Most of my memories of high school are somewhat less than fond. That was a difficult time for me, those dark years before I blossomed into the self-confident, ravishingly handsome young man I am today. It wasn't all bad, of course. Several of my most pleasant memories from that period revolve around theater.
I played music in a high school play or two and attended almost all of them, but I never actually acted in one. I recall being amazed by the quality of student talent on display. The theater clique took their productions very seriously, and many of those young performers showed an almost unbelievable amount of skill on stage.
Here in Albuquerque, the Tricklock Company is doing what it can to cultivate the next generation of local writers and performers. Tricklock started the Manoa Project a couple years ago to give some of the most talented high school kids in the city a chance to hone their talents under the able tutelage of local professionals.
The project is divided into two parts. A writing contest solicited scripts from New Mexican student writers earlier this year. Albuquerque Academy's Sarah Berling won for her poetic, fable-like play, Murky Water.
The second aspect of the project involves the Manoa Teen Ensemble, a group composed of 10 to 15 actors from Albuquerque and surrounding towns. These performers train intensively for almost 30 hours per week for six weeks.
The ensemble will perform Murky Water, along with several shorter original solo pieces, this weekend at the Tricklock Performance Space (118 Washington SE). A special catered preview night fundraiser will be held this Thursday, July 8, at 8 p.m. Tickets are $25. Regular performances will be held Friday, July 9, and Saturday, July 10, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, July 11, at 6 p.m. $12 general, $9 students/seniors. To make reservations, call 254-8393.
The Manoa Project will also be featured in the Youth Arts Festival on Thursday, July 15, at 7 p.m. in UNM's Theatre X. Call 925-5858 for tickets.
See these kids now, so you can brag that you knew them when.