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

A Place With the Pigs

By Athol Fugard

  • Pavel Navrotsky played by Santino Jiminez and Praskovya Navrotsky played by Kelli Denney. Photo courtesy of Jim Billings
  • Pavel Navrotsky played by Santino Jiminez. Photo courtesy of Jim Billings
  • Pavel Navrotsky played by Santino Jiminez and Praskovya Navrotsky played by Kelli Denney. Photo courtesy of Jim Billings
  • Pavel Navrotsky played by Santino Jiminez and Praskovya Navrotsky played by Kelli Denney. Photo courtesy of Jim Billings

Jun 15-Jun 24, 2001

FRI JUN 15,22 | 8:00 PM
SAT JUN 16,23 | 8:00 PM
SUN JUN 17 | 7:00 PM
SUN JUN 24 | 2:30 PM
THRS JUN 21 | 7:00 PM

* A sign language interpretor will be available JUN 16



Pavel Navrotsky
Praskovya Navrotsky
Set Design


'A Place With the Pigs' deserves a thoughtful audience
- By Cheryl Thornburg, Sun News C-3 [Friday, June 15, 2001]

No Strings Theatre company has done it again. In bringing the little-known Athol Fugard play "A Place With the Pigs" to Las Cruces theatregoers, founders Ceil and Peter Herman and director Claudia Billings have given Las Crucens the opportunity to expand their horizons and plumb the depths and breadths of the human soul.

The play is based on the true story of a World War II soldier, Pavel Navrotsky, who deserted from the Soviet army and hid out for 41 years. His hiding place is his pigsty and his only contact with the outside world is his stoic and loyal wife, Praskovya.

The play begins 10 years after World War II has ended, and Pavel has decided to come out of his self-imposed exile and announce that he is alive. The village is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of the end of the war and present his wife with a posthumous medal in his honor, and Pavel cannot go through with his plan.

He decided to remain in the pigsty.

The play can be interpreted in many ways - as a statement about freedom and courage or on a more personal level as an individual battling with his inner demons.

Over the years, Pavel struggles to overcome his fear and face up to what he has done, while his wife tries to support him as best she can; but she, too, is imprisoned by his actions and is forced to lie to her neighbors.

In the No Strings production, Santino Jimenez plays Pavel and Kelli Denney plays his wife, Praskovya. Both young actors are theatre arts majors at New Mexico State University and demonstrate an understanding of their characters well beyond their years.

Jimenez has a powerful voice and in scenes where Pavel unleashes his anger, Denney and the audience flinch at the intensity of his rantings.

Denney is convincing as the long-suffering wife who obviously loves Pavel, but is unable to help him out of his emotional and physical prison.

The interaction of the two is believable and at times uncomfortable as emotions run high. The play is thought-provoking and complex and well worth the ticket price for those who like their theatre with an intellectual edge.

The play does contain a few four-letter words, but not gratuitous foul language as contained in so many contemporary plays and movies.

Director Claudia Billings is a professor of Theatre arts at NMSU. She has drawn some fine performances from these two young actors.

The set, designed by Jim Billings, effectively creates Pavel's dire surroundings with remarkably selective detail in a relatively minimalist set.

"A Place With the Pigs" runs through June 24 at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N Downtown Mall. Remaining performance dates and times are Fridays and Saturdays, June 15, 16, 22, and 23 at 8 p.m., Thursday, June 21 and Sunday June 17 at 7 p.m. and a final matinee performance on Sunday, June 24 at 2:30 p.m. A sign language interpretor will be available at the Saturday. June 16 performance.

Ticket prices are $7 regular admission and $6 students and seniors over 65. Thursday nights are bargain nights with all seats $5. For reservations call (505)-523-1223 or online at www.zianet.com/nstcbbt.


No seating plan has been posted.


Our next production is Animal Tales 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. You may request row 1, 2, 3, or 4 and we will do our best to honor your request. Please see the event pages for details.

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