Cover Artwork of The Call and Response Issue: an illustration of people marching
Ambassador Report: New Mexico
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Live theatre in New Mexico is on hiatus, along with the rest of the world, but has boasted a thriving theatrical scene. We look forward to its return. While we have our fair share of Shakespearean companies and those presenting other classics, we also have a healthy number of companies producing new work by local DG members. Some of these theatres are well established, while others are small independents. Many of these have a playwright at the helm. 

Santa Fe owes some of its success as a theatrical destination to the umbrella organization, Theatre Santa Fe, which supports all theatre companies, large and small. TLC (Theatre Lovers Club), an adjunct organization, hosts events bringing theatre creators and audiences together. One such event was a panel discussion of playwrights, moderated by ROSEMARY ZIBART. Theatre Santa Fe hosts an annual event to showcase the work of all its member companies. This Theatre Walk is an excellent way to build audiences and encourage new theatre goers to become regulars. It also offers the companies owned by playwrights an opportunity to present new work, which is what Rosemary Zibart of Z Productions did this past year, with I Told Her. Dale Dunn of Just Say It Theater presented Gun Play, and Blue Raven Theatre premiered my Race Day. Almost Adult’s AARON LEVENTMAN presented Blanche in a Wheelchair, which was included in Samuel French’s OOB Festival and the Secret Theatre’s festival in Long Island City. Aaron’s The Boy was recorded for the Theatre in My Pajamas Festival in Vermont and Late Reunion for The Write Hour Podcast in the UK. 

 Blue Raven Theatre recently presented my plays, Perfect Love, followed by Demons of the Mind, and has also hosted a new play festival by local female playwrights, called the Fearless Female Voices Festival. This included plays by LESLIE DILLEN, Dale Dunn, KITA MEHAFFY, Rosemary Zibart, and me. I recently co-wrote 75 New Monologues Kids Will Love!, with JOYCE STOREY, published by MonologuesToGo.

Leslie Dillen’s The Avalanche was to have received its world premiere with Just Say It Theater, now scheduled for 2021. It was also a semi-finalist in the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Festival this year. Leslie’s Benji 53 is part of the New Mexico Actors Lab YouTube festival this summer. 

Dale Dunn’s The Big Heartless was first read at El Teatro Paraguas (Santa Fe) in 2017, and was part of the Santa Fe Playhouse’s City Different Festival later that year. It received a workshop production at Relative Theatrics in Laramie, Wyoming in 2018 and had its full production premiere at the Warehouse 21 (Santa Fe) in March, 2019, produced by Just Say It Theater in collaboration with the New Mexico School for the Arts. Dale’s 10-minute Gun Play was a winner of the Fusion Theatre’s 10-Minute Play Festival, The Seven, (Albuquerque). It was also included in the Samuel French OOB Festival in New York in 2019 and picked up by the ‘Tout Tout Court Festival in Montreal, as well as being recorded for The American Playbook podcast. 

The Santa Fe Playhouse (oldest continuously running theatre west of the Mississippi) has produced one New Mexican premiere every year. Most recently that was Fight Plan by MARGUERITE LOUISE SCOTT, followed by No Number Home by TENCHA AVILA.

Aux Dog Theatre in Albuquerque recently premiered ANDY MAYO’s Blood and Water. Andy has also benefited many local DG members through his play-reading series, run through the Aux Dog as their project director.

Many New Mexican theatres have been presenting local plays read on Zoom until we can get back to our live audiences once again.