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ASTC at NMSU to present 'Seussical'

The American Southwest Theatre Company (ASTC) at New Mexico State University Theatre Arts will present the musical, "Seussical" from Nov. 20 to Dec. 6, at the Hershel Zohn Theatre on the NMSU campus.

Francesca Tharpe (left) and Carrie Klofash (right) rehearse a scene from "Seussical" opening at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at the Hershel Zohn Theatre. (NMSU photo by Darren Phillips)

"Seussical" is the third production of the 2009-2010 ASTC/NMSU season. Based on the stories and characters of Dr. Seuss, the production is a magical, wondrous musical that is fun for the whole family.

"Seussical was a huge hit for us a few years ago." says NMSU Theatre Arts professor Grace Godwin, "Since audiences enjoyed it so much, we decided to bring it back for the holiday season with a new cast and some new twists."

Director Tim Pinnow, a professor in the NMSU department of theater arts, leads a production team that includes guest artists Jennifer Lemon, serving as choreographer, and Robert Randall taking on the duties of musical director. The show will update the Seuss-inspired designs from ASTC's popular 2006 production. The work of NMSU Theatre Arts faculty members Jim Billings at scenic and lighting design and David Hereford at props design is featured, as are the whimsical costumes of former NMSU Theatre Arts student Jason Estala at costume design.

The cast features a number of talented local artists and NMSU students including Matt Jones as Horton, Carrie Oliver as the Cat in the Hat, Mandy Guitar as JoJo, Ida Holguin as Gertrude, Francesca Tharpe as Mazy, and La Sasha Aldridge as the Sour Kangaroo. Other featured performers include Kenneth Berba, Jordan Kruis, Cody Bridgers, Jack Fields, Elyse Francis, Heather Smith, Annabelle Lyttle, Jennifer Perry, Chris Rivas, Daniel Aguilar, David Driscoll, Ben Adams, Brynn Thurston, Becca Curry, Jessica Thierry, Michelle Atencio, Melissa Chambers, Krysta Snowden, Natasha Sanchez, Jordan Kelly, Fae Milner, Jennifer Hanssen, Roxanne de Luna, Erica Enriquez, Kari Bahmer and Bethany Price.

"Seussical" will also coincide with a number of ASTC events. As a way of giving back to the community, ASTC will hold its annual Toys for Tots drive. During the run, the theater asks that audience members bring a new, unwrapped toy with them to the show in order to help those in need in the Las Cruces area. Additionally, ASTC will be selling special Seuss-inspired merchandise so that families can take home some of the magic onstage. The proceeds from the sale will benefit ASTC. Finally, the opening weekend of "Seussical" coincides with ASTC's Barnes and Noble Book Fair on Nov. 21 and 22. Audiences are encouraged to join the department at the Barnes and Noble at the Mesilla Valley Mall for special readings, ticket giveaways, photo opportunities and much more. During the book fair, a portion of Barnes and Noble purchases will be donated to ASTC. Customers can print out vouchers online at http://theatre.nmsu.edu/astc/SingleVoucher.pdf and present it at the register.
"Seussical" will be performed Nov. 20 to Dec. 6, with special added performances to add to the holiday fun. Evening performances at 8 p.m. will be held on Nov. 20, 21, 27, 28, and Dec. 4 and 5. Matinees beginning at 2 p.m. will take place on Nov. 22 and 29 as well as Dec. 6. Early 7 p.m. performances will be held on Dec. 2 and 3.

For more information, call the NMSU Theatre/ASTC box office at (575) 646-4515 or (800) 646-ASTC.