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Member, Texas Tech University System The Princeton Review - 373 Best Colleges, 2011 Edition

October 2006

Release Date: October 3 , 2006

ASU Theatre Tackles Contemporary Drama in 'Necessary Targets'

Angelo State University will offer theatergoers a dramatic look at the horrors of civil war and the enduring resilience of the human spirit with the groundbreaking play "Necessary Targets" Oct. 13-15 and 20-21.

Shows are scheduled for 8 p.m. Oct. 13-14 and 20-21 and at 2 p.m. Oct. 15 in the ASU Auditorium in the ASU Administration Building, 2601 W. Ave N. Ticket prices are $8 for adults, $4 for non-ASU students and ASU activity card holders, and $3 for ASU students and Arts at ASU subscribers. As an audience advisory, "Necessary Targets" contains adult subject matter.

"Necessary Targets" tells the story of two American women, a Park Avenue psychiatrist and a human rights worker, who go to Bosnia to help women refugees confront their memories of war. It is based on interviews conducted by award-winning author Eve Ensler with women who survived the civil war in the former Yugoslavia.

Melissa, an ambitious young writer, and J.S., a successful but unsatisfied middle-aged psychiatrist, have nothing in common but the methods they use to distance themselves from their subjects. As J.S. begins to feel compassion for the women whose tragedies she has been sent to expose, she turns on Melissa, who finds safety in control. In an unexpected moment of revelation, J.S. and the women she is supposedly treating find a common ground, a place to be taught and a place to learn. Both J.S. and Melissa emerge deeply changed as they confront their own fears in the face of violence and war.

"With the situation in the Sudan, the atrocities and ethnic cleansing, there is a current events parallel here," said James Worley, the play's director and an assistant drama professor. "It deals with serious subject matter, but does have some wonderfully rich moments of comedy and offers challenging, strong roles for women."

Benita Villeda, a junior communications major from San Angelo, portrays J.S. Her previous ASU performances include "Con Mis Manos" and "West Side Story." She has also been performing at the Angelo Civic Theatre since she was 15 and currently works for Ram TV.

Sophomore drama major Kelsey Davis of Pflugerville will portray Melissa. Her previous ASU theater experience includes acting in "Proposals" and stage managing "Romantic Comedy." Other characters will be played by ASU students Megan Reeves (Jelena), Mica McCook (Azra), Domonique Stephens (Zlata), Brandi Knebal (Nuna) and Alyssia Monique Rivera (Seada).

Worley is himself a product of the ASU drama program and has led a varied career that includes two years as a professional designer, stage manager and technician in New York at such institutions as the Juilliard School of Drama, the Roundabout Theatre Company and Daedalus Professional Tours. He has also served as technical director, resident designer and artistic director at the Angelo Civic Theatre and as technical director for Southwest Studios Inc. in Dallas. Worley has directed more than 30 productions at ASU.

"We're here in West Texas where it's predominantly conservative," said Worley. "We had to find a play that entertains our audience and, at the same time, is a contemporary work that offers our students an opportunity to grow."

"Necessary Targets" is a memorable play about women and war and is Ensler's first new work since her Obie winning hit "The Vagina Monologues." The new play has been read in New York by Meryl Streep, Anjelica Huston and Calista Flockhart and performed in Sarajevo with Glenn Close and Marisa Tomei.

It is also ASU's entry in the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. The festival honors excellence of overall production and offers student artists individual recognition through awards and scholarships in playwriting, acting, criticism, directing and design.

Tickets are on sale in the ASU box office. The box office is open from 2-6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and is located in the Carr Education-Fine Arts Building on the ASU campus. For reservations, call 942-2000.

For more information on the production and cast, contact Worley with the ASU drama program at 942-2146, Ext. 241.