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Third time is a definite charm for the Moon Dance Theatre Festival

June 16, 2003

WHAT: The Herberger College’s Department of Theatre at ASU announces the third annual Moon Dance Theatre Festival, a celebration of theatre by ASU students and alumni dedicated to bringing provocative and entertaining material to summer audiences. 

The festival boasts more than 50 cast and crew members, all students or alumni of ASU’s Herberger College Department of Theatre. The weeklong event, running Saturday to Saturday, features four full-length plays, two staged readings and two original comedy shows. Admission to all performances is free.
The festival was founded two years ago by playwright and alumnus AJ Morales in an effort to provide summer opportunities to both artists and audiences alike, as well as bring new voices to the Arizona stage, all at no charge. This year, Morales has passed the torch to a new pair of festival coordinators, Herberger College students Kim Beverett and Meghan Melcher. They aim to establish Moon Dance as a summer tradition for the Phoenix theatre community.

“It’s really a lot to keep track of,” says Beverett at a recent rehearsal for the comedy Fit to be Tied. “We’ll sometimes have up to four shows rehearsing at the same time. But the work’s definitely worth it.”
The line-up this year aims to trump the past two years in sheer variety, with material ranging from heavy domestic drama to off-the-wall comedy to scathing social commentary. Touting such big names as Eric Bogosian, Craig Lucas and Nicky Silver, Moon Dance directors aim to tackle difficult subject matter with the passion of years past, including AIDS, homelessness and abuse of the media.

“It’s a great joy to see Moon Dance continue in the Valley,” says Morales, now pursuing a masters degree in dramatic writing as New York University, “and I hope that it will be a summer phenomenon that will carry on for years to come.”

Moon Dance plays contain adult language and are not suitable for children. Publicity photos are available upon request.

WHEN: June 21-28, 2003. Shows run every night at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., plus special matinee and midnight performances during the closing weekend.

WHERE: The Prism Theatre, 851 E. Tyler St., in the Ritter Building on the ASU campus in Tempe (northwest corner of Terrace and Rural, just south of University Drive).


CALL: For additional information, the public access our website at or email


Saturday, June 21

7 p.m.
Fit to Be Tied

Written by Nicky Silver, directed by Justin Dero (ASU student)
Comedy. Upon news that he may have be HIV positive, a young man by the name of Arloc allows his loneliness to drive him to do something desperate— kidnap the man of his dreams. That man, however, turns out to be a narcoleptic Rockette with a penchant for stealing. Just when things couldn’t get more frenzied, Arloc’s flamboyant and out-of-control mother comes crashing bank into his life, threatening to either tear the couple apart or bring the three of them closer together. A delightfully dysfunctional look at family, sex, AIDS, and the uncertainty of love.

9 p.m.
The Bridge on 149th Street

Original work written by Mathew Keuter (ASU Student), directed by Meghan Melcher (ASU student)
Drama. Local playwright Mathew Keuter, writer of After Sunsets, offers the heartbreaking story of six homeless individuals from entirely different walks of life. Written entirely in verse, this poetic account follows their lives as they struggle to keep the only semblance of what they call home – the concrete cradle underneath the bridge on 149th street. As plans to tear the bridge down invade their small community, violence, passion and sorrow explode into their fractured lives. What makes life worth living when there’s nothing left to live for?

Sunday, June 22

7 p.m.
Pounding Nails in the Floor with my Forehead

Written by Eric Bogosian, directed by Julie Lopez (ASU alumnus)
This is a dynamic one-man show in which performer Ricky Araiza breathes life into a series of monologues penned by Bogosian. Some satiric, some poignant, Araiza adopts a handful of twisted personas, including a spaced-out drug dealer, a brash talk radio DJ and a disenchanted suburbanite teen, all working together to take the audience on a warped tour of our very warped times.

9 p.m.
The Ben and Lauren Show

Written, performed, and directed by Ben Siemon (ASU alumnus) and Lauren Henschen (ASU student)
Comedy Showcase. Two best friends lead a cast of outcasts in a comical, musical extravaganza blending fact with fiction, decaf with caf, and sketch comedy with singing, dancing, stand-up, and comic multimedia. The charismatic magnetism of these two long-time friends and comedy performers will pull you to the edge of your seats, all while laughing, crying and wanting to sing along.

Monday, June 23

7 p.m.
Fit to Be Tied

9 p.m.

A staged reading by D.C. Pierson, Directed by AJ Morales (ASU alumnus)
Comedy. In the near future, cloning isn’t just a possibility – it’s a reality. And mourning parents Ollie and Gladys can’t wait to use genetic reconstruction to get their son Skip back. But the clone of Skip himself may have a few small problems with that. Fighting to keep his now 30-year-old girlfriend a secret, dodging a press hungry genetics worker, and even reconciling with a clone descendent of the bear that killed him, will Skip ever figure out who he really was? And if he does, is that who he really wants to be?

Tuesday, June 24

7 p.m.
The Dying Gaul

Written by Craig Lucas, directed by AJ Morales (ASU alumnus)
It’s 1995, and no sooner has Robert lost his lover to AIDS than a movie producer wants to buy the story of their lives. But the more Robert compromises on the elements of the story, the more visions of his lover haunt him. When he begins to receive messages on the internet from someone claiming to be his dead lover, can he afford to believe him, or is someone playing the cruelest joke imaginable? A breathtaking look at love, loss, and betrayal, against the backdrop of subject matter spanning from Zen Buddhism to psychoanalysis to Hollywood politics, The Dying Gaul is a finely woven tapestry of human drama from the author of such other classics as Prelude to a Kiss and Reckless.

9 p.m.
Farce Side: 2 Funny 2 Furious

Written and performed by the Farce Side Comedy Hour 
Comedy Showcase. Arizona State University’s resident comedy troupe for over 15 years is back for more! The all student written, student directed comedy show has performed in Chicago and LA, but now turns its full throttle energy to the Prism stage. Boasting original material from the start to the finish line, Farce Side promises a skewed view of pop culture, college life, and maybe even the human condition (time permitting). So take grip of the wheel, shift into high gear and slam the peddle to the floor, because Farce Side is 2 Funny, 2 Furious.

Wednesday, June 25

7 p.m. 
The Bridge on 149th Street

9 p.m.
Bank Holiday

A staged reading by Tim Cox, directed by Meg Brice-Heames
Upon news that he is in line to receive half of his fathers inheritance, Tom rejects the money and mysteriously disappears, shunning every aspect of his of his former life. 
Now his brother Sean must track him down and force him to reconcile his family’s past, including the passing of his mother and his father’s alleged infidelity. A touching story of a young man’s struggle to reconnect with the family.

Thursday, June 26

7 p.m. – The Dying Gaul 
9 p.m. – Fit to be Tied
Midnight – Pounding Nails in the Ground with my Forehead

Friday, June 27

7 p.m. – Farce Side: 2 Funny 2 Furious
9 p.m. – Pounding Nails in the Ground with my Forehead
Midnight – The Ben and Lauren Show

Saturday, June 28

12 p.m. – Bank Holiday (staged reading)
2 p.m. – Skip (staged reading)
7 p.m. – Moon Dance New Plays Project

In this project, five playwrights will be given nothing but a theme and a week in which to write and stage a 10-minute play based on it. The catch is that each artist is either acting or directing in every one of the other four artists’ plays. An audience favorite two years running; by and far a unique theatre experience.

9 p.m. – The Bridge on 149th Street
Midnight The Dying Gaul

Media Contact:
Megan Krause