Flagler Theatre presents ‘Camelot’

Photo by Tad Mask
Flagler’s Theatre Arts Department will present “Camelot.” The show opens with a preview performance Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium.

By Amy Gray | gargoyle@flagler.edu

King Arthur is a legendary hero from medieval Britain, and he is also the lead character in Flagler College’s spring musical “Camelot,” directed by Phyllis Gibbs.

Students in the production have been working for weeks to pull the play together before the curtain goes up in early March.

J.K. Van Arsdall, a freshman who plays Sir Sagramore in the production is confident that the effort put into the play will pay off on opening night.

“Now that we’re getting the songs and dances down, we’re getting pretty good, we’re getting there,” Van Arsdall said. “A week or two ago, we were a little off, but now that it’s coming down to the opening, all our responsibilities are really coming together and I think it’s going to be pretty good.”

This play is the story of Arthur, played by sophomore Stephen Pigman. The king is inspired by the wizard Merlin, played by Aaron Liggett, and wishes to create a kingdom centered around peace and democracy. He organizes the Knights of the Round Table.

He marries Guenevere, played by sophomore Sarah Hoffman, and by senior Audrey Holeman.

Meanwhile, in France, Lancelot, played by Flagler alum Ben McLachlan, hears of King Arthur and his Round Table and goes to Camelot to be one of his knights.

Guenevere dislikes Lancelot and challenges three of the Knights of the Round Table to joust with him. He defeats them, winning Guenevere’s heart.

Lancelot embarks on foreign conquests for a few years, but upon returning he and Guenevere begin an affair. Arthur chooses to keep the peace in Camelot and knights Lancelot instead of taking action against the illicit romance.

The plot turns, however, when Arthur’s illegitimate son Mordred, played by senior Zephian Michaels, comes to Camelot with plans to defeat Arthur and take over the kingdom.

King Arthur’s values of peace and friendship are put to the test.

“Because of its philosophical theme about a non-violent approach to war and the settling of disputes around a round table [it is] very current in terms of world affairs,” Gibbs said.

The original Camelot premiered at Broadway’s Majestic Theater on Dec. 3, 1960, and was produced by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe.

The musical was written based on the legend of King Arthur from T.H. White’s novel “Once and Future King.”

The cast included Richard Burton as King Arthur, Julie Andrews as Queen Guenevere, and Robert Goulet as Sir Lancelot.

Like any production, a lot of time and planning is required when putting a show together.

“You have your principal characters and you have your ensemble,” Van Arsdall said. “I’m part of the ensemble, and our job is to be singing all the songs and whatnot. The only other musical I’ve been in, I was in a lead role, so it’s a little different coming here and being a background character, but its been fun.”

The Flagler College presentation of Camelot will include not only theater students, but also students from other majors, adults from the community, and even the wild and furry talent of a falcon and a dog.

The show opens with a special preview on Thursday, March 6 at 7:30 p.m.

There will be shows on Friday, March 7 and Saturday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m., as well as Sunday, March 9 and 16 at 2 p.m.

Tickets go on sale beginning Monday, February 25 from noon to 5 p.m.

Ticket prices are $10 for general seating and $20 for specific seating.

For more information call the Theatre Department box office at (904) 826-8600 between noon and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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