The hilarious tale of Spamalot is getting the West Chester treatment—with New York flair—in the first full production by the Resident Theatre Company, running March 31-April 16.
The professional troupe was founded in May 2015 by West Chester transplant Kristin McLaughlin Mitchell. The former New York actress and director has over 20 years of experience, including on the directorial teams of Lend Me a Tenor, Avenue Q and The Music Man. When Mitchell moved to the area after falling in love, she wanted to bring her Broadway talents with her.
RTC is sparing nothing for its inaugural performance. It saw more than 800 actors for auditions and cast many from New York, plus one from West Chester and several Philadelphians. Joining the crew as choreographer is renowned tap dancer Derek Roland. “It has all the elements of those great, big Broadway musicals,” says Mitchell of the show. “It’s one of those universal musicals where people know the movie or have heard about it, and it’s absolutely hysterical and very well written.”
The Monty Python parody will be performed at the newly renovated Knauer Performing Arts Center. Located inside West Chester’s historic National Guard Armory, the center’s 327-seat theater still offers an intimate setting. “I love to put big musicals in a smaller space. I love seeing the audience react, being able to interact,” says Mitchell. “There’s nothing more fun than to do a show where you can really feel the audience there.”
With the slapstick search for the Holy Grail on stage, the experience is sure to include plenty of laughter. Look for more RTC productions in the fall.