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State College Fourth Grader Cast in Touring Broadway Production of ‘Camelot’

by on April 06, 2015 6:30 AM

Parker Hanawalt, a fourth grader at Radio Park Elementary School in State College, has been cast as Tom of Warwick in the Center for the Performing Arts at Penn State presentation of the national tour of Lerner & Loewe’s “Camelot.”

The show comes to Eisenhower Auditorium for one performance at 7:30 p.m. Monday, April 20.

The 10-year-old Hanawalt, who moved to State College a little more than a year ago, was previously involved in Harrisburg’s Gamut Theatre, where he took classes and performed roles in three shows.

Hanawalt portrayed the Fool in Nittany Valley Shakespeare Company’s youth production of “Little Lear” last summer. He performed in Fuse Productions’ “Scrooge!” at the State Theatre in December. He also participates in State College’s Singing Onstage, where he has performed in “Seussical” and is rehearsing for “Guys and Dolls.”

Tom of Warwick, a young boy who wants to fight for what is right, is destined to become a knight. He gives King Arthur hope for the future.

“I think Tom of Warwick is adventurous, brave and passionate about being a knight one day,” says Hanawalt, who in his spare time enjoys drawing, playing the saxophone and taking Parkour classes. “I feel happy, special and very lucky to have this experience.”

The Center for the Performing Arts worked with Richard Biever — a State College theater teacher, director and producer — to audition young actors for the part. Three video auditions were submitted to Mark Minnick, the production’s associate producer for casting.

“All three boys did a very nice job and would be great,” Minnick says. “I feel that Parker Hanawalt will bring a wonderful look and quality to the final scene of the production and will be quite charming as Tom.”

The national tour of “Camelot” reimagines the classic tale of King Arthur, Guenevere and Sir Lancelot. Broadway’s sweeping tale of passion, pageantry and betrayal — winner for four Tony Awards — is back in this new production. Intimate and fresh, the celebrated “Camelot” score includes “If Ever I Would Leave You,” “The Simple Joys of Maidenhood” and the title song.

Taught well by Merlin, Arthur rules the kingdom of Camelot with new ideals. Along with his beautiful new queen, Guenevere, he brings peace to a troubled land. The addition of the dashing Lancelot to the Knights of the Round Table, though, sparks one of the most fabled love triangles of all time.

Mordred, Arthur’s illegitimate son, realizes what’s happening among his father, the queen and Lancelot. Seeing a kingdom in chaos, he attempts to destroy all that is Camelot.

Featuring a book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner and music by Frederick Loewe, “Camelot” is based on the King Arthur legend adapted from the T. H. White novel “The Once and Future King.”

The original 1960 production ran on Broadway for 873 performances and spawned several revivals, foreign productions and a 1967 film that won three Academy Awards. The original Broadway cast recording was America’s best-selling album for 60 weeks.

Michael McFadden directs this new production, which features scenic design by Kevin Depinet, lighting design by Mike Baldassari and sound design by Craig Cassidy.

The 2014–15 “Camelot” tour of North America is produced by Phoenix Entertainment by special arrangement with Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.

Tickets are available online at www.cpa.psu.edu or by phone at (814) 863-0255 or 800-ARTS-TIX. Tickets are also available at four State College locations: Eisenhower Auditorium (weekdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.), Penn State Downtown Theatre Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), HUB-Robeson Center Information Desk (weekdays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.) and Bryce Jordan Center (weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.).

 

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