ENMU professors try hands at acting

Eastern New Mexico University faculty members will take a comic turn Saturday and Sunday as they perform sports writer turned science fiction author turned playwright Mitch Albom’s “And the Winner Is…”

The cast of six and production crew of eight have been working on the play for about three months, said the production’s director Bob Vartabedian, vice president for academic affairs at ENMU.

The faculty showcase is a relatively new event.

It started as a fun project and became more and more involved, said Vartabedian, who hopes the event will become a fairly significant fundraiser.

Monies raised from ticket sales will be split between ENMU’s scholarship fund and the “MainStreet Project’s endeavor to restore the historic Yam Theatre in downtown Portales,” according to an ENMU press release.

Intended for mature audiences, the play “tells the story of Tyler Jones, a self-obsessed movie star who is finally nominated for an Oscar, then dies the night before the awards. Outraged at his bad luck and determined to know if he wins (even though he is dead), he bargains with a heavenly gatekeeper to return to Earth for the big night. Along the way, he drags his agent, his acting rival, his bombshell girlfriend, and his ex-wife into the journey,” according to the press release. The play was selected by Vartabedian, who said he considered the casts individual talents when picking the piece.

An Academy-Award-themed reception will follow each performance, Vartabedian said.

The show will be performed in Buchanan Hall on ENMU’s campus. There are 230 available seats for each show and tickets can be purchased in advance.

Fast facts:

• What: “And the Winner Is…”
• When: 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday
• Where: Buchanan Hall, Music Building, Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.
• Tickets: $10 general admission or $5 for students.
• Information: 562-2253