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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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New Mexico State theater department to present "The Odyssey" for children

The New Mexico State University theater department will bring the classic Greek story of Odysseus and his adventures to life Oct. 26 and 27 in a production written for young audiences.

Tom Smith, a theater professor, has adapted Homer's epic. "The play is still Homer's 'Odyssey,' but it's funnier, livelier and much more age appropriate for family audiences," Smith said. "I've tried to bring out the important values I feel are in need of reinforcing -- honor, bravery, heroism and truthfulness. Especially where the world is right now, I feel even more strongly that 'The Odyssey' will be an entertaining as well as an educational experience for everyone."

The production, directed by New Mexico State student Kellene Reese, tells the adventures of Pete and his friends as they try to get home through a maze of monsters and sea creatures.

"The play is a bright, whimsical production that uses puppetry and zany comedy to show why using your brain is better than using your brawn," Reese said.

In addition to the public performances, "The Odyssey" will be presented to several Las Cruces public and private elementary schools in October and then in the spring will tour the Gadsden and Hatch public schools. During the last 17 years, the theater department has played to more than 90,000 public school children in Las Cruces and surrounding areas.

Funding for the production was provided by the McCune Charitable Foundation.

The public performances will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 26 and 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Oct. 27 in the Hershel Zohn Theatre on the New Mexico State campus. General admission tickets are $4 for adults and $3 for children. For more information or to reserve tickets, call (505) 646-4518.