Theater’s quest

Drama prepares for the debut of their fall musical


Brooke McKelvey

Awaiting the rest of his cast members, Matthew Lewis, senior, reads through his lines before the musical’s daily rehearsal. This year’s musical “Spamalot,” will premiere Nov. 2 in the Performing Arts Center.

Instead of slowly easing into new classes and activities, the drama department wasted no time before diving into this year’s fall musical: “Spamalot.” “Spamalot” is a comedic spinoff of the 1975 film “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” following the tale of King Arthur and other knights of the round table. With only about a month left before their first show, cast members are already feeling the pressure.

“We rehearse two and a half hours a day, five days a week,” Brady McDevitt, senior, said. McDevitt plays Sir Robin, one of the knights of the round table.

On the other hand, it will all be worth it in the end. With the huge success of “The Addams Family” last year, cast members only hope to continue the experience for cast and audience members alike.

“This show is very similar to ‘The Addams Family.’ It’s upbeat, fun and a real classic,” Matthew Lewis, senior, said. Lewis plays King Arthur, the head of the round table. “This is my first large role in a musical and I’m nervous about living up to the success we had last year.”

Something that makes this year’s musical stand out from last year’s is the personal attachment the director, Steve Beckingham, has with “Spamalot.”

“Steve is British, so he grew up with ‘Monty Python,’’’ Lewis said. “He loves this humor so his direction comes from the heart.”

With so much going on behind the scenes, it can be easy to get lost in the commotion. It is important for the cast to remember why they are doing this and what it means to them.

“I have done theater my whole life, in every way possible,” McDevitt said. “I love being on stage and making people laugh.”

McDevitt and Lewis are two of the three thespian presidents this year, and they find complete joy in acting. The thespians make up Thespian Troupe 1915, a club dedicated to acting and celebrating all things theater Thursdays at lunch in the black box.  Even when they are buried in memorization, they take it as a challenge that will only make them better.

“I have my own song this year where I have to sing high notes by myself,” McDevitt said. “I think that will definitely be my biggest challenge this year.”

Even though it can be a time-consuming pastime, theater is a great way to get involved. If acting on stage in front of an audience is a scary thought, it is easy enough to just come and show support throughout the year. “Spamalot” has its first performance Nov. 2, and the cast highly recommends everyone (especially fans of “Monty Python”) to come out and see it.