It must be a performing artist’s nightmare to go on stage in front of constant cell phone rings and an audience that continually walks out the door. Yet this was the scene the San Marcos High School’s Performing Arts Department faced Thursday night during their performance of Dale Wasserman’s Man of La Mancha. As the fire spread to the Goleta foothills, IndyAlerts about the Jesusita Fire continually rang, so families continuously left the building to evacuate their homes. Although the student cast, crew, and orchestra stuck it out and finished the show, the remaining performance dates were postponed until the end of the fire.
There was fear that the play wouldn’t get another chance to run due to conflicts with other events and activities. Fortunately, Man of La Mancha returns to life this week thanks to the efforts of San Marcos administrators, who were able to move some of the other events. David Holmes, the director of the play, was quoted in a press release saying, “The production is outstanding and it would truly be a shame if we couldn’t share this show with the community.”
Not only are they sharing their show, they are using it to help out victims of the fire. The play will run free of charge for anyone who suffered a loss in the Jesusita Fire, or for those who still cannot return to their homes. As a way to say thanks, they are extending the same offer to any firefighters or law enforcement officers who want to see the show. And there are no hard feelings for anyone who left the Thursday night performance early; they can see the show for free as well. Any of these people just need to identify themselves at the VIP door for admission.
Man of La Mancha will run May 14, 15, and 16 at 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased in advance at San Marcos High School’s business office, or at the box office on the night of the performance.