By Gregory Jouvenat
Cal Poly Pomona’s Actors Collaborating with Technicians club will be premiering Monty Python’s “Spamalot,” its first theatrical production, tomorrow at 8 p.m. at the University Theatre.
“Spamalot” is the musical adaptation of Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Eric Idle, one of the original members of Monty Python, made a musical adaptation of the movie.
“I am appreciating the [play] more and more as I go through it night after night,” said Jeff Kean, production manager and adjunct faculty at CPP’s Department of Theatre and New Dance. “We’ve got the show completely on its feet now. We are running through the whole show from start to finish. It should really come alive; I think this show will be hilarious. It’s still making me laugh, and I’ve been listening to it now for eight weeks.”
Before directing this production, Kean was an executive director of the Woodland Opera House in Woodland, California for 18 years. He graduated with a degree in directing from the University of North Carolina and has been running theatres for 25 years.
According to Spencer Saccoman, a third-year technical theatre and design student and stage manager of “Spamalot,” the ACT club wants to bring mainstream theatre to CPP. The ACT club aims to put on musicals here at CPP, since there have not been many opportunities in the past. The club is open to all students, faculty and staff who want to get involved with theatre productions.
“We all brought together a band of misfit actors and even some people who aren’t in our department,” said Saccoman. “We have environmental science majors, ” animal science majors, sociology and psych majors and even somebody that wants to be a teacher. They all came together through a love of theatre and a desire to put on a very funny musical. They have genuinely succeeded.”
According to Gerard Marquez, who plays the lead role of King Arthur and is a second-year computer engineering student, ACT has worked on the production since the beginning of the quarter. Its members have been rehearsing four to five days every week for hours at a time.
“It’s really daunting,” said Marquez. “I’m super stressed out, and I have too many lines. I think I’m on track for what I should be doing, but it’s a lot of pressure.”
Some of the stage technicians have assumed acting roles in this production. Clayton Fournival, a fourth-year theatre technology and design student and technical director of the production, plays Patsy, King Arthur’s horse and squire.
“The play is very Shrek-like,” said Fournival. “It’s like new Pixar movies that are meant to be a family experience. There are blatant jokes that anybody of any age group can get and then there’s the tongue-in-cheek kind of adult stuff.”
Matthew Brinegar, a fourth-year theatre technology and design student and sound designer for the production, is another stage technician that has an acting role. Brinegar said he has a blast playing the role of the not-so-brave Sir Robin.
“It was like ‘okay, let’s throw these guys in there,’ and we will figure out how to juggle it all,” said Brinegar. “It’s been a challenge trying to juggle being in rehearsal every night and [getting] all the technical aspects of the show done.”
Despite the play’s premiere a week before final exams, there are some students who believe the play can bring stress relief to some students.
“The play is entertaining. I think it would be really good for audiences to come and see it,” said Mabel Schreffler, who plays the Lady of the Lake in the production and is a third-year English education student. “It runs right before finals. If you’re stressing out this is the perfect way to just relax and to have a really good night. The play is fun, and it’s bright and colorful. There aren’t really any sad moments that will really get you down; it’s a really good distraction.”
Additional showings of “Spamalot” will be on Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. General admission tickets can be purchased for $10 online at act.tixato.com/buy. Student admission tickets are $5, but they can be purchased at the door before each showing. All proceeds support the ACT club.
Courtesy of Actors Collaborating with Technicians
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