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

Shooting Star

By Steven Dietz, directed by Ceil Herman

  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe) and Elena Carson (Karen Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe)
  • (L to R): Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) and Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)
  • (L to R): Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe)

Jan 15-Jan 31, 2016

FRI JAN 15,22,29| 8:00 PM
SAT JAN 16,23,30| 8:00 PM
SUN JAN 24,31 | 2:30 PM
THRS JAN 28 | 7:00 PM


"We humans love stories. And every once in a while, if you're lucky, you see a story that stands out from all the others. Steven Dietz's Shooting Star is one of those stories. There are plenty of laughs in Dietz's humorous tale, but at every important moment, every emotional high, every startling revelation, the theatre grows utterly silent. Stories told this well don't come around very often." ~ Austin Chronicle.

Two college sweethearts who have not seen each other for many years since the break up in the '70s, meet by chance in an snowed-in airport. What follows is humorous, surprising, and touching.

Playwright's Note

In his introduction to this play, Steven Dietz says "In my youth people told me their dreams - the great things they were going to do with their lives. These were people, in some cases, that I've never seen again. And the thing is: I find that I'm still holding those people to their dreams - unwilling to let them give up on what they promised me, despite the multitude of unmet expectations in my own life. We wed the past to humor with good reason. Oh, how we used to dress! - and, god, our hair! The music we listened to! - man, what were we thinking! And with any luck, we can usually bundle up our great regrets in this same nostalgic laughter and then happily move on.Until we see that face. The person who has the goods on us: who knows exactly how close or far we came to making our life match our dreams. Reunions of this kind - the actual face-to-face variety - are typically built on laughter, remembrance, and alcohol. The one you'll see tonight is no different. Thanks for being here. Oh, and it's snowing"

Director's Note

I've had the pleasure of directing four plays previously by Steven Dietz, Private Eyes (at LCCT), and More Fun Than Bowling, Becky's New Car, and Rocket Man here at the Black Box Theatre. Shooting Star has been the most personal to me. As the play beautifully shows, it's a life-changing experience to connect with past friends who knew you when you were young. Many thanks to my great long-lost Carnegie Mellon University ('68) college friends Dr. Chuck Kelly, Laura Marcusa, Dr. Lynn Mendelsson, and Dr. Joan Morrell, who I spoke with during the rehearsal period of this play. Those wonderful conversations were extremely helpful in directing this beautiful play about younger days. And of course, huge thanks to husband/friend/partner of 47 years, Peter, who knew me both then and now.


Elena Carson
Reed McAlister
Written By


You couldn't wish for better than Black Box Theatre's 'Shooting Star'
- By Mike Cook, Las Cruces Bulletin

Reed McAlister (Alan Caroe) and Elena Carson (Karen Caroe) are in a Midwest airport waiting for flights to take them to their next destinations in Steven Dietz's "Shooting Star," which opened Friday, Jan. 15, and continues through Sunday, Jan. 31 at the Black Box Theatre on Main Street Downtown.

Unlike those flights, which are grounded by winter weather, this show takes off. There is so much to like: the honesty and sweetness of the performances; the willingness of the director (Ceil Herman) to let these two powerful characters tell their story with simple sets, props and costumes; Rafael Medina's sound design; and Peter Herman's light design.

Reed and Elena, who had been lovers for 22 months more than two decades before, meet by chance at the airport. He has moved on from their Bohemian lifestyle of the '70s - married, a child, a career in business, a cell phone and laptop; a blue suit and a white shirt. Even his briefcase and luggage are black. She hasn't changed so much - still a left-wing, pot-smoking, musician- dating, free spirit with a dead-end job who has left her cell phone in her turquoise velvet boots. Her luggage, like her clothes, is every color of the rainbow.

Even the contrast between the actors is stark. Karen has been in the theatre for 40 years, while Alan has only been in a couple of stage shows and appeared in some medical films - he's a retired doctor. And, yes, they are husband and wife in real life, with eight children.

In dialogue and monologue, Alan and Karen bring Reed and Elena to life - their shared past, briefly connected present and uncertain (but hopeful) future. With the addition of the period music and the perfectly annoying voices of the airport announcers (Jeffrey Bond, Marissa Bond and Rafael Medina), the show was theirs, and they owned it.

My favorite scene of Alan's was when his character was describing a conversation he had had with his daughter about her dream of becoming a dancer and his thoughts on dreams in general. My favorite scene of Karen's was when she talked on Alan's cell phone to that daughter. I also loved when she was cleaning up the stage and putting away Reed's sweater, finding so many memories in its scent.

I really, really liked "Shooting Star" and I highly recommend you see it.

"Shooting Star" continues with performances at 8 p.m. on Fridays, Jan. 22 and 29, and Saturdays, Jan. 23 and 30; at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays, Jan. 24 and 31; and at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. Tickets are $12 regular admission and $10 for students and senior citizens over age 65. The Black Box Theatre is located at 430 N. Main St. For more information or to make reservations, call 523-1223 or visit www.no-strings.org.




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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