Director has many roles at Socorro Community Theater

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Socorro Community Theater has a triple threat on stage.

Theresa Apodaca is director, artist and actress. As a director at SCT, Apodaca directs plays at the Garcia Opera House. She is on the SCT board and, in July, she has a line up of performances with the youth on stage where she does makeup for each child.

As a director, Apodaca is expanding more performances throughout the year, she said.

Apodaca has been involved with SCT for 12 years. Her involvement with the theater includes much more than directing. She does make-up for actors and actresses, takes care of props and has held a variety of roles in several plays herself.

Each year, Apodaca recruits more people and has a good turn out for auditions, she said. But the turn-out for roles also depends on the play. Apodaca advertises auditions for the plays in the newspaper, flyers and by word of mouth. In November, she is directing the play "The Odd Couple" (Female Version) for SCT, and in March, SCT will perform the play "You're a Good Man Charlie Brown."

"Not everyone who auditions gets a part. Some people want to audition, but it takes a lot of time to work on a play," Apodaca said.

At auditions she is always looking for new people, and she gets plenty of returning people for roles, as well. So far for SCT, she has directed plays including "The Foreigner" and "Rumors." Special dinner plays at SCT are usually held in the fall for Festival of the Cranes and always sell out, she said.

"The people I work with are extremely responsible," Apodaca said. "Our friendships last and we are like family."

Apodaca said directing a play is different than being in a play. As an actress she has memorized lines, and has to show up for rehearsals. She has acted in numerous plays. The last part she auditioned for was in "Design for Murder" in April 2011. Apodaca said the crew she manages becomes friends throughout rehearsals, because people who rehearse help each other and become close.

"It's fun and we rehearse three times a week for two hours each time," Apodaca said.

Apodaca's interest in theater started in high school. She picked theater as an elective, learned more about directing and acting, and got hooked, she said.

Apodaca said she prefers directing to acting because she has good ideas on how to visually tell a story through people and likes to see the process from beginning to the end. She has been involved with community theater for 30 years, and involved with the community theaters in Carlsbad and Socorro as well as Tuscon, Scottsdale and Tempe, Ariz., she said.

Apodaca is from Socorro, and has lived in various towns throughout New Mexico. She came back to Socorro in 1997, and became involved at SCT in 2001. She saw an advertisement for auditions for a teacher for a play in 2000 and has actually been a teacher for 19 years. She teaches sixth grade science at Sarracino Middle School, and by far, she said, it's her favorite role to date.

"I fulfilled my life dream to be a teacher. I enjoy theater so much," Apodaca said. "I get the best of both worlds,"

As a director, she tries to involve more children in theater. This past summer, she directed the play "El Gato Sin Amigos" (the cat who had no friends), it was a children's play, and Apodaca did make-up for the children. This year, in July, she started the summer theater camp for local youngsters called Youth on Stage. On Aug. 12, the youth on stage attended a workshop on makeup, costumes and projection and how to move on stage. There were 20 local children in the summer program, and she hopes to recruit more children for next year, she said.

According to SCT's website, SCT debuted with the play "Macbeth" in 1994. Since then, SCT has been an all volunteer organization and has averaged two productions each year.

"People who have always wanted to participate in a play backstage or on stage should audition or help out because the Socorro Community Theater puts on good performances," Apodaca said.