DREAMING THE IMPOSSIBLE DREAM WITH THIRD WALL PRODUCTIONS- INTERVIEWS WITH THE CAST OF MAN OF LA MANCHA: Robert Howard, Jim Morgan, Nick Ruth, Mike Zellhofer

The impossible dream interview series may be coming to a close— just in time for you to stop dreaming of Third Wall’s Man of La Mancha and go see it! They open tomorrow! (Friday 11/8/19) and there are still tickets available! You won’t want to miss this timeless classic, rarely produced in Baltimore, as it sweeps past its own impossible dreams and brings you hope of dreaming once more. In the final installment of the interview series, we feature muleteers,

(L to R) Robert Howard, Nick Ruth, Jim Morgan, and Mike Zellhofer in Man of La Mancha
Amanda N. Gunther | TheatreBloom (L to R) Robert Howard, Nick Ruth, Jim Morgan, and Mike Zellhofer in Man of La Mancha

If you’ll just tell us who you are, who you play in this show, and what was the last thing that you did in/on/around/adjacent to a stage, we’ll get underway.

Nick Ruth: I’m Nick Ruth and I am playing Juan. He’s one of the muleteers. I played Arvide Abernathy in Artistic Synergy’s Guys & Dolls.

Jim Morgan: I am Jim Morgan and I am the barber, you know the one with the golden helmet? And I also was just in Artistic Synergy’s Guys & Dolls I’m Nathan Detroit.

Mike Zellhofer: I’m Mike Zellhofer, I am the director of this production. And I played the middle-aged man for In The Closet here at Third Wall.

Robert Howard: I am Robert Howard and I am playing Jose the muleteer in this production. This is my first production since graduating college but most recently I worked backstage and box office for St. Vincent Summer Theatre, a professional summer theatre in Latrobe, Pennsylvania, and also played a very small off-stage role with one line in one of their shows.

What is your personal impossible dream?

Nick: Show-wise?

Sure! A lot of people who have answered this question already have gone in that vein so go for it.

Nick: Great! I would love to play Judas in Jesus Christ Superstar.

Jim: This is it. It was my bucket list to be in Man of La Mancha. Because I have directed it, I have watched, and now I am in it.

Mike: My impossible dream? It doesn’t have anything to do with theatre. I would love for people to be able to see the good in one another and for everybody to be able to get along as opposed to all the sniping and complaining and the way things are now.

Robert: How do I compete with that? I guess I’ll take it back to theatre. My impossible dream is playing Mark Cohen in Rent. I would love that; I would love that above anything else in theatre.

What does it mean to you in regards to this show or in regards to life to live the impossible dream?

Nick: It’s to try for whatever it is that you are looking for. Even though you might think it’s impossible, you still take a shot at it.

Jim: Never give up.

Mike: For me I like the message of the show. This was the first show that I saw, it got me interested in theatre. I think it really pertains now— and can I put a plug in too? On November 10, 2019 the proceeds from our show, everything we make from that matinee, will be donated to Episcopal Migration Ministry, who are helping the refugees that have come across the border with medical and legal expenses. This is important. It’s a lot like Man of La Mancha where people were put in prison by the inquisition for speaking out and for trying to better themselves. A lot of that is what’s happening nowadays. Regardless of where you sit politically, the fact is that these people are human beings and they are here and they need to be taken care of and treated like human beings.

Robert: Whether it be in what I do for work or what I do for theatre, I want to make a difference. I want to help people at least feel like they’ve bettered themselves or enjoyed something that they’re doing, thanks to me in some part. I tutor high school students in mathematics and I go home trying to think, “I’ve helped them. I’ve helped them improve their grades, I’ve helped them with their future, I’ve helped them get through that.” And that’s what I want the shows that I’m in to do too. I want people to leave them saying, “I was really moved by that.” Or “I was really touched by all of that; this really helped me; I learned a lot from it.” That’s what I want, personally.

Why do you want people to come and see Man of La Mancha?

Nick: I want them to take a break from their everyday lives, have an enjoyable, entertaining evening, and come away smiling.

Jim: I want them to get the message.

Mike: The same. Just to give a quote from the show where Cervantes is making one of his rants and he says, “perhaps the largest form of madness is to see things as they are, not as they should be.”

Robert: I greatly agree with them. It’s funny, because when I auditioned and even after I was cast, I knew nothing about the show. I only started reading into it after. But I read into it and I realized this is a really important show. It deals with very important stuff, even today, I feel like it deals with very important issues. I feel like people could learn or appreciate a lot from watching it.

Man of La Manchaopens on Friday November 8, 2019 and plays through November 17, 2019 with Third Wall Productions at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church— 1108 Providence Road in Towson, MD. Tickets are available for purchase at the door or in advance online.

To read Part 1 of the Dreaming The Impossible Dream Series, click here.

To read Part 2 of the Dreaming The Impossible Dream Series, click here.

To read Part 3 of the Dreaming The Impossible Dream Series, click here.

To read Part 4 of the Dreaming The Impossible Dream Series, click here.

To read Part 5 of the Dreaming The Impossible Dream Series, click here.


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