Audiences can see a comedic take on King Arthur’s medieval England in the Short North Stage’s production of “Monty Python’s Spamalot.”
The Tony award winning musical parody “Spamalot” is based on the 1975 comedy film, “Monty Python and the Holy Grail,” both of which follow similar plots. The story follows King Arthur searching for his Knights of the Round Table to help him in his search for the Holy Grail. Throughout their quest, King Arthur and his knights encounter a host of characters including taunting French soldiers, killer rabbits and antagonistic knights.
“Spamalot” is directed and choreographed by Edward Carignan. He began his career in New York City as an actor, dancer and singer, but transitioned into the director’s chair in Columbus.
“I am drawn to the director’s job of keeping it all cohesive,” Carignan said. “You have many moving parts like tech, artists, actors and musicians that you create into one consistent look.”
Carignan said he is looking forward to the jabs at modern pop culture that this musical has as he said “Spamalot” is more universal and has a broader audience appeal than the original film.
“The most exciting part is seeing people that don’t normally come to the theater,” he said.
Carignan invited guest actors and designers from New York City to join the production, but Short North Stage also hosts local auditions for all productions.
Ohio State alumnus Ryan Kopycinski will be portraying three characters: Sir Bedivere, Sir Galahad’s mom and Concorde. He said his time at OSU has helped him build an understanding of theater as a whole, with technical classes like script analysis, movement and design.
“Knowing my roles are key pieces that help bring this production together,” Kopycinski said. “I work with the cast to perform a piece of art that is to entertain, make people think and bring out emotion.”
Carignan said he tries to host auditions completely open-minded to whoever walks through the door. The “Spamalot” production features many levels of performers, from high school and college students to professional performers.
For her second show with Short North Stage, Olivia Ward, a second-year in theatre and dance, will be a part of the ensemble. Ward said she looks forward to this production where she can dance, sing, and act.
“You need to own who you are as a mover and an artist,” Olivia said. “Diversify yourself and utilize your background to make you a strong performer and unique dancer.”
“Monty Python’s Spamalot” will be live on stage from March 23 to April 15. Ticket prices range from $25 to $42 and can be purchased online or at Short North Stage’s Garden Theatre.