the film. The film also features Bobby Harrison, Jessica Medoff and Don Groves, all of whom began their voice training in New Mexico State's music department. Medoff's daughters Rachel Harrison and Debra Marks and his grandsons Kagan and Mason also are extras in the film.

"Children on Their Birthdays" won the Platinum Award for the Independent Theatrical Films Family/Children at the 2002 World Fest Houston and will not be publicly released until late August.

Deluxe tickets for the event are available for $75 and include attendance at the screening and a private dinner with members of the film's cast and production team at Medoff's home. Regular tickets for the film screening only are available for $40. Guests who purchase deluxe or regular tickets will receive a keepsake movie program.

Proceeds from this event benefit the Thelma Medoff Endowed Fund for the Dona Ana Lyric Opera. Annual income from this endowment will be used to hire guest artists to appear in DALO productions. For 14 years DALO at New Mexico State University has brought opera and musical theater to west Texas and southern New Mexico. It has produced almost 40 shows including "Rigoletto," "Don Giovanni," "South Pacific," "Sweeny Todd," "The Marriage of Figaro," "La Traviata" and "The Sound of Music." DALO has toured throughout New Mexico and the western United States and features live orchestral music. The company's 2002-2003 season begins with a production of "Annie" in August, followed by Gilbert and Sullivan's "Gondolier's" in October.

For more information or to purchase tickets, call Evelyn Linford at (505) 646-1993.

Photo is available at http://ucommphoto.nmsu.edu/newsphoto/medoff_film_set.jpg.
CUTLINE: Mark Medoff gives instruction to his daughter Rachel Harrison and her husband Bobby Harrison, both Las Cruces natives, on the set of a new film, "Children on Their Birthdays," which he directed in Chicago. Tickets are now available for an advance screening Monday, Aug. 5, at the Allen Theatres Telshor Cinemas. (Courtesy photo)

Sarah Wheeler
July 19, 2002