TJ Students Salute Don Quixote's Dreams


(Friday, March 14, 2008 10:26 AM EDT)

Putting on a musical as demanding as “Man of La Mancha” is no easy feat for any theater group, and might seem impossible for middle-school thespians.

But the students at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, under the direction of Diana Haberstick, were up to the task and achieved “the impossible dream” by performing the show for the public March 7-8 and for their school on March 10.

Telling the story, loosely based on the book “Don Quixote,” the nearly 40-person cast breathed life into Miguel De Cervantes' tale of a “madman” seeking truth, beauty and justice against the facts of reality and unbeatable odds.

Dameyon Richardson as Don Quixote and Rourke Donahue as Sancho played off each other well and were a very believable pair. And Trisha Mae's forceful and fervent delivery of her lines as Aldonza commanded the attention of the crowd.

With impressive and lifelike set designs and a vibrant dance scene choreographed by a professional belly dancer, there were many highlights in the production.

But, ultimately, it was the cast's ability to portray the show's message - dreaming the impossible dream - that was the most captivating.

And it seemed that this message and the ideals Don Quixote strived for resonated with the young theater group as well.

“[The show] expresses the internal message that we can be who we want to be,” said eighth-grader Caitlin O'Grady.

Click here for a slide show of photos.

Rourke Donahue, Dameyon Richardson and Trisha Mae performed as Sancho, Don Quixote and Aldonza in Thomas Jefferson Middle School's production of "Man of La Mancha."
(Photo by Kristen Armstrong)

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