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ASTC at NMSU Theatre Arts presents 'Tuck Everlasting'

The American Southwest Theatre Company at New Mexico State University Theatre Arts will present the children's classic, "Tuck Everlasting," Oct. 23 - 25, at the Hershel Zohn Theatre on the NMSU campus.

Erin McClure (left) and Mandolynn Browing (right) perform a scene from "Tuck Everlasting" opening at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, at the Hershel Zohn Theatre. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

The second production of the 2009-2010 ASTC/NMSU season, Mark J. Frattaroli adapts Natalie Babbitt's novel into a play for young audiences. The story follows young Winnie as she discovers the immortal Tuck family and decides whether she, too, should live forever.

"Tuck Everlasting is perhaps one of the best beloved children's books of all time. It presents some complex issues of the joys and curses of living forever, and whether or not you should make that decision if you could. Natalie Babbitt captured, in her award-winning story, very human and very touching insights into the challenges of being human," said Tom Smith NMSU Theatre Arts Department head and production director.

Smith leads an experienced production team including NMSU Theatre Arts faculty members Jim Billings at scenic and lighting design and David Hereford at props design. NMSU students will also fill important production roles, including Petrina Strader at costume design and Amanda Marcus as stage manager.

The cast features a number of NMSU students, including Aldo Maldonado as Tuck, Erin McClure as Winnie Foster, Mandolynn Browning as Mae Tuck, Grady Easterling as Miles Tuck, Josh Tafoya as Stranger in Yellow Suit, Alex Plante as Jesse Tuck, PJ Waggaman as Constable, and Nikka Ziemer as Grandmother Foster.

The production will also be presented for a series of performances for Las Cruces students. Smith said he is thrilled to present the play as part of ASTC's Theatre for Young Audiences Program, which is now in its 26th year.

"Almost 2,000 children will see this production and teachers will be given study guides with lesson plans and activities to incorporate into their curriculum. It's a great way ASTC at NMSU Theatre Arts partners with the community," Smith said.

"Tuck Everlasting" will be performed at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23, 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 24, and 2 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 25. Tickets are $5. For more information call the NMSU Theatre/ASTC box office at (575) 646-4515 or 1 (800) 646-ASTC.