@ The Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St.


By Gerald Sibleyras, Translated by Tom Stoppard, Directed by Larry Chandler

  • L to R: Gustave (Gorton Smith), Henri (Monte Wright) and Philippe (Doug Roby)
  • L to R: Gustave (Gorton Smith), Henri (Monte Wright) and Philippe (Doug Roby)
  • L to R: Gustave (Gorton Smith), Henri (Monte Wright) and Philippe (Doug Roby)
  • L to R: Gustave (Gorton Smith), Philippe (Doug Roby) and Henri (Monte Wright)
  • L to R: Gustave (Gorton Smith), Philippe (Doug Roby) and Henri (Monte Wright)
  • L to R: Gustave (Gorton Smith), Henri (Monte Wright) and Philippe (Doug Roby)
  • L to R: Henri (Monte Wright), Gustave (Gorton Smith), and Philippe (Doug Roby)

Oct 11-Oct 27, 2013

FRI OCT 11,18.25| 8:00 PM
SAT OCT 12, 19,26| 8:00 PM
SUN OCT 20,27| 2:30 PM
THU OCT 24 | 7:00 PM


No Strings Theatre Company presents "Heroes" by Gerald Sibleyras, translated by Tom Stoppard and directed by Larry Chandler. "Heroes" opens Friday, October 11 and runs through Sunday, October 27 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall in Las Cruces. The play, which is hilarious and moving tells of 3 old men plotting their escape from an old soldiers' home and stars Doug Roby, Gorton Smith and Monte Wright.
One might say that Gerald Sibleyras's "Heroes," translated by Tom Stoppard has elements of "The Great Escape" and "Picnic," but that would only be true if you looked at it from the characters' points of view and had it been written by Samuel Beckett.

This winner of the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy takes place on the terrace of an old soldier's home, where a trio of World War I veterans work out the ennui of their retirement. Between an eagle-eyed nurse and a stone dog statue, they mitigate their days and try to stay relevant while each pulls in a different direction that amuses and endears. The pivotal moment arrives when they decide to escape and the choice is between Indochina or the row of poplar trees that loom on the hill just beyond the rest home. The Washington Post said that this "compact [play] packs quite a dramatic punch," while The New York Times calls it "a front-line assault on [senility and] decrepitude."


Translated By
Written By


A salute to the Greatest Generation - Heroes' is a poignant, powerful work

- By Gerald M. Kane , Las Cruces Bulletin

As I write these words, our country is still in the midst of a government shutdown.

One of the most poignant scenes, captured on worldwide news footage and photographs, was how large groups of World War II veterans (some from our own community) were denied entrance into the National World War II Memorial on the National Mall because of the government shutdown.
As they would in the battles they fought 75 years ago, they stormed the barricades and demanded the National Park Service Rangers open the gates in order for them to pay their respects to their fallen colleagues, and to see with their own aging eyes how our country honored them all with towering pillars of granite and the Freedom Wall's 4,048 gold stars, each representing 100 Americans who died in the war. It is easy to understand why Tom Brokaw called these World War II vets the "Greatest Generation."

"Heroes," the current production playing on the stage of the Black Box Theatre through Sunday, Oct. 27, is a beautiful, touching testimony to the valor, strength and independence of the soldiers of this generation, as much as it is a sad commentary on the daily departure from this world of so many of these brave men and women, now in their 80s and 90s.

Originally titled "Wind in the Poplars" by French playwright Gerald Sibleyras in 2002, "Heroes" was crisply translated by award-winning playwright Tom Stoppard, who won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Comedy in London.

"Heroes" is a significant play, and I urge you to call the Black Box Theatre and order your tickets. You won't be sorry.

"Heroes" is set in a retired soldier's home somewhere in France in August 1959. It focuses on the day-to-day lives of three unique World War II veterans of varying ages and maladies who dare to dream. They devise a plot to escape from the humdrum reality they face each day on the terrace, adorned by a cement dog they often look to for non-verbal assurance and direction. In a way, the dog, like us, the audience, is witness to the events that transpire and silently takes in the humor and wisdom taking place before his and our eyes.

This sparsely decorated terrace is the veterans' respite away from the nun who serves as supervising administrator of the facility. Poignantly, it is here where they gather to wait out the end of their lives. That existence is quite a contrast from the valor they demon strated during The Great War.

How their plan to escape is formulated and carried out constitutes the sum and substance of this remarkable, often humorous, yet strangely thought provoking work.

I won't give away any spoilers, but the imagery discussed and staging at the play's ending brought tears to my aging eyes.

The hallmarks of this production are love, sensitivity, duty, honor, country and personal responsibility. It is apparent that the gentle hands of director larrychandler and assistant director Larry Fisher treated the production with respect and moved the play along with care and beauty.

The three actors in the production deserve special mention. Each one crafted his characterization with skill, wit and nuance. In doing so, they provide us with an immediate clarity of their individual idio syncrasies, weaknesses and hints of their past leadership abilities.

It is clear that this acting ensemble, Doug Roby, Gorton Smith and Monte H. Wright, will remain friends long after this production closes. Their chemistry is palpable and admirable. Bravo to all. No doubt they understood the words written by Brokaw in his iconic work: "In your pursuit of your passions, always be young. In your relationship with others, always be grown up." "Heroes" runs through Sunday, Oct. 27, at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main St. Performances will take place at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2:30 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 20 and 27, and 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 24. Tickets are $12 regular admission, $10 for students and seniors older than 65 and all seats on Thursday are $8. Season tickets (Preferred Patron Packets) for the 2013-14 season are on sale. Call the Black Box Theatre 523-1223 for reservations.


No seating plan has been posted.



We will be using our regular ticketing system for The Super Secret Improv Show #2. Seating will be limited to 33 and if there are any seats not reserved by 4 hours before the show they will be available on a first come first served basis at the door starting at 6:45. Please call the theatre first to see if there are seats available.

Our next regular production is Every Brilliant Thing. The normal ticketing system will be used but you may only select the number of seats you require and we will assign seats to comply with NM Covid requirements. The stage is 10 feet from the first row. You may request row 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 and we will do our best to honor your request. Please see the event pages for details.

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