6 Questions & a Plug with Camelot’s Tim Rogan
Kristen Montag, Broadway World Minneapolis 5/11/15
An all-new national tour of CAMELOT gallops in to Saint Paul’s Ordway Center for Performing Arts in the music theatre this week. With a book by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, the musical is based on the King Arthur legend adapted from the T.H. White novel, “The Once and Future King.” The production is directed by Michael McFadden.
Sir Lancelot is played by the dashing Tim Rogan. The lover and fighter Lancelot is renowned for his part in the legend of King Arthur, who rules his kingdom with new ideals, bringing peace to a troubled land. But, when he cannot stop the passion he has for beautiful new Queen Guenevere, one of the most fabled love triangles of all time ensues. This becomes the focus of the new production. Rogan shares some of his thoughts about this in 6 Questions & a Plug:
CAMELOT is not a show we see a lot anymore, and this is a “re-imagined” production. Could you start by telling our readers about the story of CAMELOT from your character’s perspective?
The story of CAMELOT for Lancelot is one of conflicting love and duty. Lancelot is a knight living abroad when Arthur invents the idea of the round table and Lancelot is immediately drawn to Arthur’s concept. Lancelot is a gifted, chivalrous knight who has never lost a battle; however, his whole life he has never felt he has reached his fullest potential. They have been shallow victories so far and he knows it. So when Lancelot meets Arthur, the two instantaneously connect, forming a fraternal love for one another. But when Lance meets Arthur’s wife, Guenevere, things suddenly become complicated. Lance and Jenny have a true love for each other and magnetic chemistry, but Lance must decide what to do now-follow his heart, or uphold his duty to his king and Camelot.
What is different than other productions of CAMELOT from the past?
The creative team really wanted to focus this story on the love triangle between Arthur, Guenevere and Lancelot, because they felt that is the core of this musical. They eliminated anything that detracted from that focus with the approval of the Lerner and Loewe estate. Furthermore, the Lancelot and Guenevere relationship has really evolved with this production. We moved “If Ever I Would Leave You” towards the end of the show and prolonged the romantic tension between the two characters. Now the last 20 minutes of the show really flies by due to the heightened tension and rearranging of scenes. When you total the revisions and rearrangements in our show, I can confidently tell someone that they have never seen a CAMELOT like this before.
You are on your second national tour, having previously played Gaston in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST; both stories involve you as part of a love triangle, although quite different. Do you prefer the comic relief of Gaston or being the lover who breaks up Camelot?
I wish I could tell you I prefer one instead of the other, but they were both dream parts I wanted to play! Gaston was the type of character that could fill up any venue size, he was so commanding. With Lancelot, when we get to the bedroom scene with Guenevere, there is this wonderful vulnerability you get to play that is heartbreaking. Both parts are personal favorites. Sorry for the diplomatic answer!
What do you like most about touring? What’s the most difficult part of it?
The best part of touring is getting to see so many places you might not otherwise get too. You discover parts of the country (or world) you would have never known you love. You meet great people and see interesting things, all while getting to do the profession you love at night.
The hardest part would be missing out on things back home-the birthdays, holidays, or simple get-togethers with friends. No one likes to miss out on good times, so it can be a bummer when you know you won’t get to see some people for months at a time. However, it makes it that much more special when someone is in the audience when you are away from home!
What was the first role you played that made you decide you wanted to do musical theatre as a career?
I would say it was actually the lack of a show that made me realize how badly I missed performing. My freshman year of college I didn’t study theatre, and that whole year it felt like something was missing. I wasn’t acting, wasn’t on the stage and it got to me. I had this realization that I was a performer and I was denying that. I had a very serious conversation with one of my good friends, and decided if I’m going to do this, I’m going to do it all way. The next year I changed schools and began towards a musical theatre degree.
Could you tell our readers something from the show that’s a behind-the-scenes secret or a particular song or scene you think they should notice-an insider insight to the show?
Great Question! At the very top of the show, take a close look at who the knights behind Arthur are. You will see some faces return but certainly not dressed the same later!
Now for the plug: What’s next for your career and where can we see you after this tour?
I am very excited to be doing a production of BILLY ELLIOT over at The Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma in Oklahoma City! I worked with Michael Baron before in D.C. and actually had the opportunity to audition for them when we were performing in Oklahoma City! Another perk of tour life!