Out of Sterno continues at Black Box Theatre

Out of Sterno by Deborah Zoe Laufer and directed by Ceil Herman runs through February 12 at the Black Box Theatre.

Dotty’s life in Sterno with her husband, Hamel, is absolutely perfect. It’s a fairy tale, it really is. True, in their seven years of marriage Hamel has forbidden her to leave their tiny apartment or speak to anyone, but Dotty is so very happy to spend her days watching video re-enactments of the day they first met. When a phone call from a mysterious woman threatens to tear their world asunder, Dotty must venture out into the vast city of Sterno, and try to discover what it is to be a “real” woman.

Out of Sterno is a coming-of-age play in an Alice in Wonderland world. It explores the triumph and heartbreak of growing up and the contradictory societal pressures women face just trying to make it across town. Veteran actors Nora Thomas, Marissa Bond, Rafael Medina, and David Reyes make up the cast of this entertaining and engaging play. Lana Eckman is costume designer, Peter Herman designed lights and set, Karen Ross is stage manager, McKensie Karnes is the light board operator, and Darrel Lowry is the backstage crew.

Out of Sterno runs through Sunday, February 12. Performances are at 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. The Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. are on February 5 and 12, and there is a Thursday evening performance on February 2 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $15 regular admission and $12 for students and seniors over 65. Thursday tickets are $10. Reservations can be made by calling 523-1223

Mesilla Valley Dance Collective. Courtesy photo.
Mesilla Valley Dance Collective. Courtesy photo.
Pandora’s Box by Mesilla Valley Dance Collective
The Black Box Theatre presents the Mesilla Valley Dance Collective, a Las Cruces-based collaborative group, in the premiere performance of their ensemble piece, Pandora’s Box, which will be presented on February 25 and 26 at the Black Box Theatre.

Founded in 2012, the Mesilla Valley Dance Collective choreographs its works collaboratively and welcomes dancers of varied influences and levels of expertise, incorporating a variety of styles and influences in their approach. The collective’s founder, Jessica Trembly, returns to Las Cruces from Alamogordo to perform in Pandora’s Box as a guest artist, along with New Mexico State University graduate dance student Jeremy J. Edmonson. The ensemble dancers are Rachel Goodman, Tiana Potter, Andrea Severson, Leslie Simpkins, Miranda Williams, and creative director Morgan Rivera.

Pandora’s Box re-imagines the Greek myth of the creation of Pandora, the first woman, and a vessel that contained the evils of the world which were released when Pandora opened it out of curiosity. Ensemble member Miranda Williams was inspired to re-imagine the myth using dance, following the death of a friend from pancreatic cancer in 2016.

“When speaking with friends who were asking me how I was dealing with it, I would use the metaphor of a box with my emotions closed up in it. So long as the box is shut, I can compartmentalize my sadness and go on living life,” says Williams. “But, eventually, you have to open that box and start to process what’s inside it. That concept became the seed for this show. The collective members embraced the idea and ran with it.”

The two performances will be at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 26, at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main Street. Admission is $15 and $12 for students and seniors. For reservations and more information, call 523-1223 or visit no-strings.org.