Theatre Lawrence hopes ‘Camelot’ will take audiences to a more optimistic time

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Christoph Cording, as King Arthur, and Brenna Castor, as Guinevere, rehearse a scene for Theatre Lawrence’s production of “Camelot.” The show opened Friday, June 8, 2018 and will run through June 24, 2018.

Theatre Lawrence is capping off its 2017-2018 season with “Camelot,” and the theater company hopes the epic adventures of King Arthur, Guinevere and Sir Lancelot will transport audiences to a more optimistic time.

The classic musical, which has been around since 1960, retells the story of the legendary king (played here by Christoph Cording). “Camelot” opens with Arthur celebrating his engagement to Guinevere (Brenna Castor), but their lives are soon set off balance, first by the arrival of the charming Lancelot (Alan Martin), and later by Arthur’s illegitimate son Mordred (James LaRocca), who wants the throne for himself.

“It’s got love interest, it’s got adventure, it’s got optimism, which our country sorely needs right now,” said director Mary Doveton of the show. “It just kind of combines history and legend and magic and mystery and the whole idea of might for right.”

Plus, Doveton said, the show’s connection to American politics might be enough to get older members of the audience reminiscing.

“You know the whole Kennedy presidential era was often dubbed as the ‘Camelot’ era,” she said. “So I think it’s a little bit of a throwback, maybe, to the aspirations of that era.”

For Theatre Lawrence, making its production live up to the show’s grandiose reputation was no easy task, but Doveton said theatergoers can expect to see impressive medieval structures incorporated into the set, which towers 19 feet high.

photo by: Carter Gaskins

Christoph Cording sports a suit of armor in a rehearsal for Theatre Lawrence’s production of “Camelot.” The show opened Friday, June 8, 2018 and will run through June 24, 2018.

“I cannot say enough good things about our designers for this show,” Doveton said. “(The set) really captures kind of the iconic look I think that people associate with that medieval period with the arches — just all that look of heavy stone that our scenic artists have been able to accomplish with paint. And we have a fabulous stencil in the middle of the floor that captures the idea of the Round Table.”

But it’s not just the set that has an epic feel. Cording, who has a degree in medieval history, contributed two suits of armor for the show.

Doveton is hoping special touches like those, as well as the show’s classic setting, will make an impression.

“I think people are really going to enjoy it,” Doveton said. “It’s an adventure, you know; it’s a visit to another time. It’s an escape.”

“Camelot” opened June 8 and will continue through June 24 with showings on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Tickets can be purchased at the Theatre Lawrence box office.

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