Fans of "Monty Python" will have something to look forward to over the next week as Auburn Area Community Theatre puts on “Spamalot!” at the Jan Dempsey Community Arts Center.
Their first show was on Friday, Aug. 4 but the production continues August 5, 10, 11 and 12 and retells the legend of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
Auburn ACT cast parts for the play in May and has been rehearsing since. Carter deShazo, part of the play's ensemble, said the musical is looking good and ready to go, but came with a few challenges along the way.
“We had some cast who took jobs and had to leave,” deShazo said. “That created a challenge as there had to be some rearranging, especially with the ensemble; it required re-piecing scenes with certain people and adapting differently to what we had to work with.”
The rearranging came in the form of some role changes, even requiring one of the ensembles to bear the mantle of King Arthur. Challenges also arose out of the nature of community theatre deShazo said, as the Jan Dempsey Art Center is a shared space.
“We are sort of translating the production room to room, week to week and ultimately we have to put it all together,” deShazo said.
Dionte Black, a 4th year double major in music and musical theatre is performing in his first Auburn ACT production as Sir Galahad and shares sentiments about the musical’s challenges during production.
“[The changes in the cast] made the process a little more strenuous than it probably normally is,” Black said. “Luckily the director and musical director had an idea of what they wanted to do with the show and stuck with it, even when dealing with all the changes.”
Black said that the biggest challenge personally, however, was encompassing the comedy of Monty Python.
“It’s being absurd without being absurd,” Black said. “It's been a journey, and I’ve never done anything like this before.”
Amidst all the challenges, the cast of “Spamalot!” has stuck it out to make a hilarious and impressive show according to both deShazo and Black.
“The cast has been really great at working together as a team, helping out where they needed to help out and helping other people make those transitions,” deShazo said. “That’s been really nice, seeing people really stick it out and stick together as a team to make sure this production runs smoothly.”
Auburn ACT President Terry Kelley said that while the show is so good because of the actors, directors and staff, it is the people who never stepped foot on stage that really made the show what it is.
"From our lighting and sound team to the set crew who built, sculpted and painted 500 square feet of castle walls...they do it all simply for the love of theatre and the love of our community," Kelley said. "It is the greatest feeling in the world to be a part of this theatre family."