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New play examines marriage in tart, humorous bites

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By WREN PROPP

Special to the Monitor

Since June is a traditional time for weddings, July may be a good time to examine marriage. Hindsight should at least be entertaining.

To that end, a theater company new to northern New Mexico offers three, one-act plays examining matrimony in tart, humorous bites from master playwrights George Bernard Shaw, Anton Chekhov and Moliere.

The production called “Marriage by the Masters” began July 13 at the Adobe Rose Theatre in Santa Fe and is scheduled to continue until July 30, showing Thursday through Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m.

“It’s shedding new light on old perceptions. And while they’re in a different period, I think the audience will recognize people. We don’t really say what we mean,” said Brenda Lynn Bynum of the Oasis Theatre Company, which is presenting the production.

Native New Mexican Bynum and James Jenner make up the company. They moved their 10-year-old company to Santa Fe earlier this summer.

In an interview before the move was complete, Bynum and Jenner, who married in Santa Fe and own property there, said they see a growing interest in theater in New Mexico, while interest in New York’s small theater companies has stagnated somewhat. They visited New Mexico frequently.

“We fell in love with New Mexico every time we were there. I realized that I’d really like to work in Santa Fe and a lot of people come there in the summer,” Bynum said.

They are presenting the production at the Adobe Rose Theatre, a black box theater on Santa Fe’s south side. The theater is a newer establishment – about two years old – among a growing creative community in an industrial area. Nearby is Meow Wolf, an artists’ collective that offers an immersive entertainment experience called “The House of Eternal Return.”

Oasis’ production of the three, one-act plays of “Marriage by the Masters,” are also part of a citywide series of events tied to its Summer of International Arts. Shaw’s work is “How He Lied to Her Husband,” and represents an English setting, Chekhov’s “A Marriage Proposal,” is staged as in Russia, and the offering of Moliere’s “The Forced Marriage” is set in France.

While the actors will be in the costume of the period, theater is an “interactive” art, when the audience connects to what’s happening on the stage, they said. Also planned this month are staged readings of an original work based on the life of Moliere.

Oasis Theatre Company presented classic work outdoors while in New York and they plan to take advantage of northern New Mexico’s natural settings, such as the outdoor amphitheater in Farmington, and other audience friendly spaces in Santa Fe, they said.

Bynum and Jenner also plan to offer voice classes for adults and acting classes for adults and children, as well as staged readings.

More information about “Marriage by the Masters” and other offerings by the Oasis Theatre Company is available at theoasistheatre.com/. General admission tickets are $20 for adults, with lower priced tickets for seniors and students.

Tickets are available at Tickets Santa Fe by calling 505-988-1234 or ticketssantafe.org.

The Adobe Rose Theatre is located at 1213 B Parkway Drive, Santa Fe.