In the Fusion Theatre Project’s latest production, “Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico,” the play’s main character, Calvin Wesley, follows the compelling mystery behind the discovery of human bones from 12 Mexican migrants found in the southern Arizona desert. The original play is presented by Utah State University’s Caine School of the Arts and the Department of Theatre Arts. “Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico” runs April 22-24, 28-30 and May 1 at the Caine Lyric Theatre, located in downtown Logan at 28 W. Center St. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m. for all dates. Tickets are available at the Caine School of the Arts Box Office in the Chase Fine Arts Center, FA 138-B, 435-797-8022, or online (www.boxoffice.usu.edu) and are $13 for adults, $11 for senior citizens and USU faculty, $9 for non-USU students, and free to theater faculty and USU students with a valid ID. “Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico” is a fictional story for mature audiences only, inspired by actual life-and-death events. The characters in the production are based upon interviews conducted by company members during the spring of 2009 around the borderlands of Arizona and Mexico. Presenting the production is the Fusion Theatre Project, an experimental theatre company based at Utah State University that strongly emphasizes socially relevant themes in original progressive theater works. The idea for the production was chosen not because of the politics surrounding the topic, but rather, the company’s wish to present the longstanding issue from a humanistic standpoint, said Fusion Theatre Project founder and playwright Shawn Fisher. John Belliston, a senior majoring in theatre at USU who plays the main character Calvin Wesley, hopes attendees gain an understanding of the complexity of the current United States and Mexico border issue. “It isn’t just black and white, and the more you look at it the more complicated it all becomes,” he said. The playwright further discussed the play project and its content. “It’s an exploration towards American attitudes,” said Fisher. “As Americans, we often look down on Mexican migrants because we think they’re lazy, but we fail to see these people have walked hundreds of miles through scorching desert to go to work so they can feed their families.” Cast members include USU students, but also several faculty members and professionals, including associate professor of theatre and production director Adrianne Moore. While in the process of writing the play, company members from the Fusion Theatre Project gained inspiration by interviewing border patrol, Mexican migrants, Arizona residents and people on both sides of the border while walking trails Mexican migrants had walked only minutes before. Unlike what some may believe, the play has nothing to do with golf. An actual sign at the Fort Brown Memorial Golf Course in Browning, Texas, states, “Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico,” and provided not just an eye-catching title, but a pervading metaphor for the production, the playwright said. Many Americans think of Mexico as their little playground, Fisher said. He believes Americans look down on others trying to accomplish what our ancestors did a long time ago. “We aren’t trying to convince anyone on a certain political view,” said Fisher. “We hope the audience walks away realizing, whatever their political point of view is, we are dealing with human beings and we need to understand and respect what they have to go through.” “Do Not Hit Golf Balls Into Mexico” is a funny, dark and emotionally provocative exploration of a current social issue by both the dynamic characters and audience. The production contacts mature material and language. The Caine School of the Arts at USU presents more than 200 events each academic year. For information on upcoming events presented by Caine School of the Arts, visit its Web site (http://caineschool.usu.edu).
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