WHAT IS CAMELOT?
Lincoln Center Theater’s production of CAMELOT features a racially diverse cast, no English accents, a minimal set, and a new book that includes contemporary language and references. All these elements free this production from a specific time and place. This Camelot lives in our imagination.
PHOTO BY DARREN COX
CAMELOT opened on Broadway in 1960, the same year that President John F. Kennedy was elected at the age of only 43. After Kennedy’s assassination in 1963, his presidency became closely associated with the idealism and disillusionment present in the story of young King Arthur and Camelot.
Instead of just reminding us of the past, this production of CAMELOT asks us to interrogate our memory and reflect on the present. The director of Lincoln Center Theater's production, Bartlett Sher, has said, “I think the activity of theater is a kind of memory exercise; it’s checking national and personal myths against who you are now. Revisiting our stories invites us to ask good, hard, powerful questions, and to examine what we’re working on and towards.”
At the end of the story, the idealistic King Arthur loses his love and watches his kingdom collapse, knowing that he had been on the precipice of something great. This timeless story of personal and political tragedy, and of the endless complications of love and governance, holds as much resonance today as it has in the past.
Image description: Andrew Burnap, Phillipa Soo, Jordan Donica and director Bartlett Sher
THE KING ARTHUR LEGEND THROUGH TIME
The legend of King Arthur is one of the most popular literary subjects of all time. It has been adapted, referenced, and sampled by countless artists throughout the centuries. Below are some famous adaptations of the story of King Arthur, Merlin, and Camelot.