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Acting Naturally

Richard's Writings > Acting Naturally > Man of La Mancha

Synopsis of Man of La Mancha

This was a terrific show, and the casting was spot on. I talk about my roles, and the fun playing the Great Enchanter with a deep booming voice, contrasted with the Duke, who was played as an effeminate English fop. Since it all takes place in a dungeon of the Spanish Inquisition, the single set was dressed to the nines. Funny, heartfelt, great songs - this show had everything!

Excerpt from Man of La Mancha

My wife Debora joined the cast at the last minute, and no one was more surprised than she.

A friend of Summer's was going to play the non-speaking role of Friar from the Spanish Inquisition, but this person experienced a personal tragedy right before Opening Night (his brother was killed in a car accident). So we suddenly had a vacant role that was nonetheless critical to the play - and Debora was asked to step in and fill it. Just for Opening Night.

She performed her regular volunteer usher duties up through intermission, then stepped into the dressing room and donned an enormous brown robe with a giant hood. She then quickly ran around to the top of the audience stairs for her entrance, which was cued within the first minutes of the second act.

She was worried about falling down the stairs because she was blinded by the huge hood, and the stairs in the Actor's Theatre alternate between one long step and three small steps, unsettling. She made it down to the stage, looked closely at each of the prisoners, and then dramatically thrust out a pointing finger at one of them (Shannon), who was taken away kicking and screaming by the armor plated guard (Ken).

Debora later said that this was all the stage experience she ever cares to have.


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