Kent State and Porthouse Theatre to start off the season with “The Man of La Mancha”


Brandon Schumacker, Sam Johnson, Morgan Thomas-Mills, Elijah Lee King, Michael Rodgers, Christian Feliciano and David A. Hurt, Jr. as the Muleteers. 

Autumn Rietzel

In collaboration with The Porthouse Theatre, the Kent State School of Theatre and Dance is preparing to start its summer season with a production of “The Man of La Mancha.”

“The Man of La Mancha” is based on the book written by Dale Wasserman. The story follows Miguel de Cervantes dressed as Don Quixote in a story within a story during the Spanish Inquisition.

“I think most importantly, the show and its message are something we need to hear today in this world,” Porthouse Theatre Producing Artistic Director Terri Kent said.

During the Porthouse Theatre season, students can work with and perform alongside Broadway performers under the Actors’ Equity Association University Resident Theatres Association Agreement.

The students in this production incorporate former and current Kent State students, including senior theater studies major Clay Miller, senior dance studies major Talia Rockland and junior theater studies major Morgan Tomasetti, as well as students from other universities like Oklahoma City University and Northern Kentucky University.  

I heard about Porthouse a couple of years ago since it is run through Kent State and our musical theatre program coordinator, Terri Kent,” Miller said.  

Kent State faculty and staff work on the production as well as students under the agreement.

In “The Man of La Mancha,” there are six actors working with the Porthouse Theatre and the Actors’ Equity Association. Among them are Kent State faculty Fabio Polanco, Tim Culver and Jay White.

An important aspect of the show is what can be learned from the message of finding the good in everything, Kent said.

“How to not judge people, but how to help them along the way,” she said. “How to, as Quixote says, ‘Walk into hell for a heavenly cause,’ how to dream the impossible dream.”