Next week Lerner & Lowe’s Camelot makes a stop at Saint Paul’s Ordway Center for the Performing Arts. This enchanting fable with characters like King Arthur, Guenevere, Lancelot and the Knights of the Round Table makes for a majestic experience for all.
Before taking the stage at the Ordway next week, Mary McNulty who portray’s Guenevere sat down with me to discuss the show, her role and why she choose theater as her profession.
How did you first become interested in theatre?
My family has always been involved with the arts. Growing up, they cultivated in me a love and appreciation for the theatre and all of the hard work that goes into putting on a show. While most kids watched cartoons, I preferred watching my VHS tapes of “South Pacific” and “The King and I”! I can remember being a little girl and dressing up to go to the theatre. What an incredible thing to be transported for a few hours. Theatre has always been a major part of my life.
Every performer has that moment where it just “clicks” and they know performing is what they want to do for a living. What was that moment for you?
I think it was actually a series of moments for me. I loved singing in choir at my high school and taking voice lessons. Being onstage was a little scary for me at first, because I’m actually rather shy. I was in quite a few musicals and plays throughout my high school experience. The more I did it, the more I realized that theatre was an incredible thing. Telling stories is what interested me; feeling the raw emotion from an audience; there is nothing else in the world like that. I ended up receiving my BFA in theatre and voice from the University of Kansas School of Music.
What is tour life like? What do you love about live on the road? What do you dislike?
I love tour life! I have always had a streak of wanderlust in me, so touring is perfect. It is such a cool experience to see the country and share our story at the same time. The cast and crew of CAMELOT are such wonderful people and make for marvelous travel companions. I will say, my hotel room cooking skills have massively improved over the past year!
You play Guenevere, how would you describe your character?
Guenevere is a strong, smart woman in a world of men. She is not afraid to speak her mind. I love that. I also find the intense and true love she has for both Arthur and Lancelot to be fascinating. How do you choose between these two men? Can you choose? She is ultimately faced to choose not just between these two men, but between her heart and her country.
What do you hope the audience takes away from this show?
CAMELOT is a timeless tale. There is something to be said for a show that has been entertaining audiences for years. Its message still resonates today. There is truly no feeling like being onstage and telling a story with honesty and truth. That is what audiences will get from CAMELOT; honest, vulnerable, true to life performances.