Pec Playhouse offers 'Man of La Mancha'

From press release

Pec Playhouse Theatre presents its summer musical, Man of La Mancha, with nine performances July 29 through Aug. 14. The 1965 play won five Tony Awards on Broadway, including Best Musical, and contains some popular and well-respected music of the genre, including “The Impossible Dream” and “Dulcinea.”

This play-within-a-play is a poignant story of Miguel De Cervantes, a failed playwright and poet, dying as an old man in a Seville prison awaiting his trial by the Inquisition. His fellow prisoners, in a makeshift kangaroo court, propose to confiscate his incomplete manuscript of a novel called Don Quixote. Cervantes proposes to perform the story as his defense and to keep the manuscript. The “court” agrees, Cervantes transforms himself into Don Quixote, and with the help of his faithful servant Sancho, and with the prisoners, play out the story.

The play is under the direction of Mark Kann, long-time Pec Playhouse Theatre volunteer, who had most recently directed last season’s Yes, Virginia, There is s Santa Claus, and this season’s special production of Escanaba in da Moonlight.

Man of La Mancha is a departure for Kann as well as for Pec Playhouse. The tone of this show is much darker, so much so that patrons will be advised the show may not be suitable for younger children.

“It’s not the usual kind of family musical one finds being offered in this area each summer,” Kann said. “But it has a message for today that really speaks to many people on many different levels, even though the story it’s based on is 400 years old.”

The cast is made up of more than 20 men and women from Pecatonica, Rockford, Byron and other surrounding communities. Although many are new to the stage, there are several actors of veteran status in this production.

Leading the cast as Miguel de Cervantes/Don Quixote is W. Scott Chachula, a long-time Rockford talent who has many stage credits to his name, including many roles with Starlight Theatre, Clock Tower Dinner Theatre, Jubilee Dinner Theatre, Mendelssohn Club, Rockford Woman’s Club, and others in the surrounding and Chicago area.

Despite the flurry of activity at the theater during the rehearsal process, there are still a few small non-speaking roles available in the cast, and of course, there’s always room for more musicians in the pit orchestra. Anyone interested in getting involved in theater is encouraged to contact Kann or the box office.

Performances are Fridays through Sundays, July 29 through Aug. 14, with showtimes at 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 for adults, and $8 for those younger than 18 or older than 65.

Pec Playhouse is at 314 Main St., Pecatonica. More info:, or the box office at 239-1210.

Caution to parents: because the show contains some dark scenes and suggestive situations, the show may not be suitable for younger viewers.

Anyone interested in trying out for any of the remaining minor roles, as a musician in the orchestra or to help backstage, should contact Mark Kann at 800-208-9189 or 815-395-9586.

From the July 13-19, 2005, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!