Running Time: Two hours and 10 minutes, including one intermission

Using humor to deal with current social problems, Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle, uses the iconic characters from Cervantes’ 17th-century classic novel to explore the intersection of chronic inebriation and mental health among homeless Latinos. The play examines how these gentlemen struggle to keep their dignity while living on the streets of Seattle. Don Quijano (a more recent immigrant) speaks entirely in Spanish, while his counterpart nicknamed Sancho Panza (“illegal since age 1”) communicates in his first language, Spanglish. Together they navigate the system of emergency rooms, psych wards, shelters, day labor, and tent cities while meeting street life head-on, with comedy and dignity..

Take a video tour of the inspiration for this play with a documentary produced by the Seattle Channel: "Dialogues on Dignity with eSe Teatro."

Grant funding provided by ArtsWA logoNEA logo

Photo by Stephanie Mallard Couch

You can help bring Don Quixote to Seattle!

Meet the Match for eSe Teatro!Give today through ArtsFund's Power2Give, and not only will your donation help underwrite many of the necessary costs eSe Teatro and ACT must incur to offer this production to a larger Seattle audience, your gift will also be matched by the Raynier Foundation–meaning your generosity will go twice as far!

eseteatroeSe Teatro empowers local Latino artists to create, produce and present professional theatre in English, Spanish, bilingual and Spanglish. We strive for inclusion and self definition of our artists, representing "all the colors in the rainbow of brown" to educate audiences about the many expressions of our Latinidad in the U.S. eSe employs artists and provides them a high visibility professional platform within Seattle mainstream theatre. Our strong social component brings theatre to under-served Latino communities such as monolingual, low-income, homeless and at-risk youth audiences. For more information on eSe Teatro, visit their website at and Facebook at

Find out more about eSe Teatro's artistic director, Rose Cano, in this article by The Seattle Times.(English) and in an article recently published in both English and Spanish on

Director's Note

The first volume of Don Quijote, El Ingenioso Hidalgo De La Mancha celebrated its 400th birthday in 2005. The second volume will celebrate its 400th birthday next year, having been published in 1615, ten years after its predecessor. For over four

centuries, this singular work of fiction has remained at the pinnacle of that most popular of literary forms: the novel. In my humble opinion, it belongs (along with the works of his contemporary writer, Shakespeare) at the forefront of the Western Canon. To say that I love the book is an understatement...I actually feel that my life was enriched by reading it.

Rose Cano and I share a similar passion for Cervantes. She and I first worked together on the production of Don Quixote at Book-It Repertory Theatre in 2005 (a production that celebrated the novel’s 400th Anniversary). Over the past few years, I have been following the progress of Rose’s play as she held readings of it in shelters and tent cities around the Puget Sound area. How exciting it was for me to be invited to direct the piece for eSe Teatro.

To call this play a “modern interpretation” of the famous story is only partially accurate. Rose has taken motifs and themes from Cervantes’ novel and passed them before a complex series of contemporary mirrors. What we have are reflections of the novel...refractions of the characters. The modern themes reflected back to us are those of homelessness, mental health, alcoholism, and (most strongly) how one can hold onto the delicate thread of one’s dignity while facing the cruelty of life on the street. You are infor a funny, thought provoking and emotional night of theater.

My final shout out goes to the intrepid ensemble you are about to watch. They have all worked so hard on this production...their collective corazón is as large as...well...the novel of Cervantes itself. Salud!

From the Playwright

This play was developed over three years through a series of readings and "dialogues on dignity" at local shelters for the homeless, day labor centers, tent cities and support groups. I was first inspired to write this play while working as a Spanish Medical Interpreter at Harborview Hospital in the Emergency Department on the weekends. I was moved by the plight of many homeless Latinos I saw come through the doors, with various ailments such as chronic inebriation, substance abuse, diabetes, epilepsy, infectious diseases, and mental disorders. All these challenges were magnified by language barriers and immigration status, or rather, no status at all. I was struck by the those individuals who managed to keep their dignity, in spite of everything, and carried themselves as gentlemen. 

The idea of a man being a “caballero” is very important to a Latino, no matter what social station he hails from. These gentlemen (and gentlewomen) shared their stories, which have forever impacted me. I consider them co-writers of this play. It has been an honor working with these men and women, struggling to keep their dignity while living on the street.

Dedicated to all the gentlemen and gentlewomen who roam the streets with dignity.

For my father, Rodolfo Cano and his friend Mario. For Princess Angeline. Para las mujeres de Juarez. (For the women of Juarez).

Dialogues on Dignity - A Theatrical Model to Encourage Community Discussion

eSe Teatro has developed a model using performance to engage community and serve as a catalyst for dialogue. This consists of a 30 minute excerpt of this play followed by a bilingual dialogue on the challenges of maintaining one's dignity while living on the street. This model has been presented through various homeless advocacy organizations and Latino service organizations such as Consejo Counseling, Union Gospel Mission - Spanish Chapel, The William Booth Center, Tent City 3, Chief Seattle Club, The Compass Center, and CASA Latina. 

