Home / News
and Information /
Man of La Mancha:
An introduction to BPC’s spring musical
By Juanita Kissell
Special to BPC’s News and Public Information office
MOUNT VERNON—Students from Brewton-Parker College’s Theater Department, as well as a few individuals from the community, will present the musical Man of La Mancha April 19-21 at Southeastern Technical College’s auditorium. To promote the musical, the BPC theater department will release a series of weekly articles introducing the community to the cast and the characters they portray.
Man of La Mancha will be directed by Rachel Jones, a 10th and 12th grade English Literature teacher at Montgomery County High School. BPC’s Spring Musical is her directorial debut. She plans to eventually move to Savannah to pursue a Master of Fine Arts in Theater Performance, after which she aspires to teach college drama full-time.
Jones is certainly no stranger to Brewton-Parker. She was first a student at BPC, and then became the assistant director of financial aid after graduating with a bachelor of arts in English and a minor in communication. She has since received a master of science in post secondary education from Troy University.
She is also no stranger to the stage, having performed in 12 productions and serving as assistant director for three. While serving in acting organizations, she has written material for seasonal tours, and performed and directed skits and song enactments. Jones says her favorite part about directing Man of La Mancha is that she, “loves working with people and seeing them develop as performers.” Her biggest challenge is that this musical has many intricate parts that must be brought together into a cohesive, and dramatically successful, whole.
Man of La Mancha is set in a late 16th-century dungeon run by the Spanish Inquisition. The story begins with tax collector Miguel de Cervantes being thrown into the dungeon, along with his manservant, for foreclosing on a monastery. They are immediately attacked by their fellow prisoners, who put Cervantes on trial and insist that, if found guilty, he must hand over all his possessions. He asks to be allowed to offer a defense, which will be a play, acted out by him and all the prisoners.
Within minutes of Cervantes opening his trunk and taking out his make-up and costumes, he is transformed into Alonso Quijana, a man so consumed by chivalry and so inflamed by injustice that he has lost his mind. Quijana dubs himself Don Quixote de La Mancha, and he and his sidekick, Sancho, have many adventures as imagination clashes with reality. They battle a giant, find a lady, find The Golden Helmet of Mambrino, and route the enemy all in a day’s work. This tale of redemption may cause the audience to question by the play’s end, “Who is crazy? Don Quixote or the world?”