Front Page News

November 7, 2018


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Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot – Who Are They Really?

Submitted By Maggie Faneuf

 

The Pittsfield Players are in final rehearsals for their upcoming production of CAMELOT, the beloved musical by Lerner and Loewe, which will be presented on November 9, 10, 11, 16, and 17 at the Scenic Theater in Pittsfield, directed by Maye Hart.

 

King Arthur, Guenevere, and Lancelot.  Most everyone knows of them or has heard of them. They are romantic, mythical beings caught up in love, idealism, and betrayal.  But who are they really, as people? Asking the actors who portray them in this production, it is obvious that the lead characters have studied and know their characters very well.

 

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Bill Schultz plays the challenging role of Arthur who, he says, “has become King of England through a rather extraordinary process – proving his nobility by freeing a sword from an anvil. He is trying to understand why things like war happen, and how he, as King, can solve the problems that have plagued civilizations.” Although a thoughtful and caring man, Bill reflected, Arthur is unsure of the decisions he reaches, but yet feels compelled to try to work things out.

 

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Likewise, Catherine Martinez, who plays Guenevere, has also put much thought as well as research into her part.  “She is very challenging to play,” she said, “and is a very interesting character.”  Unusual for her time, Guenevere is a strong-willed woman, “but,” Catherine said, “she is unrealistic at the beginning of the play. She expects a knight to come and save her. She has had virtually no social interaction with anyone until she meets Arthur.”  Arthur, “an amazing man,” said Catherine, teaches her to think about things and, by the way he treats her, allows her to have her own voice. However, because of her lack of experience, when the love triangle of Guenevere, Arthur, and Lancelot develops, Guenevere doesn’t know how to work with her feelings. “Because she has never had those interactions, she has to hash it out by herself."

 

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Kevin Kennedy, who plays Lancelot, says he has always been interested in the story of Camelot ever since high school, and in Lancelot most of all, especially in the way he comes off as arrogant. “However,” Kevin said, “he truly believes in what he says, in his abilities and in his skills, eventually proving that he really can perform miracles. When he does that, you come to realize that maybe his behavior is not so improper.  Ultimately, he finds another love, something he must feel deeply and truly to put aside all his beliefs.”

 

I asked each of the actors what was most challenging in bringing their characters to life. “The hardest part of playing Arthur,” said Bill, “is the wide range of emotion the character displays – comical fear, uncertainty, resolve, love, and intense anger. He has to come to terms with them all. Maye really gives us a lot of latitude in getting the character together, moving us in the right direction when we're off the path, and that is very helpful in finding a place for the character from within as much as possible.”

 

Most challenging for Catherine is “making sure I am portraying Guenevere correctly and making her real enough.” She researched poems and other sources about Camelot and descriptions of Guenevere, finding her a very important character of that time.

 

Similarly Kevin‘s biggest challenge is to portray Lancelot in a way that has folks take him seriously.  “He is rather stiff and proper, which is contrary to my nature, so I have some trouble portraying someone who is so serious.”  

 

Three powerful characters are being portrayed by three seasoned actors who have researched and truly know the people they are playing.  Guiding them are Maye Hart, the director,  Phil Breton, music director, and Dee Dee Pitcher, choreographer. 

 

Tickets may be obtained by visiting the Players’ website, www.pittsfieldplayers.com  or by calling 435-8852.  This is truly a production you won’t want to miss.

 



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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