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Art a la Carte presents talk by playwrights Ruth Cantrell and Julio Ortiz Feb. 7

The New Mexico State University Art Gallery's lunchtime performance program, Art a la Carte, will present theater department head Ruth Cantrell and playwright Julio Ortiz discussing "Riders," a play they co-authored, from noon to 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7, at the Art Gallery.

"Riders," a new play written by Ruth Cantrell and Julio Ortiz, will be discussed at the New Mexico State University Art Gallery's next Art a la Carte Feb. 7. (NMSU Theater Logo)

The gallery is located in Williams Hall near the intersection of Solano Drive and University Avenue.

"Riders" is a one-act play written by Cantrell, who recently received a New Mexico Governor's Award for her contributions to the arts, and Ortiz, a New Mexico State theater alumnus. "Riders" parallels the lives of two mothers, Maurya, in rural Ireland circa 1900, and Maria, in the American Southwest circa 2000. Told through magical realism, folk music and dance, the play explores the cultural similarities of both women as they fight to raise their children alone. "Riders" is based on John M. Synge's "Riders to the Sea."

Cantrell said she and Ortiz began to research the similarities in the Hispanic and Celtic cultures and found that there were many. "But equally important, there was a through line in the strength of both peoples dealing with harsh surroundings. One sees that we aren't so different after all," she said.

"Riders" is made possible in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the Office of Cultural Affairs, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Stocker Foundation and Southwest Airlines.

Art a la Carte features performances from the literary, music, dance and experimental arts community. All Art a la Carte events are free and open to the public. Free parking will be provided and guests are encouraged to bring a bag lunch. For more information contact Billie Yandell at (505) 646-2545.