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NMSU "Seussical" production set to open up magical world for audiences

The New Mexico State University Department of Theatre Arts and the Dona Ana Lyric Opera, in association with the American Southwest Theatre Company, will present "Seussical" Nov.17-Dec. 3 at the Hershel Zohn Theatre.


"Seussical" is a production based on the stories and characters of Dr. Seuss. The director of the play, Tom Smith, describes it as a magical and wondrous musical that is fun for the whole family. Smith said he is excited to explore the whimsical world of Dr. Seuss.

"Everyone has some kind of attachment to it," he said. "Now everyone can see characters like the Cat in the Hat, Horton and Gertrude McFuzz come to life on stage!"

As a co-production of the theater department and the Dona Ana Lyric Opera, the play features the combined talents of many of the area's best performing artists.

"I'm thrilled to join in this artistic partnership with DALO," Smith said. "By combining the best of both programs we're able to offer audiences the finest theater possible."

The show also will feature the talents of choreographer Meghan Dickerson, an NMSU theater alumnus. Dickerson has returned to NMSU from a thriving career in New York City.

"It is a treat seeing someone go off from our program, prosper in New York, and then come back as a guest artist," Smith said. "Her work benefits not only our audiences, but also our current students; she's a great example for them."

NMSU faculty from all over campus will be on hand to offer their skills to create the production. Philip Christiansen, music director, joins the team from the music department, while Jim Billings, scenic designer, and David Hereford, props designer, represent the theater department.

NMSU students also will take on important roles. Melissa Neville, stage manager; Tristan Williams, assistant stage manager; Laura Reyes, production assistant; Ryan Bochnowski lighting designer; and Jason Estala, costume designer, will all assume primary production duties.

Each "Seussical" show night also will feature a live auction as part of the action, with all proceeds benefiting the American Southwest Theatre Company.

"This is a musical event the entire family can, and will, enjoy," Smith said. "It's a wholesome and magical show for the holiday season!"

Smith said the theme of the piece is the use of imagination, and helping audiences to do just that is a large cast that highlights the best in local talent. The cast includes Philip Alvarez, Michael Anderson, Carol Ayon, Leandra Barreras, Jade Boswell, Tim Carrasco, Denise Castaneda, Sarah Cole, Jackie Coleman, Jessica Conroy, Timothy Dayne, Scott Drayer, Matthew Esqueda, Liz Haebe, Matthew Jones, LeRoy Martinez, Rebecca MacCallum, Nizhoni Meza, Dan Mulkerin, Carrie Oliver, Lissette Pimentel, Cindy Pitts, Jason Posner, Jessica Quintana, Sarah Vannest, Celia Villa, and Angela Zagone.

Ticket prices vary from $10-$15 depending on performance dates. Call the ASTC box office at (505) 646-4515 or 1-800-646-ASTC for more information.