UNM group aims to attract millennials to world of theatre

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – A group at UNM is trying to make theatre more relatable for people their age — millennials.

Most millennials don’t have an interest for stage production nowadays, so ‘Middle Ground Theatre’ is trying to change that.

Rashaad Bond and William Dole are behind Middle Ground Theatre, a production company aimed at helping young artists break into the theatre world and attract an audience who might not otherwise watch a performance.

“The mission of our company, we want to bring theatre that is meaningful and engages an audience in a way that we typically don’t have conversations on a day to day basis,” said William Dole, the production manager for Middle Ground Theatre.

For actor Nick Pippen, he hopes to draw in the specific 20 to mid-thirties age range.

“It’s really draining but I feel like the more we put into it, the more open we are, the more open the audience will be, and the more they’ll accept our work and not just see it as spectacle,” he said.

The company is getting ready for their first production of ‘Gruesome Playground Injuries,’ a drama written by play write Rajiv Joseph.

Dole said they chose this play because the issues the two main characters go through are common to anybody who’s been in a relationship.

“Really makes the audience, put themselves in the actor’s shoes and make them really reflect and empathize with the character on a way they’ve never been able to,” he said.

The company is only a few months away from debuting the show.

“Producing work that’s meaningful, that will speak to the average person, that does not necessarily engage in a theatrical audience always,” said Dole.

Middle Ground Theatre also plans on tackling some musicals in the future. They said all shows they put on will address social or political issues.

‘Gruesome Playground Injuries’ will open on August 25 at the Triclock Performance Laboratory and will play for two weekends. Tickets can be purchased at the front door, or through Middle Ground Theatre’s Facebook page.