As soon as you enter TheatreWorks in New Milford, you will marvel at the “Man of La Mancha” set designed by Leif Smith and constructed by Shagbargh Hickory. Designed as a stone dungeon in Spain at the end of the 1500s, everything about the set looks appropriately ominous. When a huge and heavy dark staircase slowly empties into a room of prisoners, you’re ready to meet Cervantes/Don Quixote and his trusted companion Sancho. With Peter Petrino’s lighting design and Morgan Kelsey’s heart thumping music direction, expect a dramatic entrance of the title character, a tax collector who has been charged with foreclosing on a monastery.
If the Spanish Inquisition is not enough to scare the two new prison arrivals, the other occupants of the dungeon are equally threatening. Cervantes is also a poet and playwright and when a prisoner grabs his manuscript, Cervantes begs the opportunity to plead his case. And so the play within the play begins. Cervantes plays Don Quixote, an idealist who wants to bring justice to the world and wants more than anything to be a knight.