Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot – Who Are They Really?
Submitted By Maggie Faneuf
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.
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.
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
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.”
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
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,
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.