We are pleased to tell you... 


Poetry Master Class

posted Sep 26, 2017, 11:11 AM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Oct 2, 2017, 4:33 PM ]

PLAY Conservatory will host alumna Gigi Guajardo for a poetry performance and writing workshop.  The whole family is invited to attend!

Sunday October 1, 4:00-5:30 PM
Brevé Crepes and Coffee 
6001 Osuna Rd NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109

Gigi will perform some of her work, answer your questions about her career and life as an artist in New York City, and lead the group to create an original poem.

Gig Bella, poeta

GiGi Bella is an award-winning poet and social justice advocate. She represented Albuquerque, NM at the 2017 Women of the World Poetry Slam where she became the tenth ranked female poet in the world. She was recently named the Project X Bronx Poetry Champion and is representing the Bronx and New York City as part of the groundbreaking Project X Poetry Slam Team. She is a two-time member of the Albuquerque Poetry Slam Team (2013, 2016) and was named a National Semi-Finalist and a Group Piece Champion at the National Poetry Slam in 2013 and 2016, respectively. She also spoke on the NM Senate Floor for Anti-Racism Day, and was a featured speaker at the Santa Fe Women's March. Her book, 22, is available through Swimming With Elephants Publications.

The event is admission free, but a "pay what you will" donation is suggested.

Did you miss it? You can see the workshop and leave comments on our Facebook page:

Sale: Costumes, Props, and Sets

posted Aug 14, 2017, 1:26 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Aug 14, 2017, 1:32 PM ]

Like a snake who sheds her skin in order to grow, we are liquidating our entire stock of sets, props, and costumes.  It's simply too costly to rent storage space. We are sad to see our current stock of high quality stagecraft items go, but glad that they will be re-purposed to have new lives on other stages.

The items will all be on sale for one day only:

Saturday, August 26
9:00 am - 3:00 pm
Apartment Association of New Mexico 
6755 Academy Rd NE, Suite B 
Albuquerque, NM 87109

(Sets and props will be on display in the parking lot; costumes will be inside.)

We have a large inventory of costumes that would make fine stock items. A few good Halloween costumes for kids, too. For example, we have at least 30 Dalmatian costumes in various sizes. The sets are all sturdy pieces that could serve many kinds of plays. 

Bring your own shopping bags. Bring your own truck. We can deliver large items to your site that day for a $50 delivery charge. Items will be priced to move. EVERYTHING MUST GO.

Click here for the Facebook event. We will be posting photos of select items there.

For more information, contact

Panera Bread Fundraising Dinner

posted Jul 27, 2017, 1:19 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Jul 27, 2017, 1:21 PM ]

Help support PLAY Conservatory

August 23, 2017

4:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

at the Panera Bread bakery-cafe at

3550 South Highway 528 NW

Albuquerque, NM 87114

(on the west side, near Cottonwood Mall)

Download the flyer below, and bring it along with you -- when you dine with us on this evening, Panera Bread will donate a portion of the proceeds from your purchase. Hand in a hard copy or show an electronic version of this flyer upon placing your order. Purchases of gift cards are not counted towards the event.

It's a great way to combine great taste and great fun - for a great cause.

Casting Call: Harry Potter Video

posted Jul 24, 2017, 9:28 AM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Jul 24, 2017, 9:29 AM ]

Casting Call for Non-Union teen actors

PROJECT: 30 seconds or less promotional spot for social media distribution

ORGANIZATION: Spoken For, an organization dedicated to ending human trafficking in New Mexico (

GENERAL INFO: Spoken For is organizing a Harry Potter themed mystery dinner entitled, "Murder at Malfoy Manor." These dinners will take place October 12th-14th, 19th - 21st, and 26th - 28th

SHOOT DATE: Sunday, August 13th, 2017

LOCATION: A private residence in Albuquerque, Northeast Heights


Harry Potter (male, 15)
Hermione Granger (female, 15)
Ron Weasley (male, 15)

We are seeking teen actors to the play the roles of Harry, Hermione, and Ron from the Harry Potter series—particularly during their 5th year at Hogwarts. You do NOT have to look exactly like the characters, but rather, embody their inner life. All ethnicities and ages welcome to audition.

COMPENSATION: 1) catered craft services, and 2) credit/copy

CONTACT/AUDITION INFO: If interested in auditioning, please contact Lauren Myers at roomofreqprod@gmail.comBe sure to include resume and headshot (or a very recent photo that looks just like you!). You will be sent sides and requested to self-tape your audition. For any other questions, please email Lauren or contact her at 505.350.0737.

Download the printable PDF file below.

New Play Workshop: Dream to Stream

posted Jul 20, 2017, 2:04 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Nov 8, 2017, 11:33 AM ]

We’re going to write and perform an original play. It’s going to tell a compelling story that reflects the reality of a young person. Short but powerful, this story will reach the hearts and minds of our small live audience, as well as the thousands of audience members who watch the play on their phones and tablets.  

