With opening night rapidly approaching, preparations and rehearsals are intensifying at Fort High these days for the cast and crew of this year’s musical, “Camelot.”
Slated to run March 24-26 at the J.A. Mathieu Auditorium, “Camelot” tells the tale of a young man named Lancelot, who steals the heart of King Arthur’s wife, Guenevere.
Director Val Martindale, along with music directors John Dutton and Chris Denby, have been working hard with the 40-member cast and 16-member orchestra to make this production a success.
“No one realizes the amount of work it takes to put on a show,” said Dutton, noting the idea to stage “Camelot” came about last August. “We did a read-through of the show before Christmas and auditions were held early in January.”
Martindale, who has directed 11 of the last 15 shows performed at Fort High, is really excited about this year’s musical.
“The leads are really good. They know most of their lines already and are working hard,” she remarked, admitting it was hard to choose the leads because of the quantity of talent involved in the show.
Martindale noted that aside from talent, there are many other things to consider when selecting the lead roles. The person’s voice range, appearance, and interactions with other performers are all taken into account.
“It’s a very difficult process but the students always come through and give their absolute best and then it’s all worth it,” she enthused.
Luc Hyatt, who has been in two previous Fort High musicals, will play the role of King Arthur while his leading lady, Guenevere, will be played by Stephanie Gartshore.
Tim DeGagne won the role of Lancelot, who will battle the evil plans of Morgan Le Faye (Adia Huss-Soloman) and her wicked nephew, Mordred (Dan Gibb).
Some of the knights include Jon Bone, Mark Bujold, Michael Kowalchuk, Jason Godin, Vic DeGagne, and Devon Hahkala.
“This is the most guys we’ve ever had in a show,” noted Martindale. “It’s wonderful to have that kind of interest.”
Martindale also said she is finding this musical easier to stage because the chorus is only in about three major scenes. These include songs entitled “The Joust,” “Guenevere,” and “The Lusty Month of May” (complete with a maypole dance).
“[But] just because the chorus is not on stage all the time doesn’t mean they’re not important,” she stressed. “Without them, there wouldn’t be a show.”
Both Dutton and Martindale said things are looking good and that everything is on track. “We still have over a month of practice left,” Dutton noted.
And because this musical will be the last to be staged at Fort High, students are looking to make it one to remember.
“It’s very different than last year,” voiced 10th-grader Erika Fagerdahl. “But I know it will be equally as good.”