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

This Is Our Youth

by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by Amy Lanasa

  • Warren and Dennis
  • Jessica and Warren
  • Warren and Jessica

Jun 12-Jun 28, 2009

FRI JUN 12,19,26 | 8:00 PM
SAT JUN 13, 20,27 | 8:00 PM
SUN JUN 21,28 | 2:30 PM
THUR JUN 25 | 7:00 PM


Set in 1982, "This is Our Youth" tells the story of Warren and Dennis, two privileged nineteen-year-olds living on the Upper West Side of New York who are caught up in the excesses of the "Me Generation," while actively rejecting the elitist world in which they've grown up. Theirs is a story of boys discovering what it means to be men, leaving youth behind, while learning life-changing lessons about the complexities of human relationships, constancy and betrayal. Although it takes place over twenty years ago, "This is Our Youth" presents a caustic look at a young generation in its iconic struggle both to resist and to attain adulthood that anyone who's ever been nineteen can relate to.

The play contains adult language and drug use.


Dennis Ziegler
Jessica Goldman
Warren Straub


This is Our Youth' probes what it is like to be young
NSTC's latest play is set in New York

- By Jonathan Butz, Las Cruces Bulletin

There is a tricky point in life some people refer to as the post-adolescent blues - a time to face that emotional growth spurt that rockets us out of our teenage, hormonal funk and into the unforgiving realms of adulthood.

The No Strings Theatre Company's most recent production, "This is Our Youth," explores such coming-of-age themes in a one-act play, originally written by Kenneth Lonergan. Making its debut in Las Cruces at the Black Box Theatre, the play uses minimal set pieces and design, which highlight the small cast's soaring acting capabilities.

We meet 22-year-old Dennis Ziegler (Daniel Moquin) and 19-year-old Warren Straub (Jake Burnham), two privileged young adults, struggling to find their paths in life while facing the difficult decisions of budding adulthood.

Set in 1982 New York, the play unfolds entirely in Dennis' one-bedroom apartment, in which we find Warren, banned from his rich father's home, begging his closest friend for a place to stay for a few nights. We soon discover Warren has stolen $15,000 from his father, which the boys eventually decide to spend a portion of on cocaine, in hopes of turning over some additional profit.

Faced with the deadly consequences of a dangerous lifestyle, the boys soon find out the true meaning adulthood and the harsh realities of mortality and relationships.

We also meet Jessica Goldman (Marcelle Bowman), a young and wise fashion student who visits the boys' apartment with hopes of some late night partying and cocaine. Jessica and Warren soon feel attracted to each other, while Jessica serves as an intellectual guide to Warren, bringing out his deeper thoughts on life and relationships.

The one-act play works perfectly within the intimate space at the Black Box Theatre, as it is carried entirely by well-written dialogue and strong acting from all the cast. The small acting space draws the audience right into the world of Dennis and Warren, creating a unique experience that puts the recent 3-D gimmicks of cinema to shame.

Combining authentic sets, excellent sound design and great music, director Amy Lanasa's vision of the play accurately reflects the culture and tone of Reagan-era political unrest and societal uncertainty. Strangely, the play feels incredibly relevant to the social unrest and anxiety of the present day. Lanasa brings a vision of "This is Our Youth" that feels timeless, something that could fit perfectly into any time period because of its universal themes.

Lanasa said she was drawn to "This is Our Youth" because of its ability to capture the awkward and challenging age in many people's young lives.

Anyone wanting to reminisce on the days of teenage past, or anyone who would like to turn a younger audience on to theater should rush to the next presentation of "This is Our Youth."


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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