So how will it work?
Creative Director Jonathan Dunski is calling the process "Dream to Stream"… 

Collaborative Playwriting
The ideas for a play, themes, and plots will be generated by the young artists enrolled in our INVENT workshop. After a thorough creative dialogue, the playwright will refine and fix the characters, lines, and action of the play. The play will be short (less than 10 minutes to play), multisensory (enhancing the experience of the in-person audience), small cast (2 to 4 players), low spectacle (minimal costumes, props, etc.), flexibly staged (site independent; adaptable to any common place), and flexibly cast (roles can be played by more than one company member).  

Cast by the stage director, the play will be developed through a series of rehearsals (evenings and/or weekends), meeting once per week for 2 hours. Performances will take place at times and locations, to be determined.

Performing & Live Streaming
According to the design of the social media director, performances will be live-streamed on a social media app (Facebook, Instagram, etc.). These streamed performances will encourage the remote audience to attend the subsequent performances in person, and will recruit young people to participate in our subsequent workshops to create more new works. Audiences may attend the performances free of charge. A variety of (rent free) locations will be utilized for performances: for example, café, bookstore, library, park, campus, lobby, food court – these host locations will get special recognition as sponsors/partners of the play. 

Teachers, Students, and Volunteers
The workshop will be led by as many as five contracted teaching artists: creative director, playwright, stage director, social media director, and production stage manager. Additional contractors may be needed, including a marketing director, development director, ASL director, and interpreters, as needed. As many as 10 students (ages 10 to 17) will be enrolled as the players – young Theatre artists who will act and crew the performances. The workshop will be supported by a volunteer project manager and two apprentices – volunteer interns who serve as auxiliary teaching artists.

This workshop is funded in part by a grant from New Mexico Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.

How can you get involved?

To apply as a teaching artist, email

To enroll as a student, click here.

To support this work with your donation, click here.

To invite a performance to your location, email

The Tortoise Versus the Hare

posted Jun 18, 2017, 1:06 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Jun 18, 2017, 1:12 PM ]

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — PLAY Conservatory presents a new take on a classic fable with The Tortoise Versus the Hare: The Greatest Race, playing at First Unitarian Church on June 23 and 24.  

Somewhere in desert country, the inhabitants of West Sandy Bottoms are preparing for the highlight of their year – the annual race between the Mammals and the Reptiles.  Philoh Ferret reminds the racing fans that his service station is for “mammals only.” The Hare’s weasely managers brag about their racing star as the various reptiles assemble to choose their candidate. As we see the race through the eyes of a TV news team covering the event, we soon discover that there is more than a sporting rivalry between the brown animals and the green animals -- there’s genuine animosity. As the race proceeds, a tiny bunny is lost in the wilds of Tornado Gulch and, almost miraculously, the mammals and reptiles unite to conduct the search…together. 

Conceived and Written by Jim Caron; Music by Greg Boris; Lyrics by Jim Caron; Directed by guest teaching artists Nicholas J. Main and Hannah Stephens.

Two public performances of The Tortoise Versus the Hare play on Friday June 23 at 7:30 and Saturday June 24 at 2:00 pm  at First Unitarian Church, 3701 Carlisle Blvd NE (Carlisle and Comanche) in Albuquerque.  

Running time is 60 minutes.  The play is appropriate for children ages 4 and up, and intended to be an inspiring and fun time for the entire family.

General admission is $10. Purchase advance tickets online at (Box Office Page) or at the door one hour before curtain.

The Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) will have provided a week-long residency teaching and directing 30 local students, ages 5 to 16.  Touring for 39 years, MCT brings magic to nearly 1,200 communities in all 50 states, 3 Canadian Territories and 5 provinces and 16 countries, annually.  Their mission is the development of life skills in children through participation in the performing arts.  To find out more, go to

PLAY Conservatory, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, offers unique and challenging educational Theater programs for kids.  We strive to creates innovative, inclusive, and inspiring works that play to every generation.  To find out more, go to www.playconservatory.orgThe Tortoise Versus the Hare marks PLAY Conservatory’s 31st production since its origin in 2007.

For more info, contact

Seminar: Innovating and Activating Theater for Young Audiences

posted Jun 2, 2017, 3:19 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Jun 7, 2017, 12:48 PM ]

Free Seminar!

Saturday, June 10 at 10:30 AM - 12 PM

Friends Meeting
1600 5th St NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Fresh from attending the One Theatre World conference in Berkeley, CA, director Jonathan Dunski will share his experience with the Albuquerque Theatre community. He will convey the themes, ideas, and best practices he learned. Format: 60-minute presentation with slides, followed by a 30-minute Q&A/ open discussion.

One Theatre World is the most significant gathering of theatre for young audiences professionals in North America presented by Theatre for Young Audiences/USA, featuring performances, juried breakout sessions (workshops and discussions), master classes, a keynote address, special events, and networking opportunities.

One Theatre World 2017 took place Wednesday May 3 to Saturday May 6, in various locations in San Fransisco, Berkeley, and Oakland, California. Bay Area Children’s Theatre hosted this year’s gathering.

