ECU theatre department to stage 'Man of La Mancha'

ECU theatre department to stage 'Man of La Mancha'

The East Central University Theatre Department will present “Man of La Mancha” for three performances, Feb. 14-16, at 7:30 p.m. each night in the Ataloa Theatre of the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center.

The classic musical, directed by Alan Marshall and featuring Dr. Richard Groetzinger as Don Quixote, is based on the original Broadway production, which starred Richard Kiley. More recent revivals have starred Placido Domingo, Raul Julia and Brian Stokes Mitchell in the lead role. It was also made into a movie with Peter O’Toole and Sophia Loren.

Set during the time of the Spanish Inquisition, “Man of La Mancha”  is presented as play within a play. Author Miguel de Cervantes is in prison, awaiting trial by the Inquisition, when his fellow prisoners try to take Cervantes’ belongings, including his manuscript, from him. Cervantes proposes a trial in which he proves the merit of the manuscript through a re-enactment, enlisting his fellow prisoners as characters in his play.

Together, they tell the story of the aged Alonso Quijana, who believes himself to be a knight errant, names himself Don Qixote and pursues an obsessive quest to attain an impossible dream. Against all odds, Quixote and his trusty squire, Sancho Panza, take to the road in a quest to chivalry and seek out the good and innocent in a world filled with darkness and despair.

Besides Groetzinger’s role as Cervantes/Don Quixote, Russell McCreary of Grangerland, Texas, and Zachary Smith, of Sapulpa, will both appear as Sancho. DeeDee Pennington, of the Ada community, and Shelby Stinson, Poteau, will both appear as Aldonza. Malik Sharp, Shawnee, will play the Governor/Innkeeper; Eddie Power, Ada, plays the Duke/Dr. Carrasco. Jessica Drury, Heavener, and Kelsey Williams, Wright City, will both appear as Antonia.

Chris Coulter, Tishomingo, will play Padre. Ashley Houchin, Ardmore, and Summer Pearce, Glenpool, will appear as the Housekeeper. Graduate student Margie Beck, of Redlands, California, will play Maria, the Innkeeper’s Wife. Allison Bush, Sapulpa, will play Fermina, Ivan Huerta, Lexington, will appear as the Barber and John Luke Garber, of the Ada community, will play Pedro.

Additionally, Byng High School student Chance Palmer will appear as Anselmo; Shan Scroggins, of the Ada community, will play Juan; and Jace Westmoland, Byng, will appear as Paco. Two more Byng High School students will be in the cast. Avaunt Brown will play Tenorio, and Patrick Beck will play Jose. Andrew O’Neal, Ardmore, will appear as Captain of the Inquisition. Logan Bennett, Madill, and Samuel Baker, of the Ada community, will each play a guard and Shelby Davis, Ada, will appear as a prisoner.

Rudy Lupinksi, of the ECU faculty, is the musical director.

Stage crew members include: Amanda Daniel, stage manager from Ada; Jamie Davis, graduate student from Ada; Lynna Tallchief, choreography, faculty; and Lauren Hathcoat, lights, faculty.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $9 for senior citizens and non-ECU students. ECU alumni receive a $1 discount. Those in grades 5-7 can get in for $7, and children 12 and under can get in for $5. Admission is free for all ECU students, faculty and staff with ECU identification.

To order tickets online, go to Tickets may be purchased via email at or by phone at 580-559-5751.

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Eric Swanson is the City Hall and general assignment reporter for The Ada News. He spent 15 years working at the Dodge City Daily Globe in Dodge City, Kansas, before joining The Ada News’ staff in 2012.