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ASTC at NMSU Theatre Arts presents 'The Eurydice Project'

The American Southwest Theatre Company at New Mexico State University Theatre Arts presents the fourth production of the 2009-2010 ASTC/NMSU season, "The Eurydice Project," running Feb. 19 through March 7, at the Hershel Zohn Theatre on the NMSU campus.

Based on the mythological tale of Orpheus and Eurydice, in which Orpheus must travel to the underworld to save his beloved, "The Eurydice Project" presents one of the greatest love stories ever told.

"The Eurydice Project" represents a new and exciting challenge for ASTC and NMSU Theatre Arts.

"Our goal is to create theatre from a story, rather than a script. We're using the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice as the leaping off point and as a company we're creating not just the sets, costumes, sound, lights and props, but also the dialogue, characters and plot. We aren't merely interpreting a play, but we are actively creating it. Las Cruces audiences will experience a production that has never been produced before, anywhere," said director Tom Smith.

Smith, head of the NMSU Department of Theatre Arts, leads an experienced production team into a new world of discovery. NMSU Theatre Arts faculty members take important design and production roles, including Jim Billings (scenery and lighting designer), Deb Brunson (costume designer), David Hereford (props designer) and Mike Wise (stage manager). NMSU Theatre Arts student Erica Powell will also design lights.

The cast features a number of talented NMSU students including Elyse Francis as Ophelia, Annabelle Lyttle as Eurydice, Natasha Sanchez as Sophia, Nikki Acosta as Hypatia, Erin McClure as Isodora, Roxanna De Luna as Zoe, Jessica Thierry as Maia, Kiera Quinn as Persephone, Ben Adams as Orpheus, Trevor Hodgkins as Aristaeus and Sean Dolan as Philandros.

Smith believes the story is very "relevant today because it deals not just with the idea of fighting to win your love, but also to keep your love. We've all heard stories where the characters live happily ever after, but 'The Eurydice Project' explores how people sometimes have to struggle to stay together when presented with monumental obstacles."

"The Eurydice Project" will be performed Feb. 19 through March 7. Thursday performances begin at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday performances at 8 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. For more information call the NMSU Theatre/ASTC box office at (575) 646-4515 or 1 (800) 646-ASTC.