Singing ‘Camelot’ to life
Suzanne Foster has never directed “Camelot,” the musical.
There’s no time like the present. In fact, there’s no time at all.
“Camelot” is the Battle Mountain High School Players’ spring production, and it’ll be Foster’s last. After decades of teaching and speeching, she said this is her swan song.
So, are you retiring? we asked.
“That’s what a swan song is,” Foster said, smiling at yet another teachable moment.
“Camelot” opens Thursday at Battle Mountain’s auditorium with a dinner theater. The run continues through Sunday.
“I’ve never produced it, and I knew I had the voices. We have strong leads,” she said. “It’ll be a good swan song.”
“Camelot” is a sweeping production and a great-looking play, and it’s a massive undertaking.
The BMHS Players’ numbers swelled to 50 people in the cast and crew, with another half-dozen or so in the band being conducted by Aaron Wacker, director of Battle Mountain’s music department.
The Battle Mountain Players are pulling off this one exceptionally well.
“A lot of students we see around school come out for the show,” said Kris Thornton, who plays King Arthur.
“Camelot” is the classic story of two guys fighting over a girl. Coincidentally, the BMHS Players received their scripts and music for this love story on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day.
“Camelot” opens in a hopeful tone, as King Arthur (Thornton) nervously prepares to meet his new queen, Guinevere (Susanna DeChant).
Initially, Guinevere tries to escape the marriage. But the two young people soon fall in love, to the pleasure of Arthur’s wise tutor, Merlin (Jamie Overcash).
To bring peace and stability to the kingdom, Arthur establishes the Knights of the Round Table. The most famous knight is Lancelot (Charlie Barry). Soon, Lancelot and Queen Guinevere fall in love.
Their affair is made public with the help of Arthur’s evil illegitimate son, Mordred (Jake Dutmer), and his aunt, the sorceress Morgan le Fey (Bailey Garton). As a result, peace ends and war breaks out as Arthur’s troops fight Lancelot’s French army.
Raleigh Addington is Colgrevance, a knight who fights for both Arthur and Lancelot as the play progresses.
“We’re the men who shed the blood and do the dirty work while they get rich and get the girl,” Addington said, cutting to the heart of a knight’s tale.
On the other hand, they have lots of fun.
“We do two big dance numbers and three or four major songs,” Addington said.
They’re fighting over a girl, Guinevere.
“I love being Queen Guinevere. It’s the absolute best,” DeChant said.
As for jilting Arthur for Lancelot, the heart wants what the heart wants, she said.
“She has a change of heart,” DeChant said. “The marriage with Arthur is arranged, and I wouldn’t say she’s in love with him, although she does come to care about and respect him.”
The musical stretches several cast members, and they’re delightful as they connect with their audience.
“I’m a pretty nice guy. I get to be a bit of a jerk in the play,” said Barry (Lancelot).
Mordred is a rotten scoundrel and presents a new challenge that Dutmer meets with great skill.
“Usually I’m the funny guy, and it’s nice to try something new,” Dutmer said.
It’s not easy for modern high school actors to put themselves into medieval England, but the BMHS Players accomplish it masterfully.
Jillian Kiss is Lady Anne, Guinevere’s right-hand lady and a delightful gossip. It’s not easy putting yourself in that era, but it’s fun.
“The costumes are wonderful, all those long dresses are fun,” she said. “It’s fun to dress up and be back in the medieval era.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 or email@example.com.