Jonathan intends to carry the "innovate/activate" torch back to the teaching artists in New Mexico... so that we will be inspired to energize the work we are doing for our young audiences and future theatre artists and patrons.

Topics he'll be reflecting on will include: using data to measure audience impact, partnering with local family attractions like the botanical gardens, creating works for autistic kids, and Theatre for the Very Young. 

Admission is free, but a tax-deductable donation ($15 suggested) to PLAY Conservatory is encouraged.


Sign Language Theatre - Deaf West Video

posted Apr 20, 2016, 10:06 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Apr 20, 2016, 10:09 PM ]


We are only a few weeks away from the auditions for PLAY Conservatory’s next great project, Children of Eden.  In case you haven’t heard by now, this will be an immersive production, that tells the story bilingually in both spoken (and sung) English and American Sign Language.  I was inspired to interpret the play this way because of the compelling work of Deaf West and their recent Broadway revival of Spring Awakening.  I’m sharing with you this video -- a riveting behind-the-scenes look at making such a play.  This is one to watch and discuss as a family.  Have a look…

Sign Language Theatre

Isn’t that wild?  Can you imagine the power of telling a story in two languages?  Such a challenge! I wouldn’t dream of diving into such deep water unless I had both the creative input from an expert team of teaching artists and the support of an ambitious and resourceful board of trustees.  We are poised to make local theatre history with this one. And we do it with our children and youth at the forefront. 

Hope to see you all at auditions, May 14th at ALT -- and at the performances July 27-31 at NDI’s Hiland Theater.

thrilled with the challenge,

Jonathan Dunski, Founding Director

Children of Eden

posted Jan 15, 2016, 1:11 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Jan 9, 2017, 5:47 PM ]

PLAY Conservatory will present an immersive production of the spectacular musical Children of Eden — performed in American Sign Language and spoken English — July 27-30, 2016, at the Hiland Theater, the culmination of a 5-week summer theatre project. 

“The lush vocal score of this musical will be heightened with a mix of sign language and choreography, performed by a cast of young people and adults who will bring this story to life in a compelling new way,” said director Jonathan Dunski, who was inspired to reimagine Children of Eden in the style of Deaf West’s current Broadway revival of Spring Awakening. “We hope that this project will bring together the hearing and deaf communities of Albuquerque.  I believe that Theatre can and should include everyone.”

Reimagining the stories of Adam and Eve and Noah and the Flood, Children of Eden features a book by John Caird, and music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Pippin, Godspell).  In this play, Adam, Eve, Noah, and Mama Noah are estranged from their Father and struggle to raise their children amidst the cataclysm.  Ultimately, headstrong brothers must decide, either to lay down their weapons and to end the violence, or to perpetuate it. The choice is in their hands.  It's a story of rebellion and redemption.  How does a family who is lost ultimately find their way home?

Through “hands-on” learning, students will be able to study all aspects of Theatre, including performance (acting, singing, dancing, puppetry), design & stagecraft (costumes, sets, props, lighting, sound), stage management, and audience development (marketing, box office, fundraising).  In addition, students will be trained in both American Sign Language (ASL) and non-violent conflict resolution.  Click here to see the team of teaching artists.

The Children of Eden project will be in rehearsals for 5-weeks during June and July.  A total of five performances, July 27-30, will go up at NDI’s Hiland Theater, 4800 Central Ave SE‎, Albuquerque. 

As a 5-week day camp, the play will be in rehearsal at the Hiland Theater, Monday through Friday, 1:00 to 5:30 pm, starting June 27. 

Auditions will be held on May 14 and June 4.  Auditions are open to both hearing and deaf actors ages 7 to adult.  

In addition, a special 2-week program focusing on puppetry and movement will be offered for children ages 6 through 13; these students will also perform in the show.

To purchase tickets click here.  

For more information about this production email  


To join our mailing list click here.

Video - Anna and the mouse

Here is our documentary film that gives a behind-the-scenes look at this project:

Reunion Cabaret

posted Dec 1, 2015, 12:59 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Dec 30, 2015, 9:32 AM ]

The alumni of PLAY Conservatory will perform a cabaret on Sunday, January 3, 2016, at 7:00 PM at the Outpost Performance Space, 210 Yale Blvd SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106. General admission is $20; admission for children 15 and under is $10.  THIS IS A NEW DATE, rescheduled from Dec 27.

For one night only, some of PLAY Conservatory’s brightest young artists reunite, taking the stage once again to express an intimate evening of story and song.  They are accompanied by musical director David Geist, and directed by Jonathan Dunski.  It is a night to reflect, rejoice, and celebrate the gift of Theatre. 

Proceeds will benefit the Rachel Marie Morris Memorial Fund, which makes it possible for any young person, regardless of financial ability, to access the PLAY Conservatory experience. 

PLAY Conservatory, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, offers unique and challenging educational Theater programs for kids, and creates works that play to every generation.  To find out more, go to



Purchase tickets at the door, starting one hour before curtain.

If you purchased tickets online for the Dec 27 date, we will honor your tickets.


Jonathan Dunski, director

1-10 of 105