A  30-minute excerpt of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle, followed by a community "Dialogue on Dignity" will be presented at the Seattle Public Library Downtown on September 13th at 2pm (Microsoft Auditorium) as part of the "Expression Without Limits" series.


Jose AmadorJosé Amador (Sancho Panza) is a local playwright/director/actor who has been actively involved in the Seattle Theater scene for the last two decades. As a playwright, he has written two solo plays, A Walk in the Dark and El Hijo Prodigo, along with numerous full-length, short- plays and sketches. As a director, his most recent productions include 14/48, Duels (Northwest New Works), the critically acclaimed Black Like Us (Annex Theatre), and Katrina: I Too Am Worthy (Langston Hughes Arts Center). Outside of 14/48, Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle marks José’s return to the stage in a number of years; most recent acting credits include Three Sisters, The Milosevics (both with The Paradise Theater School in Chimacum) and El Hijo Prodigo (Annex). He couldn’t be more pleased to present this world premiere play. 

Ian BondIan Bond (Ensemble), since moving to Seattle in 2013, has performed with Sound Theatre Company (Holiday of Errors), Book-it Repertory (Frankenstein), and Taproot Theatre Company (Diana of Dobson’s). Ian spent the previous three years as a Resident Ensemble Member of the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. Favorite roles at CSC include Romeo, Mr. Darcy, Hamlet (tour), Willoughby (Sense and Sensibility), Banquo (Macbeth), and Al Joad (The Grapes of Wrath). He has also performed with Cincinnati Opera (Porgy and Bess), Know Theatre of Cincinnati (When the Rain Stops Falling), and Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte (Little Dog Laughed).

Steve GallionSteve Gallion
(Ensemble) is a graduate of the Evergreen State College. He most recently worked with Bridges Stage Company's Terre Haute directed by Aaron Levin. He has appeared on stage for Freehold Engaged Theatre, and Annex Theatre. He is honored to be in eSe Teatro's production of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle.


Will RoseWill Rose (Don Quixote) is a graduate of Cornish College of the Arts theater program (1982). He has worked somewhat quixotically as an actor, director, and teacher in New York, Switzerland, Prague, and now at The Attic Learning Community in Woodinville, where he teaches English, French, and Theater. He has most recently appeared on stage as Candy in Of Mice and Men (Eclectic Theater), as Paul in Israel Horowitz' short play Virtual Alex (Studio4Seattle), and in various roles in Théatre Français de Seattle's production of Une Soirée Absurde. Will is a film and voice-over artist represented by Topo Swope Talent.

Angela MaestrasAngela Maestas
(Ensemble) Studied at Cornish College of the Arts, is a member of eSe Teatro since 2010 playing the role of Iffy in Electricidad, with acting roles in  productions of eSe Oro, eSe Amor, and staged reading of Don Quixote & Sancho Panza: Homeless in Seattle, dancer with African Conexions Seattle Center 50th Anniversary, singer with Mariachi Quinto Sol (2003 to present), staged reading of Boom Crackle Fly (ACT CHL, 2014).

Xochitl Potillo-MoodyXochitl Portillo-Moody
(Ensemble) is thrilled to be making her debut at ACT with eSe Teatro! A recent graduate of Cornish College of the Arts, her latest credits include A.J. in Ajax in Iraq (Cornish) and Ismenia in Lysistrata (Intiman).


David QuicksallDavid Quicksall
(Director) Most recently, David directed this summer’s Wooden O production of The Two Gentlemen Of Verona. Also, for the Seattle Shakespeare Company, David helmed the critically acclaimed Mainstage production of Coriolanus (“Play of the Year” –Seattle Weekly, 2012). This last year, he directed and adapted Frankenstein (Book-It Repertory Theatre), where he also directed his adaptation of Moby-Dick; or The Whale (a Seattle Times Footlight Award recipient). David first worked with Rose Cano in the 2005 production of Don Quixote, which he adapted (with Anne Ludlum) and directed for Book-It. As an actor, David has performed on pretty much all of the stages in Seattle. 

Rose CanoRose Cano (Playwright/Production Manager) is a founding member and Artistic Director of eSe Teatro, and a graduate of Cornish College. As a bilingual actor/playwright/director (Peruvian born-Seattle raised), she has presented her shows in English and Spanish in Minneapolis, New York, Venezuela, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Portugal, Spain, Peru, and Colombia. She most recently played Espanta in the World Premiere production of The Hunchback of Seville (Washington Ensemble Theatre). She appeared in a reading of Boom Crackle Fly (The Construction Zone/ACT CHL) and eSe Oro (eSe Teatro/ACT CHL).

Favorite roles include Jocasta in Oedipus El Rey (eSe Teatro/ACT CHL) (Seattle Times Footlight Award recipient) and Ferula in In The House of the Spirits (Book-It Repertory Theatre). Her original bilingual plays and musicals include Self Portrait, Tierra Sin Mal (Land Without Malice) Mabaire! (Don’t Forget Me!),  Callejón (The Alley). Her adaptation of La Mariposa by Francisco Jimenez will be produced this fall for Book-It Repertory Theatre’s touring program. Directing credits include Electricidad by Luis Alfaro and El Ultimo Coconut by Gerald Alejandro Ford.