It’s the season for Windham High School’s annual musical and this year, they have prepared for us Spamalot, a comedy and musical about King Arthur and his knights in the search for the Holy Grail and the problems they run into along the way.
Director Rob Juergens says that Spamalot is uniquely British in its outlook and style of humor.
“It is a show that I have been wanting to do for years, because I love the movie it is based on, Monty Python and The Holy Grail,” he said.
Juergens role is to provide an overall vision and structure for the show. Important input also comes from the Musical Director, Dr. Richard Nickerson, and the Choreographer, Vanessa Beyland.
“The costumer and the set designer also have key roles, and it is my job to make sure all the elements coalesce to provide a consistent picture,” says Juergens. “In addition, I focus on the blocking and acting aspects of the musical.”
Ashlynn Cuthbert is a freshman and plays Sir Lancelot in Spamalot.
“I am relatively new to theater, this being my third show, but ever since I started, I have loved the feeling of performing live, as well as getting to be a person that you would not normally get to play,” says Cuthbert. “I decided to be part of this musical in particular this year because Spamalot is so very different from any other musical you will ever experience. The comedy is such that you will laugh either because it's a genuinely good joke, or because it's so ridiculous that you can't help but laugh. Plus, as an actor, it is such a great way to learn how to play different roles in different styles of theater.”
For Cuthbert, her favorite aspect of Sir Lancelot is the difference between the Lancelot people know outside of the show, and how he is portrayed in the show.
“I love trying to connect the two different sides of the character. It's also very fun to play with a sword and mess around with it on stage,” she said.
Molly Plati, a junior, plays Patsy and is also the Student Producer for the production.
“I have been involved with the musical since freshman year so naturally I was excited to audition,” says Plati. “When Spamalot was first announced I was not familiar with the show. However, my parents were thrilled. That night we watched Monty Python's version and instantly I was excited. The dry humor and overall hilarity of the show is what really drew me in.”
Plati’s favorite part about playing Patsy is the tap number I have at the beginning of the second act.
“Patsy is a full comedic role and has many silly moments,” Plati said. “I love playing the funny character because I love making people laugh.”
King Arthur is played by junior Stuart Gabaree who said that he has always felt that he gravitates toward humor when it comes to expressing himself.
“I had never watched Monty Python and the Holy Grail before auditioning, but I had heard of it. I got together with some friends and finally watched the film, and I feel like from that point forward I was sold on the show,” he says. “The humor was up my alley with the way some things barely make any sense at all. Weirdness and randomness has always been my thing.”
His favorite part about his role is how he is not allowed to hold back with it.
“The role calls for me to be the most stuck up, self-centered, egotistical, and dimwitted king there ever was,” he said. “I am able to ham it up and overact to a concerning degree. This might be my only chance to do such a thing, so I am going to take it.”
Senior Kaitlyn Farrin plays Sir Robin and is a Student Director.
She has been doing theater for the past eight years and has truly grown to love it.
“I decided to do Spamalot in particular because I love comedy and I was drawn to the crazy musical numbers,” said Farrin. “My favorite part of my role is how ridiculous and energetic it is. I've always preferred playing more comedic roles, and Robin is definitely one. I love being able to be goofy and make people laugh.”
Windham High School musicals have a strong reputation for high-quality productions.
“People should come to this show to support live, local theater,” says Juergens. “There is no doubt that this show will be an absolute blast.” <