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Wednesday, Jan 17th

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New Gallup theater troupe to teach classes, perform classics

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The Gallup Repertory Theater, in partnership with GALLUP ARTS, launches this year

The Gallup Repertory Theater, a new, non-profit theatrical ensemble, has partnered with gallupARTS and will launch in Gallup this year, bringing with it performances of plays, skits and grand entertainment.

Gallup is known for its rich arts culture, with Indian dance performances during summertime, ArtsCrawl, and numerous murals highlighting its bountiful local beauty. The upcoming performing art theater group will add yet another element to the art scene downtown.

Suzanne Hammons is the graphic designer for the Diocese of Gallup. She also serves as the artistic director and one of the four founding members for the Gallup Repertory Theater. The other founders are Leslie Farrell, literary director, Erik Pederson, production director, and Kelli Furney, education director.

“We each have different backgrounds in theater,” Hammons said. “We also have a few people who are acting ensemble for shows and few other people we call for stage management or design.”

Their mission statement promises to bring a new form of entertainment to Gallup: “Gallup Repertory Theater strives to present the very finest in performance art,” it reads. “We endeavor to build and maintain a trained ensemble of actors, artists, and designers to stage an eclectic repertoire of plays from the classics and intimate dramas to robust musicals and emerging new voices.”

NEW ART FOR GALLUP

Hammons, whom was born and raised in Gallup, earned two bachelor’s degrees in graphic design and theater at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. Her and the rest of the production staff felt that Gallup needs a performing arts theater to house new aspiring voices and artists.

“We [the production staff] feel like the community can support professional quality theater group,” Hammons said. “We want to do work that represents the community. We want to show work that are both classic and people who’ve never seen Shakespeare before or something that represents them or serves their interest.”

Hammons mentioned that, presently, the nearest places to attend professional plays are in Albuquerque or Phoenix.

“Part of our mission statement is we want to do things that challenges people, artistically. You shouldn’t have to go to Broadway [to] attend an award winning play, when originally we can do that right here,” she said.

COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

The Gallup Repertory Theater will be offering classes for adults and kids, as well as monologue and musical training as they move forward.

“We want to give back to the community as much as we [gain] from it,” Hammons said.

Since the troupe is still in the process of launching, its staff is still preparing a board for those involved or that will be involved for this new year. They are also working in different locations between the El Morro Theatre and the Gallup Cultural Center.

SCHEDULE

The Gallup Repertory Theater and the production staff encourage the community and the surrounding areas to attend future plays or to get involved.

For spring:

February: the production staff will call on people to send short plays or one acts that they will workshop and polish with you.

March and April: the production staff will have scene study and monologue classes for adults, and these two classes, plus the one-acts will be performed and shown at the first annual Gallup Performing Arts Festival on May 5 at the Gallup Cultural Center. They hope to have dance performances, a poetry slam, food, and other interesting events to see.

April 26 – May 6: The Frybread Queen by Native American playwright Carolyn Dunn, from California, will be the first play to perform for spring at the Gallup Cultural Center. Not to mention, the production staff is planning on bringing Dunn in for the weekend in May, to do talk-backs and a lecture on her career as a Native playwright, poet, and writer.

For summer:

June 11 – 30: Children’s theater classes.

June 29 & 30: Performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. $30 for the class. $40 with t-shirt and lunch included at the El Morro Theatre.

For Fall:

October 5 – 7, 12 – 14: Performances of Dr. Faustus by Christopher Marlowe at the El Morro Theatre.

For more information on Gallup’s newest artistic voices, visit Gallup Rep on Facebook, or check their website at galluprep.org

By Boderra Joe
Sun Correspondent