Curtains rise for “Camelot” next spring

The theatre and music departments join together for a production of the musical “Camelot.”
Johnathan Burkhardt/THE CHIMES
Johnathan Burkhardt/THE CHIMES

Roughly sixteen students gather around a piano as music floods the room. Soft but strong voices carry a harmonious tune that feels light and playful. A closer listen and one realizes the lovely, melodic voices sing of burning a queen at the stake. These elements comprised the rehearsal for Biola’s newest production, “Camelot”, which will show at Lansing Recital Hall in the spring.

Biola’s theatre department and the Conservatory of Music unite in this musical to recreate the love story between main characters King Arthur, Queen Guinevere and Sir Lancelot.

“I had to choose something that I care about because it was going to take that much out of me,” said Kate Brandon, associate theatre professor and director of the musical. “It is three times as hard to do a musical as it is a play.”

Brandon chose the play for the mixed theme of idealism and humanity that encompasses the lives of people every day.

LIVING IN A FALLEN WORLD

“It is all about idealism and what we hope things could be, what we want them to be, and what we dream them to be, but we live in a fallen world which deals with our humanity which messes that up,” Brandon said. “It shows us our intentions of trying to make things better and more beautiful and what happens when Satan comes along.”

The musical uses idealism throughout the production. However, freshman music and worship major Kaley Casenhiser hopes the cast will be able to capture the comedic moments in what she refers to as a dramedy.

“I remember during callbacks I was reading over the script, the little section we were going to read, and it just struck me how hilarious it was,” said Casenhiser, who plays Queen Guenevere in the musical. “The characters are super relatable, but there are also just these moments of wit and I really hope that comes across when we do the show.”

“Camelot” will be the first musical performed by both the theatre and music departments since the 2012 performance of “Into the Woods.” Brandon confirmed that the theatre department has committed to doing a musical every two years, starting officially with “Camelot”.

“For the theatre department and for music, we both felt we needed to start doing musicals and training people because this is part of what they do when they get out,” said Brandon.

PREPARING FOR THE SHOW

Senior theatre major Brandon Wetmore plays Lancelot in the upcoming musical. Wetmore has eagerly look forward to working on his first musical with Biola, after participating in quite a few musicals before his Biola career.

“It is exciting to do a musical because it is so different,” said Wetmore. “I get to work with people I have not worked with before because we are working with a lot of people from the music department.”

For senior theatre major Kelly Mireles, this musical will be her final performance before graduation, and she has high hopes for its success.

“I haven’t done a musical in a long time, so I’m excited,” said Mireles.

Mireles will play the character Morgan Le Fey, King Arthur’s half-sister, and will spend most of her time on stage as part of the ensemble. The musical will feature a smaller ensemble cast than most musicals, creating a close-knit interaction between characters.

Rehearsals will pick up rigor and speed during interterm as the cast buckles down for the February productions.

“Because we started working on it so early, by the time we get to the intensive rehearsals at interterm, all the pieces are going to come together really well,” said Mireles.

The award-winning musical will premiere at Lansing Recital Hall in the Crowell Music Building on Feb. 6 at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. There will be productions Feb. 7-8 and Feb. 13-15.

“We are doing our best, and then we are going to ask God to bless it,” said Brandon.

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Curtains rise for “Camelot” next spring