The play premiered in January 2011. “Other Desert Cities” was a finalist for the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It involves a family with differing political views and a family secret.
This cast consists of three faculty members, Janeice Scarbrough, Anne Beck and Patrick McCreary, and two ENMU seniors, Chloe Rae Hammock and Chasen Cooper.
Casting is as follows: Janeice Scarbrough as Polly Wyeth, Anne Beck as Silda Grauman, Patrick McCreary as Lymann Wyeth, Chloe Rae Hammock as Brooke Wyeth and Chasen Cooper as Trip Wyeth.
According to Hammock, “Getting to work with faculty members is probably the coolest thing.”
Cooper described the play as “real, gritty and conversational.”
Both the ENMU theatre majors find the production to be one that everyone can identify with because “everyone has family drama, this is just on a larger scale and it’s captivating,” said Hammock.
“It’s one of those plays that just sucks you in,” explained Cooper.
Hammock said that this production is the perfect end cap for her time at ENMU.
This production is special because of the mix between faculty and students.
Beck said, “It’s been great. We’re all in it together. It’s different during the day when I’m their teacher and they’re my students.”
She said that Stage Manager Amy Carter and her assistant McKayla Westfall have been terrific and the overall professionalism of the production has been one of the best she’s seen.
This is Carter’s first time stage managing and she prefers the intimacy that the studio theatre allows for in the production.
“This play is very different than things we have done in the past because it is a family drama which we haven’t done in a really long time here. It’s partially a faculty recital; we have three of our professors in the play and one of our professors is acting and directing so it’s been particularly trying on them and I think it’ll be good for the other students to see their teachers act in something because it builds a camaraderie in the department,” explained Carter.
Westfall is a freshman and is excited about being in the role of assistant stage manager.
“It is a real privilege and I’m grateful to be here. I’m learning a lot. So being able to do this is mind-blowing. It’s awesome,” said Westfall.
Scarbrough has been wanting to do this play for the past few years. Actor and director in this production, she choose this particular play because she saw it on Broadway while visiting New York.
“I was entranced. There have been very few times in my audience-going life that I have literally gasped out loud at some kind of surprise of turn in the story and this play was one of them,” said Scarbrough.
She noted that they could not do this play with all students because the grown-ups had to be grown-ups.
“This is the right time to do this because there is a nice political twist to it and we are in a political season. It is set in 2004 and was written two years ago. Think about 2004, it wasn’t that much longer after 9/11, we were still in Iraq, it was Bush’s second term. It’s not a political play but a play about a family with different political views. I think right now we all have opinions and there is so much ugly dialogue going on, and I really think the audience will enjoy seeing people who have political views. But what they really have is love for their family members,” said Scarbrough.
This production contains mature themes and language.
Admission is free to ENMU students with a current ID, and $5 for general public.
For more information contact 575.562.2711.