Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
Reporter: Helen Carroll
PORTALES—The Diversity Festival at EasternNew Mexico University in Portales is gearing up for its 8th season onOct. 5–8. An annual event each fall, the theme this year is "TheCondition of Being Different" and features four one-act plays with fouror fewer characters. The plays range in length from 10 to 20 minutes.
Thepurpose of the Diversity Festival is to open the door to conversationabout being different. This can range from very personal issues such asdisability, race, sexual orientation, ethnicity and religion to moreglobal topics such as politics, animal rights, famine andeco-terrorism. This year's topics include communication between thesexes, religious tolerance, racial tensions between Anglos andMexican-Americans and feminist concerns.
Thefestival is student driven. For example, all four playwrights arestudents, as well as all of the actors, and three of the four directorsare students as well. Another interesting aspect of this year'sfestival is that all the playwrights are women, as well as almost allof the characters.
"Nothing in thefestival is 'in-your-face,'" says Dr. Anne Beck, assistant professor ofTheatre and Diversity Festival coordinator. "The language and sexualcontent is very PG, and there is no violence."
Accordingto Beck, one of the plays has been selected to compete in the AmericanCollegiate Theatre Festival in Commerce, Texas, in November. Winnersfrom that festival will then continue on to a national competition inWashington, D.C., that will be held at the Kennedy Center.
TheDiversity Festival runs from Oct. 5–8 in the Studio Theatre. Curtaintime is 8 p.m. and all tickets are $3. The names of each play is asfollows:
Something's Amuck by Jamie Barnes
Beans by Aleka Garcia
Binding Off by Jamie Barnes
Strong Suit by Jennae Pinnell
The entire evening runs approximately 90 minutes, including a 10-minute intermission.
Becksays, "In today's society, it is so important to promote tolerance andraise awareness, because tolerance and awareness of the world around usdoes lead to sensitivity."
For more information, call 505.562.2710.