We are pleased to tell you... 


New Play Workshop: Dream to Stream

posted Jul 20, 2017, 2:04 PM by Jonathan Dunski

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"… 

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). As of now, three workshop sessions have been scheduled (one 2-hour rehearsal per week on Saturday afternoons): Summer (Aug 5-Sep 23); Fall (Nov 4-Dec 23); and Winter: Feb 3-Mar 24. Performances will take place at other times and locations, to be determined.

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. 

The workshop will be led by 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

Musical Theater class at NDI Hiland Theater

posted Oct 16, 2015, 11:12 PM by Jonathan Dunski   [ updated Oct 17, 2015, 3:23 PM ]

is offering a teen Musical Theatre class
Wednesdays from 4:30 - 5:30
Step up your skills!
Call (505) 340-0200 for more classes and to register.

Download the flyer below for a discount!

Audition Songs for Children

posted Aug 9, 2015, 12:44 PM by Jonathan Dunski

Click the link below to see a list of around 100 musical theatre and film songs that were written for pre-pubescent, child actors -- a great resource if you're looking for an audition song.

The Wiz of the West

posted Jun 25, 2015, 9:44 AM by Jonathan Dunski

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — PLAY Conservatory interprets an American classic with The Wiz of the West, playing at St. Pius X High School on July 18

This original one-act musical is the classic story of THE WIZARD OF OZ adapted with a Western-style twist – or should we say, twister?!  Follow Dotty and her little dog Mooch as they meet up with Scared Crow, Tinhorn, and Lionel, and set off on an adventure of personal discovery.  They tangle with Mad Dog’s gang of bad, barkin’, back-bitin’ hounds who work for the meanest old witch in the West, Hawknose Halley.  Then they encounter the brainless Buzzards and the terrifying Tarantulas.  The singin’ Coyotes help move things along while Ma and Pa Munch and the rest of the Munch Kin point out the way to Dr. Ozzy, the Wizard of Frontier Medicine.  The Wiz of the West is quest... with a twang!

Book, Music and Lyrics by Michael McGill; Directed by guest teaching artists Katie Marsh and Michael Francis.

Two public performances of The Wiz of the West play on Saturday July 18 at 2:00 pm and 4:30 pm  at St. Pius X High School, 5301 St Josephs Dr. NW. Albuquerque, NM 87120. 

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

General admission is $10. Free admission for one child (12 and under) with 1 adult purchase.  Purchase advance tickets online at, or at the door one hour before curtain.

The Missoula Children's Theatre (MCT) will have provided a week-long residency teaching and directing 40 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, and creates works that play to every generation.  To find out more, go to The Wiz of the West marks PLAY Conservatory’s 29th production since its origin in 2007.

This project was funded in part by a grant from New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a grant from Albuquerque’s Urban Enhancement Trust Fund.

For more info, contact

Actors age 12 to 16: corporate videos open call

posted Jun 12, 2015, 9:39 AM by Jonathan Dunski

The American Society of Radiologic Technology will hold an open casting for boys and girls age 12 to 16 for ten roles in a series of corporate videos to be shot in late June.

Open Casting

9AM Saturday, June 13

ASRT Offices

15000 Central Ave. SE

Albuquerque, NM 87123


We’re about one mile east of Tramway on the south side of Central, past the Believers Center. Look for helium balloons marking the driveway gate and the lobby entrance.

We will select ten young actors for roles in a series of four videos helping kids to discover and explore medical imaging, radiation therapy and other facets of radiologic technology. The videos will be shot on Saturday, June 20 and Tuesday, June 30. Eight kids are needed for the shoot on June 30; only two are required for June 20. These are half day shoots and actors will be paid.

For questions, contact Greg Crutcher at

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