NSU Theater to present ‘Man of La Mancha’

Man of La Mancha rehearsal

ABERDEEN, S.D. – The Northern State University Theater Department will present the musical "Man of La Mancha" in the Johnson Fine Arts Center Harvey and Cynthia Jewett Theater.

Performances will run at 7:30 p.m. nightly Oct. 17-20.

One of the most honored musicals of the American theater, “Man of La Mancha” was inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th Century masterpiece “Don Quixote.” It received five Tony Awards, including one for best musical play, as well as the Drama Critics Circle Award for best musical.

Powerful, brutal, funny, and heartbreaking, “Man of La Mancha” celebrates the perseverance of one man who refuses to relinquish his ideals, and who is determined to see life “not as it is, but as it ought to be.” Associate Professor of Spanish Dr. Juan Gonzalez, dramaturg for the production, helps describe the historical context of the play, reminding the audience that the play is based on Miguel de Cervantes’ novel written during the Spanish Inquisition.

He states, “In spite of the economic and socially oppressive downswing, the nation was in the full throes of a cultural phenomenon as hot as a Top 40 playlist or the latest superhero movie. Pure escapism; novels of knighthood and heroic derring-do were all the rage.”

The production is directed by Professor of Theater Daniel Yurgaitis, with musical direction and conducting by Michael Skyles. In addition to design and production work by the Northern State Department of Theater faculty and staff, Tony Stoeri, guest lighting designer from Minneapolis, is in residence through opening night as a visiting artist.

The cast is comprised of 19 Northern students and 16 music students and community members. Senior musical theater major Christine Powers says one of the best elements of Northern State Theater is her ability to share her emotions with the audience. She has met her closest friends working on various productions whilst a student. Powers is playing the role of Aldonza/Dulcinea as her senior project in fulfillment of her degree.

Sophomore vocal music major John Trey Litwiller III states that his experiences acting in Northern productions have helped build confidence, establish work ethic and create memories. As Don Quixote, Litwiller’s message for the audience is that, “there's a knight, lady, jester or villain inside all of us. We choose who we are.”

Ticket Information:

Tickets for the production can be purchased online here or at the JFAC Box Office. Tickets are $18, with a Northern faculty/staff discount of $9 and a $2 discount per ticket for groups of 12 or more. NSU students are admitted free with ID.

Box office hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, noon-4 p.m. The box office opens two hours prior to performances. The JFAC box office phone number is 605-626-2900.

About Northern State University

Northern State University is a regional university that offers outstanding academics and exceptional extracurricular activities at an affordable price on a safe, welcoming campus. Northern State recently announced its Educational Impact Campaign, with a goal of raising $45 million for a new South Dakota School for the Blind and Visually Impaired, new athletic and recreation fields, and an on-campus regional sports complex. Once the campaign is complete, NSU will be the recipient of more than $100 million in privately funded building projects and scholarships within a decade. To learn more, visit NSU Admissions.