The initial conception that led to the founding of ASTC was for a professional regional theatre company affiliated with NMSU Theatre Arts. The region would include not only the immediate environs of Las Cruces but southern New Mexico and west Texas, especially El Paso. By ASTC’s second season, 20% of season subscribers were attending from El Paso.
A fundamental ambition was to establish a non-profit corporate company that would have the capability of hiring professional guest artists, including members of Actor’s Equity, to work alongside students in Theatre Arts. The original goal was to employ eight Equity guest artists per year, with some hired not just for one play but for a season. The vision was for a resident company that would bring professional theatre to the Las Cruces community and at the same time enhance the training of majors in Theatre Arts, providing opportunities for students to develop their talents alongside working theatre artists.
At the time of the founding, a Prospectus was written that described the ambition of the company and the ways in which the ASTC Board would serve those goals.
A statement of Long Range Goals for ASTC was developed which included the expected hiring of guest artists, a forecast of income, and the building of a subscriber list.