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NMSU Department of Theatre Arts partners to host Las Cruces One-Act Seminar

In partnership with New Mexico State University's theatre arts department and local theatre companies, more than 160 high school students from six schools will gather at various locations throughout the downtown area May 2 and 3 for two full days of theatrical performances and workshops.

The Las Cruces One-Act Seminar will be the first event of its kind in community history, according to event coordinator Philip Hernandez.

Sixteen of the top industry professionals from across the state will lead a total of 34 workshops, and help adjudicate the eight productions put on by the students, for a fee of $5 per student.

"An event such as this is incredibly valuable for high school students. In addition to taking workshops by local professionals, they also have the opportunity to see and share each other's work," said Tom Smith, department head for NMSU Theatre Arts, managing director of American Southwest Theatre Company and event keynote speaker. "It will help them think about theatre beyond their drama classes or school productions, preparing them for their next step."

The Las Cruces Community Theatre, in association with the American Southwest Theatre Company, Eastern New Mexico University, the Dona Ana Theatre Association and the community have united to create this dynamic theatrical education experience for regional students.

The seminar will take place in the newly renovated downtown area, with performances being held at the Las Cruces Community Theatre and workshops in surrounding museums, businesses and meeting facilities.

Students will have the opportunity to perform for other students and panelists, and will choose two workshops to attend per day in addition to attending performances and participating in their own performance. While there are other seminars of this nature in the country, due to high registration fees and travel costs, they remain inaccessible to many local high schools.

"This seminar was born out of a need to provide an accessible theatre seminar to Las Cruces high school students," Hernandez said.

Participating schools include Las Cruces High School, Mayfield High School, Gadsden High School, Centennial High School, Alma d'arte Charter School and Las Montanas Charter School.

For more information on the event, visit www.DATAnm.org.