‘As Is’ Highlights Poets, Painters and Friends in third Jewel Box Series Season Opener

The enduring friendship of four women and how their conversations spark their creativity are the focus of As Is … 2 Painters and 2 Poets, the season-opening production of the El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre.

Presented by Impact|Programs of Excellence, As Is … kicks off the third Jewel Box Series season at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, October 9in the Philanthropy Theatre on the second floor of the Plaza Annex in the Plaza Theatre Performing Arts Centre. American Sign Language Interpretation will be provided.

Tickets are $16 at the box office, Ticketmaster outlets, 800-745-3000 and 915-534-0609. Season tickets are $103 for all eight shows in the 2016-2017 season, available by calling 915-533-4020.

Longtime friends and painters Susan Amstater and Connie Dillman will join poets Dorothy Ann Leach and Jacquelyn Stroud Spier in a program of warm conversation, humor, paintings and poetry readings. The program will show how their creativity and friendship intersect.

The program coincides with the release of their third book, As Is, published by the El Paso Community Foundation, which will be for sale at Sunday’s event. Proceeds go to the Women’s Voice Fund, which they established in the Community Foundation to support women and children’s creative projects. “We know the value of art and literature in a community,” Jacquelyn Stroud Spier said.

The El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre, a showcase for area performing arts groups, is produced in partnership with El Paso Live. The remaining shows in the 2016-2017 season are listed below.

El Paso Community Foundation Jewel Box Series at the Philanthropy Theatre Schedule

Boheme NoirTumbleweed Collective Contemporary Dance created this original production, which allows Bohemian spirits to reign, features live music by Daniel Rivera and Carlos Benitez, and a piece set to Astor Piazzolla’s La Historia del Tango: Café 1930. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, November 13

Barrio ChristmasLos Actores presents a bilingual production based loosely on Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. Set in El Paso, this adaptation by writer-director Drime Lockhart tells the story of a bitter store owner confronted with his past. 7 p.m. Saturday, December 10; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, December 11

Indigo Twilight — The El Paso Society for Musicians of the Future presents this classical-jazz crossover, which will combine instrumental music, voice and poetry for a journey through the mysterious hues and alluring rhythms of the night. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, January 15

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast — The New Mexico State University-affiliated Scaffolding Theatre Company presents this musical valentine, a reimagining of the Disney musical. It centers around a family that re-enacts the play in their grandparents’ home, and features familiar songs, including Be Our Guest7 p.m. Saturday, February 11; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, February 12

Killing Buddha — Deming’s Theatre Dojo offers this award-winning modern take on an ancient North Indian legend about a serial killer seeking atonement from the divine teacher. Writer-director Algernon D’Ammassa plays all of the characters, accompanied by nationally known Native American musician Randy Granger on wind, string and percussion. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 12

Bernabe  Just in time for Earth Day, Eden Enterprises presents this Luis Valdez play about a young man whose love of the earth is rooted in Aztec mythology. Directed by local theater veteran Hector Serrano, it’s a cry against the exploitation of the planet by modern forces. 7 p.m. Saturday, April 8; 2:30 p.m. Sunday, April 9

Banging the Bell: A Texas Comedy in Two Acts — El Paso playwright Ted Karber Jr.’s EPStageBusiness presents this original comedy about a group of women who plan to be the belles of the ball. Infidelity, a corpulent corpse and dimwitted deputy could change their plans. 2:30 p.m. Sunday, May 21

*American Sign Language Interpretation will be provided for all Sunday performances.