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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State theater department to present "Anton in Show Business"

The New Mexico State University theater department and the American Southwest Theatre Company (ASTC) will give a hysterical backstage tour of the world of theater in Jane Martin's "Anton in Show Business" Feb. 5 through 10 at the Hershel Zohn Theatre.

very satirical look at the world of the theater," said Mike Wise, director and ASTC's new associate artistic director. Wise said directing a show that pokes fun at the thing he loves most -- theater -- has been great.

"Anton" is the story of three struggling actresses and an ill-fated production of Anton Chekhov's "Three Sisters" produced by Actor's Express, a San Antonio, Texas, theater company. After receiving their roles in very "nontraditional" manners, the three main actresses embark on a wild theatrical adventure.

Lisabette, played by New Mexico State student Jessica Settles, is a third-grade teacher who recently made her acting comeback in a community theater production of "Fiddler On The Roof." Casey, played by New Mexico State student Diane Stern, is a veteran of off-off Broadway, who has been in more than 200 productions without ever being paid. Holly, played by New Mexico State student Kristin Walcott, is a famous television star whose agent convinces her that performing in a theater production will buy her some respect and film offers.

Along the way the three actresses meet an eclectic collection of theater folks, including a country music star who plays the romantic male lead, a flamboyant costume designer, an arrogant English director and a critic who is easier on the actresses than they are on themselves.

Other cast members include Ruth Cantrell, head of the university's Department of Theatre Arts, and students Anna Lenhardt, Crescent Huhammad and Jessicalyn Robles. The set is being designed by resident designer Jim Billings and the costumes are being designed by student Sarah Burns.

Critics have called "Anton in Show Business" "hilarious, smart and even a little warped" and it was named the best play of 2001 by the American Theatre Critics Association.

New Mexico State's production will run for six performances only. For information on ticket prices and reservations, call the ASTC Box Office at (505) 646-4515.

Jan. 25, 2002