Throughout the month of October, Musical Theater Program director Wilson Mendieta, faculty member Steven Sofia, and alumna Annie Morro ‘15 star in a new production of Man of La Mancha at the 5th Avenue Theatre.
Directed by Allison Narver, this adaptation of Dale Wasserman’s 1964 Man of La Mancha explores the mind and world of the “mad knight”, Don Quixote, during the Spanish Inquisition and brings to life a whole new dimension and era to this classic musical.
This show marks a 5th Avenue Theatre debut for all three performers who play ensemble roles. Mendieta describes the ensemble as, “the driving engine of a musical in many ways. Especially in this production of Man of La Mancha, they become the characters that in many instances create the obstacles of the plot. Ensembles also feature the strengths of musical theatre performers. They have to be triple threats. And in this production, they help set the transitions from one scene into the next”. The ensemble takes on many challenges and responsibilities that are essential to cohesion and artistic aspect of the performance.
Mendieta says that even though he and Sofia are seasoned Broadway actors, there are still many things to learn and to gain from working with 5th Avenue. He explains, “We will take incredible information back to our positions at the UW… Most importantly--and it is something we are actively discussing with this wonderful community--, we now have connections to invite the very people making the work happen in this city and advise the students through talk backs and master classes. The value of the information the Seattle musical theatre artists will bring is immeasurable, and we know that will have a positive impact on the students in the Musical Theater Program at the UW.”
Man of La Mancha is a five-time Tony Award winning musical masterpiece featuring classic songs like “The Impossible Dream” and “Man of La Mancha (I, Don Quixote)” under the musical direction of Cynthia Kortman Westpal and choreography by Maria Torres. Mendieta says, “We have been fortunate to see many shows at the 5th before, but to be able to be ‘in the trenches’ with Man of La Mancha has been a great pleasure. The crew, the staff, the cast . . . they all have been incredibly welcoming and SO much fun to work with. We are truly grateful!”
The show runs October 7-30th and is approximately 2 hours with no intermission. Tickets can be found at https://www.5thavenue.org/show/syos/Man-of-La-Mancha