The musical Camelot is being produced by The Bay Street Theater safely outdoors in Bridgehampton starting August 5 and running through August 29 with the show starting at 7:30 pm. This will perhaps be a once in a lifetime opportunity to see this show in a setting it was written to be in. Bay Street Theater Artistic Director Scott Schwartz is directing Camelot and is thrilled and excited about the show.
He took time out to share his vision. He said, “I just think this is the perfect summer with the perfect location for Camelot. It is a show that I have wanted to do at Bay Street both as Artistic Director and Director for a long time and I have always been looking for the right moment. I felt that coming out of the pandemic and out of the times we’ve been through for the last fifteen months which has been so challenging. With so much upheaval both here and around the world that it was important to do a show about a time when someone, King Arthur, was trying to change the world and make might for right as opposed to might being right. This seems like a great time to tell this story. It is also a story set In very early England, it’s pre-Norman Conquest so we are kind of in the (years) 800 AD or so. That was a time of roots and being outdoors and a lot of Camelot is actually set outdoors. Since we are doing this show outdoors for the safety of the audience and the cast due to the pandemic, I thought but what better show to do , then to do a musical where the outdoors and nature and the spiritual energy of nature is an important part of the show.”
While standing in the field in Bridgehampton, (behind the Carvel of Route 27) where the show will be produced Scott Schwartz said he loved, “How intimate it’s going to feel. We have enclosed the area where the audience is going to be sitting with the stage. So it kind of feels like you are in Bat Street Theater, but just outdoors, I thinks it’s going to be a really special, special show.
In the important role of Guinevere the roll Julie Andrews immortalized so many years ago is Britany Coleman, a young yet Broadway seasoned actor is ready to win the over the audiences with her portrayal of Guinevere. She explained how it all came about by saying, “Essentially It was a phone call, Scott Schwartz, our director here, knew that I had played the role before at least a couple of times so he called me when the theater decided to do Camelot for their season…If asked me if I was interested, and I love this role so much, with this now being my forth time doing it, I told him doing it (Guinevere) would be lovely…A lot of us in theater haven’t work a lot recently so this is a wonderful opportunity…we are basically doing this show in the clearing of a forest that is wonderful if not magical!”
When asked about her favorite moment in the show Ms. Coleman said, “There are so many lovely moments in the show, my favorite moment in the show has always been, ‘What do the Simple Folks Do?’ It is Act II when everything is really, really terribly and Arthur and Guinevere have a moment of lightness and a moment to kind of reflect on what they used to have. I think it so buoyant and really lovely; it falls at the perfect moment in the show. When we are doing that scene I think it’s the most realistic scene we have, I am getting a reluctant King Arthur to dance…it’s delicious I love it.’
Cast as King Arthur is Jeremy Kushnier also shared his thoughts about the show and his role as King Arthur he said, “I think the most exciting thing for me about this role is it’s timeliness. Arthur is a reluctant leader that finds inspiration in Guinevere. This relationship becomes more then love it is a partnership. A partnership that inspires them to attempt to create a place where there is a just justice system, where the powerful protect and lift up the oppressed. Frankly it’s the kind of world that I know I’d like to live in. He is imperfect and flawed and, spoiler alert, ultimately his single mindedness is one of his major downfalls. However we are left at the end of our play with a hopeful ideal, with a story that tells us that as long as we keep this dream alive that perhaps, we can, one day live in that world.”
Playing Lancelot is Deven Kolluri who said, “What excites me most about this role is the journey Lancelot takes, and I mean that both literally and figuratively. He leaves France for Camelot in his first number, seeking to live out his lifelong desire to fight for the noblest of causes. And once there, his world and the notions he had implode, and he is left to sort through the tumult. He opens himself up to the world for the first time and it changes him. The literal external expedition unlocks a much more massive internal one. It is a deeply human journey. And I get to pump blood into that.”
Scott Schwartz concluded by saying he is “very grateful to Carol Conor and her organization who own this land (the site) for donating it to us. We are very grateful to the government in South Hampton who oversees this area and also to the state government for giving us the approvals and permission to perform here.”
The audience capacity is 200 and comfortable all-weather chairs will be provided and in place, level and the field with a raised stage, all in open air.
Schwartz said, “With the breeze blowing and sky over head plus the moon and the stars, very much modeled on (NYC) Shakespeare in the Park. The show runs a little over two hours including intermission. It is a very tight very sleek version of Camelot. Iam just htrilled to be doing the show because it’s romantic, it’s passionate, and it’s also funny, particularly in Act 1. Then it gets more serious as the show progresses and the at the end it’s very moving. The audience will get to have a whole emotional ride through it especially with our phenomenal cast.
Bathrooms and refreshment options are available on the site. Tickets and information at www.baystreet.org