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December 2003

Release Date: December 10, 2003

Student-Written ASU Play Advances in Kennedy Center Competition

Angelo State University Theatre’s production of “Con Mis Manos/With My Hands,” a full-length original play script written by ASU senior Misael Martinez, has been selected to advance to the Region VI competition of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival (KCACTF) February in Fayetteville, Ark.

ASU’s play is one of only seven productions to advance from more than 70 plays originally submitted by universities in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. The production is the only full-length original script from those states to move to the regional.

The University of Arkansas will host the festival Feb. 24-28 in the Walton Performing Arts Center. The ASU production will be performed at 12:30 p.m. Feb. 27. This is the first time since the 1984 production of Mark Cullimore’s original musical “Steakhouse” that ASU has been selected for the regional festival.

In addition to the production of “Con Mis Manos/With My Hands,” five ASU actors will participate in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition and six student designs will be presented in design contest at the festival.

ASU students entered in the Irene Ryan Acting Competition will be Jonathan Alonso, Misael Martinez, Philip de los Santos, Lynda Serna and Benita Villeda. Competing designers will be Matt Smith with two lighting designs; Lynda Serna in sound design; J.P. Landry in scenic design; Kara Hibbits in properties design; and Rachel Landry and Richard Rivas in costume design.

Dr. Bill Doll, director of University Theatre, said it is very exciting for an original student play script like Martinez’s “Con Mis Manos/With My Hands” to advance to regional in the Kennedy Center competition. Members of the KCACTF’s National Committee will review the production and the play script at the regional festival to determine if it will go on to the national festival at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts next April in Washington, D.C.

Doll said Martinez has created a family drama loaded with insight into the emotions of each of the family members affected by the illness afflicting Josephina, the mother in the family. When Josephina begins to have headaches and at times loses consciousness, the life of this fun-loving and close-knit family is turned upside down.

As Josephina’s illness progresses, she, her son David, his father Estabon and David’s younger sister Jessica are forced to face the harsh realities of life. During this crisis they all must learn in their own ways to deal with the changes in their lives, to remember their happy past and to balance social expectations with their personal dilemma.

Doll said “Con Mis Manos/With My Hands,” which has also been entered in the National Student Playwriting Competition, is a passionate and moving piece of theatre that is at one moment delightful and in the next challenging us to experience fear and sadness. Doll noted that the play would likely be presented on campus again in early February in preparation for the Kennedy Center regional festival.

Other schools with productions in the regional competition are Trinity Valley Community College, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Centenary College of Louisiana, University of Texas at El Paso, University of Central Oklahoma, Sam Houston State University and Texas Wesleyan University.