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Open auditions for ‘Man of La Mancha’

Curtains Up Pagosa! will be holding open auditions for the musical theater classic “Man of La Mancha” on Friday, Sept. 28, from 2-7 p.m. in the Pagosa Springs High School music room. 

Even if you have not been on stage for many years, or perhaps enjoy singing and would like to try your skills in acting, this is your golden opportunity to shine.  This musical, for adult or high school actors, is filled with beautiful music, powerful drama, delightful comedy, and a message of hope. 

Those wishing to audition should prepare a song to sing for the audition committee. An accompanist will be provided, so please bring music with you.  The audition will also require you to read a short excerpt from the script provided by the committee.  “Auditions are not meant to be intimidating in any way,” says production director Dale Johnson. “We try to make it fun and keep things relaxed for those auditioning, realizing that almost always they come in feeling nervous.  It is our intent to make it an experience that encourages people to audition again in the future.”

Curtains Up Pagosa! gives the opportunity for members of the community to participate in community theater in a multitude of ways, whether they are proficient as actors, costumers, set builders, lighting technicians, choreographers, sales, or are movers and haulers. 

“We need volunteers who bring a variety of skills and enjoy interacting with other wonderful people who share a dedication to the arts,” says Johnson. 

The story of “Man of La Mancha,” based on a book by Miguel de Cervantes titled “Don Quixote,” takes place in the 16th century during the Spanish Inquisition.  Cervantes, along with his man servant has been thrown into prison for mocking the Inquisition.  While in jail, he awaits trial, though still in possession of his belongings that include a trunk filled with costumes, stage makeup and props, and a prized manuscript.  His fellow inmates confiscate his belongings and threaten to steal his precious manuscript. When he protests, they offer him a mock trial to determine whether or not he will be allowed to keep it.

In his own defense, Cervantes presents the play, “Don Quixote,” a story about an aging, slightly mad, country squire in La Mancha who has read too many novels about knights and chivalry and decides to become a knight-errant himself.  He calls himself “Don Quixote de la Mancha” and his manservant becomes “Sancho Panza.”  Together, they travel La Mancha in search of adventure and in defense of virtue. Cervantes engages his fellow inmates in helping him act out the play as he tells the story. What follows is a delightful, funny, ultimately touching tale.

“Man of La Mancha” features music that has a decisive Spanish flare and contains many recognizable tunes. One of its most memorable songs is The Impossible Dream, a song that depicts hope and courage even when fighting against all odds.  Ultimately, though Cervantes faces the Inquisition and possible death, he touches the lives of those who await the same fate and gives them hope.

For more information, go to www.pagosamusicboosters.org.

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