Set Requirements

Man of La Mancha

Locale: Spain at the end of the 16th century. A prison in the city of Seville and various places in the imagination of Miguel de Cervantes.

Setting: The common room of a stone prison vault whose furthest reaches are lost in shadow. It has niches and crannies where the prisoners make their nests. It is below ground, reached by a stairway which may be raised and lowered, draw-bridge style, and is lighted by scant, cold rays sifting through a grille overhead. A trap door in the floor may be raised to permit access to a level still lower. Stage right there is a fire covered by a grille, and stage left an open well. Other scenic elements are placed and removed by the prisoners as indicated.

The prison vault is actually a single basic set within whose architecture the Don Quixote scenes devised by Cervantes are played. In nature it is an abstract platform whose elements are fluid and adaptable. The primary effect to be achieved is that of improvisation; it must seem as though all scenic, prop and costume items are adapted from materials already on stage, augmented by effects from Cervantes’ theatrical trunk. Only in the inner play—as devised by Cervantes—is there musical style and form. The prison scenes framing the inner play are not “musicalized” in the sense that there is no singing or dancing in these except as may be motivated realistically.

The performance is played without intermission.

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