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ECU students John Flemming as King Arthur and Sarah Lewis as Guinevere perform in the ECU/Loessin Playhouse production of "Camelot." (Photos by Cliff Hollis)


ECU production of ‘Camelot’ marks anniversary of JFK assassination

Nov. 20, 2013

By Kathryn Kennedy
ECU News Services

A student production opening this week at East Carolina University is a nod to two historical periods – the days of knights and chivalry and a more recent reign.

Director John Shearin selected the musical "Camelot" to appear among this year's ECU/Loessin Playhouse offerings to mark the anniversary of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy was killed 50 years ago Nov. 22.

"I looked for a meaningful way to memorialize the grievous event, doing it in a manner reflecting the great positive energy and optimism of the young president, leaving dolor and mourning to other ceremonies," Shearin wrote in his notes on the production.

"It came to me that the musical 'Camelot' was an ideal choice – perhaps obvious, as the word has since become the metaphor for JFK's all-too-brief but brightly shining administration."

In "Camelot," King Arthur's queen, Guinevere, and his closest knight, Lancelot, have fallen in love. She is arrested and sentenced to death for infidelity, but the two escape. Arthur declares war on Lancelot but, just before the fighting begins, forgives them both. With book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, the original 1960 production ran on Broadway for 873 performances, winning four Tony Awards and spawning a 1967 film version.

"Camelot" runs Nov. 21-26 in McGinnis Theatre, with nightly showings at 8 p.m. except on Sunday. A Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m. Nov. 24.

Tickets are $15 for the public and $10 for youth/students. Call 1-800-ECU-ARTS or visit for more information.

The School of Theatre and Dance strives to give students professional training in theatre and dance through the ECU/Loessin Playhouse and to offer professional quality theatrical production for the University community and the community of Eastern North Carolina.