Sign on the Downtown Mall. Photo by Bob Peticolas.
View of front door and courtyard through side window of wall. Photo by Bob Peticolas.
View of the wall, leading into the courtyard. Photo by Bob Peticolas.
View from the parking lot. Photo by Bob Peticolas.
The String Cutting: Ceil Herman welcoming the guests.
The String Cutting: Ceil cutting the Swedish ribbon sent by the lab where she sabbaticaled in 1995.
Early Construction: Ceil posing by the ditch witch excavator used to trench the footings and plumbing trenches
Early Walls: The Styrofoam Reward Wall System block forms being set in place
Early Walls: Filling the forms with concrete
Partially Done! The Roof parapet being framed in
Early Interior Work: Installing sheet rock on the wall between the theatre and the lobby. Pictured from the theatre side
Scratch Coat Stucco: The parking lot (east) side of the building
Scratch Coat Stucco: The Downtown Mall (west) side of the building
NSTC Video Brochure
Giving Downtown a 'Chance'
The No Strings Theatre Company (NSTC) is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to expanding theatre horizons in Las Cruces by:
The Black Box Theatre was built as a home for The No Strings Theatre Company in 2000. Construction began on February 9, 2000.
Rather than having a ground breaking, we had a string cutting where local friends of the theatre came, tied strings to the chain link
fence surrounding the building site on the Downtown Mall and then ceremoniously cut them. Out of town friends sent strings from as far
away as Sweden to be cut as part of the ceremony. After many delays, the theatre opened with its first production, Edward Albee's
Seascape on September 15, 2000.
Ceil Ann Herman, President
Ceil Herman is Artistic Director of No Strings Theatre Company where she directed Seascape, The Heidi Chronicles, 3 of Robert Patrick's Cheep Theatrics, A Kind of Alaska, The Lonesome West, Invisible Friends, Collected Stories, Gray, Broadway Bound, Here and The Turn of the Screw. She has been Producer for all NSTC plays since the opening of the Black Box Theatre. She directed PVT Wars, Beautiful Down Here, Squirrels, and Alien Boy at Las Cruces Community Theatre's One Act Play Festivals and Private Eyes and the award-winning Jake's Women. She also directed a rehearsed reading of Medina Ohio, 1965 for Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders, Feeding the Moonfish, Ghost World, The Battle of Bull Run Always Makes Me Cry, The Wax Museum, Killers Head, and Cowboy Mouth in the Hershel Zohn Attic Theatre, and A Coupla White Chicks Sitting Around Talking for EdenView Productions. She was Assistant Director and Sound Designer for American Southwest Theatre Company's The Snow Queen and directed Feiffer's People and Marguerita's Secret Diary for A Children's Theatre. Ceil holds a Ph.D. in Biology and was a faculty member at NMSU since1979, retiring in February, 2000. She won the Donald C. Roush Award for Teaching Excellence in 1991. She has formal coursework from NMSU's Department of Theatre Arts.
R. Peter Herman, Treasurer
Peter is the Resident Designer/Technical Director of the No Strings Theatre Company and a free lance designer. He has over 140 realized set, light or set and light designs. Venues for which he has designed include:: The Hershel Zohn Mainstage, three evenings of one-acts in the Hershel Zohn Attic theatre, the Las Cruces Community Theatre, the Onate Performing Arts Center, Court Youth Center as well as dinner theatres and theatre in the NMSU Student Union Club. He was the set designer for Creede (Colorado) Repertory Theatre's Ruthless. He has formal training in lighting design, scenographics, theatre production and stagecraft from NMSU's Theatre Arts Department. and was recently the stage and lighting consultant for the Mayfield High School Theatre building. Prior to retiring from the university to persue theatre full time, Peter was a member of the NMSU Biology Department where he specialized in Microbial Ecology.
Chris Mc Donald, Secretary
Chris Mc Donald graduated from the University of San Francisco in 1970 with a degree in English. Chris then worked for the next thirty-four plus years for various Department of Defense and Department of the Army agencies in the fields of counterintelligence, information assurance, and investigations. His final assignments were at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. He is the author or co-author of dozens of technical reports and presentations on computer viruses, computer network intrusions, and the survivability/vulnerability of information systems. Chris served as the project officer for the first series of computer virus experiments conducted on Army computer systems in 1984 by Fred Cohen, a USC graduate student. This seminal work influenced the National Security Agency trusted computing system development program and preceded the arrival of a commercial anti-viral software industry. Chris also played a behind-the-scenes role in the identification and eventual prosecution of the so-called "Wily Hackers" who successfully attacked dozens of defense contractor, Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, and university computer systems during the 1986-1987 timeframe. Dr. Clifford Stoll documented this first case of computer espionage in his book The Cuckoo's Egg. Chris and Mary Bochmann, his wife who was a manager at White Sands, attended their first Black Box performance in November 2000, The Heidi Chronicles. As they drove home after the show, they decided to become active Black Box volunteers when they retired in February 2003. Unfortunately Mary died in an accident in December 2000. But in the tradition of the "show must go on", Chris became a financial donor upon retirement and has now gladly accepted the responsibility to serve as a board member.
The Black Box theatre
430 N. Main St.
Las Cruces NM 88001
Main Street is now fully open! There is limited parallel parking on Main and you may park there and enter the theatre through the courtyard. The easiest place to park is still city lot #4 on the west side of Church Street across from the main Post Office.
Proceed south to exit 6 (US 70/Las Cruces/Alamogordo). Stay to the right when exiting and go south about 2 miles on Main Street. Stay left and turn left on Picacho in front of Branigan Library. Take the first right onto Campo. Turn right on Hadley (the first through street) and you will see Lot 4 and the theatre directly in front of you.
Proceed south/west on US70 until it becomes Main Street at I-25. Continue south about 2 miles on Main Street. Stay left and turn left on Picacho in front of Branigan Library. Take the first right onto Campo. Turn right on Hadley (the first through street) and you will see Lot 4 and the theatre directly in front of you.
Exit I-10 at Exit 135 (US 70 East/W. Picacho Ave.) and proceed east on Picacho. You will cross the Rio Grande about 4 miles east of the interstate. Cross over Main street on Picacho passing the Branigan Library on your right. Take the first right onto Campo. Turn right on Hadley (the first through street) and you will see Lot 4 and the theatre directly in front of you.