October 28, 2020

Theater troupe weaves medieval mystery

By Richard Chachowski

Who killed King Arthur? Dozens showed up to the Decker Social Space on Friday, Nov. 10, to find out.

All College Theatre’s performance of “A Killing in King Arthur’s Court” is part of a dinner and interactive theater presentation performed annually at the College. When King Arthur, played by freshman civil engineering major Zach Michonski, is poisoned to death, the remaining members of Arthur’s court must find the killer and restore peace to the kingdom.

The show began with the introduction of all the key characters in the play, including Arthur, his wife Gwen, their son Mordred, the wizard Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table.

Student performers weave a comical mystery. (Kim Iannarone / Photo Editor)

Guests sat at numbered tables and feasted on dinner choices such as chicken francaise, chicken parmesan and various kinds of pasta. The Knights of the Round Table and the other notable heroes of Camelot, like the eccentric Merlin and the eyeliner-wearing Mordred, wandered from table to table to greet guests.

“The show is me and the other writer, Chris, it’s kind of like our child,” said Sam Franz, a junior communication studies and English double major. “We started it last year as a joke, and then we kept writing it over the summer. We didn’t actually think it was going to come to anything.”

Franz and her partner, junior history major Chris Loos, knew they wanted to write a murder mystery, but both struggled to come up with a topic.

“Then as a joke one night, one of us said, ‘Oh, we should do it about King Arthur,’ and then we just started making jokes back and forth about it,” Franz said. “Like, ‘Oh, and the pasta has holes in it,’ and their armor is made of felt, and then we just kind of looked at each other and we went, ‘We need to write this, don’t we?’”

Each actor gave their best performance in the hopes of making an impact on the audience and, of course, making them laugh.

From Galahad, played by the hilarious freshman humanities and social sciences open options major Caroline Fehder, recounting several conflicting stories of how she lost her eye, to the easily-frightened Lancelot, played by senior art major Haley Witko, being chased down by her numerous admirers, or “Fancelots,” the audience had a wonderful time enjoying the food and performances of the young, entertaining cast.

“I thought it was phenomenal,” said Anthony Sofia, a sophomore business management major. “This was my first murder mystery that I’ve ever participated in watching, and it was absolutely phenomenal.”

The show was filled with wonderful performances, such as the confetti-throwing Merlin, played by freshman communication studies major Sydney Blanchard, and the overly ambitious, aspiring knight, Sir Phil, played by senior communication studies major Lauren Vogel. With sharp dialogue, witty performances and a tense mystery, the audience was completely enraptured during the show.

“I loved it,” said Emma Streckenbein, a senior communication studies major. She commended her fellow students for showcasing their talent to their peers. “I thought it was so funny. I feel like the fact that it’s student-written really adds to it, because it gives people a chance to write who might not otherwise have that opportunity.”

The mystery began to unravel in time for dessert — Arthur’s killer was revealed to be Lady Gawain, played by Kelly Colleran, a junior history and secondary education major. The plot continued to thicken as Gawain, feeling she did what was best for the kingdom, challenged the mysterious Black Knight, played by junior communication studies major Kristen Gassler, for control of Camelot in a dramatic, slow-motion duel which ended with the Black Knight as the victor.

With Arthur dead,  his wife, Gwen, played by freshman open options art and communication studies double major Calista Blanchard, is named queen until her and Arthur’s son, Mordred, played by the hilarious Lenin Cruz, comes of ruling age.

The play concludes with Sir Phil finally taking his spot as Knight of the Round Table to a huge applause from the audience.

Franz seemed pleased with the show and audience reception. She was proud of  the effort that went into the club’s successful event.

“I could not be more happy with everything and how it turned out,” Franz said. “This is probably the most proud I’ve been of anything in my entire life.”

Loos shared her sentiment.

“It was like a dream come true,” Loos said of the event. “It’s nice to have stuff you put together and presented, and then see people think it’s good.”

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