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Live theatre returns outdoors at Black Box Theatre


 “Animal Tales” will be presented live outdoors in the courtyard of Black Box Theatre (BBT), 430 N. Main St. downtown, Saturday, April 10-Sunday, April 18.

“Animal Tales,” which is a collection of 10 short plays by Don Nigro, is directed by BBT co-owner Ceil Herman and features a cast of Debbie Jo Felix, Autumn Gieb, Edward Montes, Genno and Nancy Tafoya and Joshua and Bekah Taulbee.

“Nigro discourages animal costumes and the actors crawling on all fours, leaving it up to the talented group of actors … to create the inner life of their characters,” BBT said in a news release.

No Strings Theatre presented “Cinderella Waltz” by this playwright in 2004.

Following state regulations to be a New Mexico Safe Certified business, BBT said the actors in the production will perform 25 feet away from the audience. All cast and crew have received COVID 19 vaccinations, the theatre said. BBT has purchased a sound system to enhance the sound quality outdoors.

In one of the “Animal Tales” short plays, a group of turkeys waits outside a family’s house to be fed corn cobs, which is the highlight of their day. One turkey dreams of more for herself than corn cobs and bugs: She wants to play the saxophone, despite, as the other turkeys point out, not having lips or hands.

Feline friends Maggie and Tabby confront the audacity of life in “String Theory,” pondering why cats chase strings. For hunting practice, of course. But why hunt when there’s a food bowl? Well, it’s just what cats do.

A preacher-like baboon addresses a gathering of his fellow creatures, urging them to reject the notion that humans have evolved from baboons in “The Baboon God.”

Other “Animal Tales” plays deal with acceptance (“Platypus” and “Bat”), obsession (“Groundhog at the Window”), temptation (“The Trap”), love (“Parrots”) and faith (“In the Great Chipmunk Labyrinth” and “Waiting”).

“These short plays are absurd and entertaining, veiling thoughts on human nature with the world of animals,” BBT said. “They create a complex image of the world around us, while still being digestible and fun.

Musical selections that reflect the characters and story lines will be woven throughout the show with live musical performance at the piano by Barbara Toth.

Performances of “Animal Tales” are 8 p.m. Saturdays, April 10 and 17, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays, April 11 and 18.

Tickets are $15 regular admission and $12 students and seniors over age 65.

Seating is limited to 25 patrons at each performance.

For reservations, visit www.no-strings.org.

For more information, call (575) 523-1223.

 BBT’s thetheatregallery lobby gallery will feature animal artwork during the run of “Animal Tales” and can be viewed online at www.no-strings.org.

Participating artists are Diana Ayres, Margaret Bernstein, Christina Campbell, Rebecca Courtney, Bob Diven, Penny Duncklee, Geojeanne Feltha, Kris Karsteadt, Rosemary McLaughlin, Jan Minnow, Brenda Nevue, Josette and Ray Ponteri, Gabriele Teich, Adrian Tenorio and Saba.

Some of the artwork will be exhibited in the courtyard during the performances of “Animal Tales.”