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Early thoughts on CAMELOT

By Alan Paul

Camelot is about a moment of enlightened leadership in the middle of a dark time. King Arthur civilized England by recognizing that his knights should use “might for right” and by introducing the idea of law and order. These concepts were revolutionary at the time—and unprecedented. In the musical, you get to see King Arthur build these ideas up, and then see how his political rivals try to tear them down. What King Arthur ultimately learns is that ideas matter, and it’s very hard to kill an idea.

I believe that the legend of King Arthur speaks directly to right now. I am eager to direct a production of Camelot that feels contemporary and modern—even if the actors are wearing medieval clothing. I believe we will all see a lot of ourselves in this story, and I’m looking forward to making it come alive in fresh ways.

Besides having a captivating story, Camelot has one of the great scores of Broadway’s Golden Age. Lerner and Loewe wrote some of their best songs for Camelot, including “Camelot,” “The Lusty Month of May,” “Before I Gaze at You Again,” and my favorite, “If Ever I Would Leave You.”

I am excited to bring six phenomenal actors to D.C. to play the leading roles. These include Ken Clark as King Arthur, Alexandra Silber as Guenevere, Nick Fitzer as Lancelot, and STC favorite Patrick Vaill as Mordred. What thrills me the most is to be able to bring Floyd King and Ted van Griethuysen back to STC to play King Pellinore and Merlyn. I grew up watching them onstage, so it means the world to me to have them in these great roles.

I’m also excited to have choreographer Michele Lynch on this production. Washington audiences know Michele from her work on Kiss Me, Kate for STC (for which she won the Helen Hayes Award for Best Choreography), as well as the Washington National Opera’s production of Showboat. We plan to invigorate the dances and musical staging in exciting ways.

Whether this is your tenth time seeing this classic musical or your first, I think you’ll have a wonderful time if you come this spring to see Camelot at STC.

To learn more about Camelot, click here.

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