Man of La Mancha, February 2015
In the spirit of collaboration and a shared appreciation of classic musical theater, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks (MSIP) and Intermountain Opera Bozeman (IOB) co-produced the Tony Award winning musical, “The Man of La Mancha” with music by Mitch Leigh, lyrics by Joe Darion, and book by Dale Wasserman. “Man of La Mancha” is inspired by Miguel de Cervantes’ masterpiece, “Don Quixote”. It tells the story of the “mad knight”, Don Quixote, as a play within a play, as he awaits a hearing from the Spanish Inquisition. Featuring the hit song, “The Impossible Dream”, the musical is one of the most enduring works of musical theater, having been revived four times on Broadway since its debut in 1965.
This inaugural collaborative production between IOB and MSIP ran in February 2015 at the Black Box Theater on MSU’s campus, marking the first time these organizations have partnered in such a manner. According to Linda Curtis, Artistic Director of Intermountain Opera Bozeman, “All around the nation, Opera Companies and Shakespeare Festivals are including the immensely popular medium of musical theater in their seasons. It makes perfect sense for our two companies to combine our expertise. IOB has a history of casting professional guest artists with local professionals and talented amateurs. MSIP has a reputation for involving young professional actors touring the state with quality dramatic productions. When we collaborate, we create a synergy of professionalism that is a credit to Montana.”
The production was directed by MSIP’s Executive Artistic Director, Kevin Asselin. Asselin most recently directed “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” for Shakespeare in the Schools, “As You Like It” for Shakespeare in the Parks. Asselin is an award-winning director and fight choreographer whose credits include work with Notre Dame Shakespeare Festival, American Players Theater, and Chicago Shakespeare Theater, among many others.