Westport Country Playhouse Presents Symposium For MAN OF LA MANCHA

Westport Country Playhouse Presents Symposium For MAN OF LA MANCHAIlan Stavans, an authority on the Spanish writer Miguel de Cervantes, will be guest speaker at Westport Country Playhouse's Sunday Symposium on September 30, following a 3 p.m. performance of the musical "Man of La Mancha." The Tony Award-winning musical is inspired by Cervantes' masterpiece Don Quixote, about the title character's battle for good and the love of his fair maiden.

The Playhouse Sunday Symposium program is free and open to the public. Stavans will engage in conversation with David Kennedy, Playhouse associate artistic director, about Don Quixote and the various ways it has influenced the culture from "Man of La Mancha" and beyond.

Stavans published Quixote: The Novel and the World in 2015 and his graphic novel Don Quixote of La Mancha is due this fall. The former will be available for purchase in the Playhouse lobby following the symposium; pre-order forms will be available for the latter.

An award-winning and internationally renowned author, Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities and Latin American and Latino Culture at Amherst College. He is the publisher of Restless Books, the host of New England Public Radio's "In Contrast," and a columnist for the Spanish edition of The New York Times. He is the general editor of The Norton Anthology of Latino Literature and author of Once@9:53am.

"Man of La Mancha" celebrates the perseverance of a man who refuses to relinquish his ideals or his passion. Don Quixote and his squire Sancho Panza set out on an imaginative journey to restore the age of chivalry, to battle evil, and to right all wrongs. Their adventure leads them to Aldonza, a prostitute, to whom Quixote is the first to show respect as his lady "Dulcinea." The 1965 Broadway treasure is the winner of five Tony Awards, including Best Musical, with an enchanting score most famous for Quixote's credo, "The Impossible Dream." The musical runs September 25 through October 14.

The Sunday Symposium Series is supported, in part, by the White Barn Program of the Lucille Lortel Foundation.

"Man of La Mancha" received special funding by Maureen and Edwin Schloss. Production Sponsors are Barbara and John Samuelson, and Barbara and John Streicker. Production Partners are Carol and Peter Seldin. Corporate Production Sponsor is Bank of America. Corporate Production Partner is Cohen and Wolf. Educations Sponsors are The Graham Foundation of Connecticut, and The David and Geri Epstein Private Foundation.

For more information and to buy tickets, visit www.westportplayhouse.org, or call the box office at (203) 227-4177, toll-free at 1-888-927-7529, or visit Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, off Route 1, Westport. Stay connected to the Playhouse on Facebook (Westport Country Playhouse), follow on Twitter (@WCPlayhouse), and on YouTube (WestportPlayhouse).

The mission of Westport Country Playhouse is to enrich, enlighten, and engage the community through the power of professionally produced theater worth talking about and the welcoming experience of the Playhouse campus. The not-for-profit Playhouse provides this experience in multiple ways by offering live theater experiences of the highest quality, under the artistic direction of Mark Lamos; educational and community engagement events to further explore the work on stage; the New Works Circle Initiative, a program dedicated to the discovery, development, and production of new live theatrical works; special performances and programs for students and teachers with extensive curriculum support material; Script in Hand play readings to deepen relationships with audiences and artists; the renowned Woodward Internship Program during the summer months for aspiring theater professionals; Family Festivities presentations to delight young and old alike and to promote reading through live theater; youth performance training through Broadway Method Academy, WCP's resident conservatory program; and the beautiful and historic Playhouse campus open for enjoyment and community events year-round.

Photo: Ilan Stavans, guest speaker at Westport Country Playhouse's Sunday Symposium on September 30.

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