Cygnet Theatre hopes to inspire with Man of La Mancha

By Diana Saenger

The play within a play, “Man of La Mancha,” opens Cygnet Theatre’s 10th season in Old Town on July 5. The musical follows the exploits of Cervantes, a failed author, actor, soldier and tax collector awaiting trial by the Spanish Inquisition in the 17th century. The book is by Dale Wasserman, lyrics by Joe Darion and music by Mitch Leigh.


Sean Murray, Artistic Director of Cygnet Theatre, has been passionate about the play since he performed in it during high school in 1978.


“I felt an instant connection to it,” Murray said. “It’s a powerful show and fun to do. It’s a lot about having a philosophy and viewpoint to get one through the harsher side of life.”


In 2001, Murray revisited the play as lead character Miguel de Cervantes at the North Coast Repertory Theatre. He gave an award-winning performance alongside John Guth as Sancho Panza.

Cygnet's Artistic Director Sean Murray directs and stars in the production. Courtesy

“One year before that show I lost my father,” Murray said. “It was a profound loss for me. He reminded me of the Cervantes character, and I felt like I was finding the voice of Cervantes through my father.”


Now the same age as his character, Murray said he’s excited to once again fill the shoes of Cervantes.


“We’re trying to be organic in the staging,” Murray said. “So much of that show depends on the audience’s imagination. Since they never leave that prison environment, they have to use their imaginations to picture different locations.”
Murray also directs, a decision that requires a little more challenge since he’s singing and acting, too. In addition to having stand-ins for his character while he’s directing, he must make the show that is occasionally referred to as pretentious – engaging.
The Cygnet production includes an eight-piece orchestra and 13 performers.

If you go
Showtimes: Matinees, evenings to Aug. 26
Cygnet Theatre Company: Old Town Stage, 4040 Twiggs St., San Diego
Tickets: $34-$59
Box Office: (619) 337-1525
Website: cygnettheatre.com

Related posts:

  1. Divine Rivalry premiering at The Old Globe reveals a duel of the masters
  2. Shakespeare Festival underway at The Globe in Balboa Park
  3. A twist of fate traps three men in “Groundswell” at the Old Globe
  4. Perils of romance come to the stage in new musical ‘Emma’ at The Old Globe in Balboa Park
  5. San Diego Jr. Theatre stages ‘The Miracle Worker’ in Balboa Park

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Posted by Staff on Jul 5, 2012. Filed under A & E, Theater. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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