ABOUT A CHILDREN'S THEATRE
Welcome to Our Theatre,
A Children's Theatre of the Mesilla Valley was established in 1993. We have steadily grown over the past two decades. When we first opened our doors we only offered a single, all-age, theatre class that produced only one mainstage production per year. We have since expanded our season to four mainstage productions per year fed by three separate age group theatre classes. In addition, we produce special performances throughout our season in between mainstage productions.
During our ninth season we expanded into the film industry with an all inclusive film immersion class. Students learn every aspect of film making and ultimately produce a short film at the culmination of the class.
All of our Mainstage productions are held at the Rio Grande Theatre in the Downtown Plaza. It is a beautiful theatre that fits our needs and style perfectly.
Our Philosophy and Purpose
We are a local educational theatre and film arts studio focused on the growth of children ages 3 to 18. Every student that signs up for a production class will be cast in the Mainstage Production. With us, everyone is invited.
ACT had its first meeting of the Board of Directors in August 1993. It was the brainchild of Constance (Suter) Hasapopoulos who grew up in a family – and a town – that valued live theatre. When the first public meeting for interested parents and young people occurred in September the same year, the room was packed and ACT came to life. As a result of Constance's efforts with help from community members, artists and dedicated parents, ACT was founded.
In March 1994, ACT held its first public performance, “Yippee for the Wild West”, in the Corbett Small Auditorium at New Mexico State University to a full house.
In1995, the first Summer “Theatre Camp” was held at the Mesilla Park Recreation Center and in the fall Constance wrote and directed the first “Spooktacular”, a Halloween show at the Onate High School’s Performing Arts Center.
In 2001, ACT acquired 501c3 status and the ACT Film Arts Studio opened, offering classes in Filmmaking and in Acting for Film to all middle school and high school youth.
In 2008, Constance stepped down and Kelly King stepped in to the leadership role.
Pinky Kingsley joined as a parent in 1994 and is now the Show Coordinator/Front House Manager. And Eileen Gilbert, who began her career at ACT as an audience member on field trips with her classes, is now the Technical Director.
We perform at The Rio Grande Theatre 4-6 times per year, and welcome new directors, local playwrights and enthusiastic volunteers.
In August 2019, we were able to rent our own studio space. This is where our rehearsals and classes are held. Our new space has given us opportunities to offer more workshops and classes. With the reality of the Covid-19 crisis, we have also opened classes online which we plan to continue even after we return to a more normalized studio life.