Volume 8, Issue 77  |  September 26, 2023SubscribeAdvertise

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South Coast Repertory opens its 60th season with Quixote Nuevo by Octavio Solis

South Coast Repertory (SCR) with Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei opens its milestone 60th season by taking theatergoers on a special journey with two of literature’s most iconic characters – Don Quixote and Sancho Panza – with Quixote Nuevo by Octavio Solis. Featuring Herbert Siguenza of Culture Clash and directed by Lisa Portes, the modern adaptation of Miguel de Cervantes’ masterpiece, Don Quixote, runs September 30-October 28 on the Segerstrom Stage.

Solis, known best for his play La Posada Mágica – which ran for 15 seasons (1994-2008) – returns to SCR for the first time in more than a decade. His other world premieres at SCR include Man of the Flesh (1990) and Cloudlands, co-written with Adam Gwon, in 2012. Solis also directed nine productions of La Posada Mágica.

With Quixote Nuevo, Solis crafts a contemporary take on Don Quixote –considered the world’s first modern novel – bursting with imagination and Tejano music. The valiant knight – a.k.a. Jose Quijano – sets out to find his long-lost love. But nothing is as it seems, and he gets lost in his fantasies as the community wrestles with his dangerous reality. This fast-paced, bilingual fable about the joys and perils of being the hero of your own story makes its Southern California debut.

South Coast Portes

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Photos courtesy of SCR

Lisa Portes, director of “Quixote Nuevo”

“When I first came to SCR in 1989 to work on the reading of my inaugural Latinx work, Man of the Flesh, I felt immediately respected and valued by the entire artistic staff of this esteemed company,” Solis said. “They innately trusted this young brown kid with his play and his ideas about theater. Over the last three decades and four productions of my works there, that respect and value has remained undiminished. Now I welcome the opportunity to give back the love and support that SCR has given me by offering Quixote Nuevo to its audiences. It feels like home again.”

Ivers couldn’t wait to invite Solis back for SCR’s 60th season, viewing the playwright as an integral part of a memorable season of theatre.

“It’s an honor to return Octavio back to SCR where his work has long been a part of our community,” Ivers said. “Quixote Nuevo is a thrilling start to our anniversary season; a reimagined classic timely situated for a contemporary audience.”

“You only turn 60 once, and after a year of planning, we’re excited to bring you a 60th season that illustrates the full range of our repertoire as it demonstrates our commitment to the community,” Tomei said. “Octavio Solis is a longtime artistic collaborator and friend, and his Quixote Nuevo is an example of the wonderful storytelling we are proud to showcase on our stage. It is a vibrant tale that engages with every community.”

“Quixote Nuevo is a highly theatrical tale of redemption and transformation, complete with music, dance, puppetry and magic,” Portes said. “It traces the story of Quijano, who seeks to redeem his life’s failures by becoming the noble knight Don Quixote of La Plancha, Texas. We can’t imagine a better place to launch this West Coast triple co-production than here in Southern California.”

South Coast Siguenza

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Herbert Seguenza stars as Jose Quijano/Quixote in “Quixote Nuevo”

Siguenza returns to SCR in the role of Jose Quijano/Quixote. A member of the Chicano/Latino performance group Culture Clash, Siguenza previously appeared at SCR with Culture Clash in The Birds (1998), Culture Clash in AmeriCCa (2008) and Culture Clash (Still) in America (2019). He played Jose Quijano/Quixote in both the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Round House Theatre productions.

It also features Raúl Cardona (Papa Calaca/Cardenio), Sol Castillo (Padre Perez), Laura Crotte (Magdalena/Perla), Viviana Garza (Antonia/Inez), Ernie González Jr. (Manny/Sancho Panza), Maya Malan-Gonzalez (Dr. Campos/Dulcinea), Alexis B. Santiago (Rosario/Juana) and Lakin Valdez (Bruno/Young Quijano). Alicia Coca, Amilcar Jauregui and Tony Sancho are the understudies.

Quixote Nuevo is a co-production with Seattle Rep and Portland Center Stage. Tickets are now on sale and range in price from $29-$105, with additional discounts available for educators, seniors and theatergoers ages 25 and under. For more information or tickets, go to www.scr.org, or call 714. 708.5555.

Post-Show Discussions:

Tuesday, Oct. 3 (Director/Designer Conversation). Wednesday, Oct. 11, Thursday, Oct. 19 and Thursday, Oct. 26 (Actor Conversations with members of the cast). Sunday, Oct. 15 (Community Conversation, a presentation and discussion surrounding a theme specific to Quixote Nuevo).

Inside the Season: Saturday, Oct. 14 from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Led by members of SCR’s literary staff, this lively 90-minute session includes in-depth interviews with cast members and artists from the production staff, revealing secrets and offering insights into Quixote Nuevo. Tickets are $12 and may be purchased in advance or at the door. ASL Interpreted Performance: Sunday, Oct. 22 at 2 p.m.

South Coast Repertory is located at 655 Town Center Drive in Costa Mesa.

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