Last year I wrote a full-length contemporary high school comedy paralleling the comical/woeful adventures of Cervantes’ well-meaning but bumbling knight-errant Don Quixote. My working title was “Donna Quixote,” and the play was set at La Mancha Mall during a cosplay convention. The cast featured a quirky female protagonist and lots of fun supporting characters, from a catgirl to a Viking barbarian.
When I workshopped the play, I learned that not only had most high school students never heard of Don Quixote, they couldn’t even pronounce his name. I brainstormed other possible titles with the editors at Pioneer Drama Service, the company publishing the play.
We came up with “The Cosplay Con Quest,” a pun to tie together the popularity of gatherings of costumed characters with a hint at the adventure angle.
The script’s sales were, put delicately, disappointing.
So now we’ve rebranded the show as “Girl of La Mancha,” hoping that high school drama students might at least have heard of the musical “Man of La Mancha,” and order a script just to see what it’s all about.
Same show, new brand. Maybe this very funny, easy to cast and produce play will find its market. And I sure hope that’s no impossible dream.
(The Cosplay Con Quest)
Geek out with this exciting contemporary adventure, very loosely adapted from Cervantes’ Don Quixote. There’s nothing quite like this show for your drama students — it’s loaded with pop culture and comic book and gamer fandom. La Mancha Mall is overrun by costumed teenagers at the annual Cosplay Con. But when a clumsy gamer bumps her head and assumes the character of Donna Quixote, the event takes on a whole new, hilarious twist. Donna’s farcical, mixed-up adventures include obtaining “armor” from a sporting goods store, tilting a windmill at Harry Putter’s Magical Mini-Golf, enraging the wizard Gandaldore, having mock battles with pool noodles, and mistaking the food court busboy Alonzo for a magnificent nobleman. Meanwhile, all-too-normal Simon Carrasco makes a bet with the Goth girl, Darkness, that he can restore Donna to mundane reality. Loaded with laughs, the play also promotes heartfelt messages about idealism and acceptance of others. Students and audiences alike will cheer the misguided, madcap adventures of Donna Quixote!
CLICK HERE to purchase a reading copy GIRL OF LA MANCHA. Published by Pioneer Drama Service.