@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.
  • 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
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    Giving Downtown a 'Chance'

Our Mission

The No Strings Theatre Company (NSTC) is a community-based non-profit organization dedicated to expanding theatre horizons in Las Cruces by:

  • Presenting contemporary or little known works overlooked by other companies in the city
  • Providing an opportunity for local playwrights to develop new works
  • Creating opportunities for Las Crucens to see less traditional theatre forms such as puppet theatre, improvisation, and performance art.

We are committed to collaborating with other theatre and arts groups in the community to develop these goals. For example, writers groups such as Sin Fronteras/Writers Without Borders sponsor new play readings. We would like to provide an opportunity for the most promising of these plays to take the next step to rehearsed readings and perhaps fully staged performances as co-productions between No Strings and the originating writers group. Many interesting theatre works start off as part of classroom projects but fail to develop further because of the high demand on performance space and time in the academic environment. No Strings would like to be able to help these students develop their work. We would also envision our theatre as a place where student actors, designers, directors, and theatre artisans can refine their craft by involvement in high quality No Strings productions. There are many other possibilities and we would be glad to entertain proposals for projects which will enrich theatre in Las Cruces.

The Black Box Theater

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.

Meet The Board

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.

Locating The Black Box theatre

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.

From El Paso and I-10 South of Las Cruces

At the I-10/I-25 interchange, stay to the left to remain on I-10. Take exit 142 (University/Valley Dr.). As you exit you will see the Ramada Palms Hotel. Pass the Ramada Palms Hotel and stay to your right when the road splits. You will now be on Main Street. Precede about 2 miles north on Main Street. Stay to the right as Main Street splits to continue north as Main or swing east to join Church Street. You will have merged onto Church Street. You will pass flashing crosswalk light at Griggs Ave. and a traffic light at Las Cruces Ave. Get into the left lane after passing Las Cruces Ave. and exit Church Street to your left into Lot 4 across from the Post Office.

From T or C and I-25 North of Las Cruces

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.

From Alamogordo and US70 East of Las Cruces

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.

From Deming and I-10 West of Las Cruces

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.