Arts & Culture

Cuesta College is headed to this renowned theater festival — for the third time

Don Quixote (Tony Costa) and Sancho Panza (Nicholas Coffey) appear in Cuesta College’s production of “Man of La Mancha.” The community college’s drama department will present the musical at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in February.
Don Quixote (Tony Costa) and Sancho Panza (Nicholas Coffey) appear in Cuesta College’s production of “Man of La Mancha.” The community college’s drama department will present the musical at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in February.

The Cuesta College drama department could achieve “The Impossible Dream” next month when it competes at a prestigious college theater festival.

The community college, which has campuses in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, will present its production of “Man of La Mancha” at the regional Kennedy Center College Theater Festival, Feb. 19-23 in Mesa, Arizona.

Inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ 17th-century novel “Don Quixote,” “Man of La Mancha” features a play-within-a-play format. While awaiting trial in a dungeon during the Spanish Inquisition, Cervantes and his fellow prisoners act out the story of Don Quixote, a chivalry-obsessed nobleman who sets off in search of adventure with his manservant, Sancho Panza.

Man of La Mancha Aldonza
Aldonza (Allison King) appears in a scene from Cuesta College’s production of “Man of La Mancha.” The community college, which has campuses in Paso Robles and San Luis Obispo, will present the musical at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in Mesa, Arizona, in February. Robyn Marie Hill

Cuesta College’s version of the hit musical premiered in October.

The drama department will revive “Man of La Mancha” for six performances — to be held Feb. 2, 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11 at Cuesta College’s Cultural and Performing Arts Center in San Luis Obispo — before staging the production in Arizona.

Cuesta College was one of six schools from Region 8, which encompasses Arizona, Hawaii, Utah and parts of California and Nevada, selected to perform at the 2018 Kennedy Center College Theater Festival.

It will be the third time in recent years that Cuesta College has competed at the festival.

Pool 63 Rehearsal075
Cuesta College’s production of “pool ’63” won five national awards at the festival at the regional Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival in 2014. Joe Johnston jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

In 2014, “pool ’63,” a politically charged original play created by Cuesta College faculty and students, won five national awards at the festival. In addition, the Kennedy Center selected “pool ’63” to represent the United States at the International University Theatre Festival in Mexico City in 2015.

Another original Cuesta College production, the rock ‘n’ roll musical “Refried Elvis,” received six national awards at the Kennedy Center College Theater Festival in 2016.

For more information about the Cuesta College drama department, call 805-546-3195 or visit cuesta.edu.

To purchase tickets for “Man of La Mancha,” visit tickets.cuesta.edu.

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