‘Tucumcari’ preview with Director Brandt Reiter


Brandt Reiter, Cerritos College

This is the Theaters Productins latest play for 2020, working during the pandemic the team, actors and director Brandt Reiter have worked hard being able to get this production to the viewers who are interested in it.

Oscar Torres, Arts & Entertainment Editor

With “Tucumcari” approaching its first show of the semester, Talon Marks was able to get in touch with the director of the play Brandt Reiter about not just the play, but the process of working on it.

Reiter began working as an actor and director in New York before coming here to Cerritos College to teach and write and direct plays.

“I directed a few pieces in Graduate school. When I got out, the first play I directed was a play by Austin Pendleton called “Uncle Bob” that was in I think 2007 I believe.”

With the pandemic affecting many of the college’s activities and events, Reiter explained that the Theater department was no different. All of his classes are training based and depend on a dynamic that many actors are used to. He doesn’t know if many theater classes have been doing online practices like his.

Most practices are done on Zoom and have doing really well, according to Reiter.

The crew of “Tucumcari” have worked through these conditions to produce a “three-character play that takes place in the late 1920s into the 1930s in Tucumcari, New Mexico, a very small town on Route 66… when Route 66 is being constructed.”

The plot of the play, according to Reiter, is the love triangle, both comic and tragic, of two men and one woman on Route 66.

The play is centered around a Latina woman who grew up on a ranch in New Mexico and is married to a ranch hand she grew up with. Both characters have a deep love for each other even though one is rich and one is not.

However, that bond gets disrupted when another character appears. Reiter describes him as a drifter and dreamer, poetic by nature, but very similar to her husband. The play is centered around that attraction.

Reiter thinks a three-character play will be easier to follow than multiple actors and actresses on Zoom.

The process of creating this play on Zoom was a learning curve. With limited communication, Reiter has faced new challenges for creating engaging theatrical productions for an online audience.

This lovely play, with a small number of actors, seems like a great option for the unique circumstances faced by the Theater department.

The theme of the play is to be determined by the audiences that see it, with the director letting the viewers pull their own meaning from the production.

The play will be shown on Brandt Reiter’s with first showing on Dec. 4.

Check out the Tucumcari play with the link to the video just make sure to check the dates for when itll be available as it is private until the time.