A couple weeks ago, my wife and I made our first trip to the Wise Family Theater on the UTEP campus. One of her former students, Alejandra, is now a theater major at UTEP, focusing on production and stage management (not surprisingly, she has studiously avoided becoming my student too...). The department was in its second week of showing the play "Doubt," and as stage manager for this production, Alejandra graciously gave us tickets to see the play. I could not have been more impressed.
I'll start with the design of the posters that graced campus in the last few weeks. I'm not sure who designed them, but they literally graced our campus, making a clean, striking, and evocative visual argument advertising the event. I noticed the posters on several occasions, admiring the sparse style even before I knew of Alejandra's involvement with the production.
When we arrived the night of the play and took our seats, I was stunned by the design and quality of the set itself--a design which clearly echoed the impressive stylistics of the posters. I wish that I had taken my camera, or even made time to visit the next day, as the atmosphere was expertly shaped by three powerful objects suspended high above the stage: a rustic and empty doorframe to the right, a leafless and wicked tree, hanging prone to the left, and a beautiful round stained glass window in the center, shining brilliant colors on the stage at various points during the performance.
The acting was phenomenal, the story was gripping and thought-provoking, and the production, of course, was flawless. It was hard to believe that this was Alejandra's first major turn at stage direction. I am not easy to impress, and having never previously attended a production on campus, I will admit that my expectations were fairly low. I was wrong to have such an attitude. In short, the play was brilliant.
After the play, we visited with Alejandra, and she was excited to share her copy of the script with me. I was, of course, fascinated by her interaction with the document, how her writing and naming of scenes co-structured the course of the production. We are very proud to be Miners, and very proud of Alejandra. She's got a bright future...