The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

By Betty Williamson
Local columnist 

ENMU production will benefit hospital


May 1, 2019

When an upcoming weekend is as busy as this one (seriously, check out the events calendar for the next few days), I especially appreciate a two-for-one opportunity.

The Roosevelt General Hospital Foundation and Eastern New Mexico University’s Department of Theater and Digital Filmmaking are teaming up to offer just that.

The Pulitzer-prize winning play, “Wit,” by Margaret Edson opens at 7 p.m. Thursday on the Main Stage of the University Theater Center, and $2 of each of the $7 general admission tickets will be donated to the RGH Foundation, according to director Anne Beck.

“Their outreach in the Portales community echoes a theme of the play,” Beck said. “That is, we are interconnected and faced with difficult, devastating circumstances, and others come to our aid. And with a little humor and love we somehow get through it.”

Mary Ayala, dean of ENMU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and a member of the RGH Foundation board, said this is a win-win situation for the theater and the foundation.

“The theatre would love to have more seats filled … it’s on the Main Stage…,” she said, “and the foundation is always looking for ways to do helpful things for the hospital and its patients.”

Ayala said the RGH Foundation provides some important behind-the-scenes support for our local hospital.

“We don’t make any administrative decisions,” she said. “We just help them improve care in this community.”

Foundation projects have included redecoration of the mammogram suite, new privacy curtains for the emergency room, remodeled rooms for the mental health nurses, furnishings for the Arise sexual assault services facilities, and physical therapy equipment.

“We try to do things for patients that the hospital can’t afford, and are on the wish lists for various departments,” Ayala said.

Beck describes “Wit” as “serious, but also comforting.”

It’s the story of English professor Vivian Bearing, who is in stage four of ovarian cancer.

“The play is about her treatment at the university hospital and her reflections on her life that she muses about during the play,” Beck said. “Some scenes dramatize past events similar to ‘A Christmas Carol.’”

The 70-minute one-act play includes “funny moments and a quick pace as scenes transition from past to present to hospital,” Beck said.

There are three ways to secure tickets for this production. You may call the ENMU Box Office at 575-562-2711 during regular work hours, you may show up at the door for any of the four scheduled performances (7 p.m. Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and 2 p.m. Sunday), or you may buy a ticket good for any performance by contacting Jeanette Orrantia at Roosevelt General Hospital (575-226-6669 or [email protected]) or any RGH Foundation board member.

The cast is led by graduating senior Kay Ewing of Carlsbad, but Beck said, “The play is really an ensemble of eight actors, five of whom play more than one role. These actors include one freshman, two sophomores, and four juniors. I love that they are getting a chance to work on a challenging piece with guts and gusto.”

The film version of “Wit” is rated PG-13, and Beck said there will be a notice on the box office window that informs audiences about the serious situations explored in the play.

“No curse words,” she noted, “but serious subject matter … a very human play.”

Sounds like this will be one event well worth squeezing into the packed weekend calendar.

Betty Williamson loves good plays and good causes. Reach her at:

[email protected]


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