Wayland to partner with Ruidoso's Spencer Theatre

PLAINVIEW -- Wayland Baptist University theatre students will get a change of scenery next summer as part of a collaborative effort with the Spencer Theater in Ruidoso, N.M., Wayland director Dr. Marti Runnels announced recently.

“The Spencer Theater is one of the premiere facilities in this region as a performance space,” Runnels said. “People who don’t know Ruidoso or this region often don’t know it’s there.”

The collaboration will feature a production of Wayland’s 2002 show titled Art, featuring WBU technical theatre director Chris Moore and graduates Patrick Whitfill and Cory Norman. The trio will reprise their roles for the play, to be performed the weekend of June 23-24, 2006, at the Spencer.

The experience is exciting for Runnels, who has hoped to have a Wayland show in Ruidoso for years. He will direct the production as he did in 2002.

Prior to the show, Runnels and the theatre department will hold a three-week intense theatre workshop in Ruidoso for high school students from a region encompassing New Mexico, Oklahoma and Western Texas. Runnels explained the workshop will be selective, aimed at bringing in promising young theatre talent, culled through high school directors from the targeted areas.

During the workshop time, students will rehearse for a production they will perform at the end of the three weeks. They will also help build sets and provide technical assistance for the production of Art.

The experience is intended to provide intense theatrical training as well as introduce students to a variety of talent from the Ruidoso arts community. He plans to incorporate area artists into programs, including opera, theatre and visual artists.

In conjunction with the collaborative, Runnels said Wayland’s advancement department will be coordinating an alumni weekend in Ruidoso coinciding with the two show productions and including golf, shopping and visiting times. Wayland president Dr. Paul Armes will preach at a worship service during the weekend as well.

Runnels said he hopes the event will become an annual partnership with the Spencer and wants the event to draw new visitors to the impressive facility. He also sees the great potential for recruiting and exposure for the Wayland theatre department, a true win-win situation.

Season ticket supporters of Wayland theatre will have the opportunity to add the Spencer showing of Art to their season for an additional charge. Individual tickets will also be available closer to the production.

For more information on season tickets to Wayland theatre, call 291-1087.