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BWW Interviews: Mark Poppleton of CAMELOT


The grand story of Camelot comes to Nashville this week with a new touring production making a stop at Tennessee Performing Arts Center. In preparation, Mark Poppleton, who plays multiple roles in the show, has agreed to answer some questions for our Nashville area readers.

BWW Nashville: Thank you so much for taking time out of your busy travel and performance schedule to answer a few questions for our readers here in the Nashville region. I'll be honest; I tend to look for people who I've seen in other productions when I'm picking people to interview. It's been nearly four years ago that I saw you in the tour of Spring Awakening when it made its Nashville stop. You're back with us in Nashville, this time with a tour of Camelot.

Both Camelot and Spring Awakening are dark shows that are set in very specific time periods. What sort of similarities and differences do you find in the themes of these two shows?

Mark Poppleton: Both shows deal with human frailties and if the problems, in both stories, had been openly addressed between the characters their downfalls could have been averted. Like many relationships, through history and today, they need true communication to make them work.

BWW Nashville: This touring production of Camelot is tagged as "The Story as You've Never Seen It Before!" For our readers who have seen productions of Camelot in the past, what can you share that makes this production so different?

Mark Poppleton: The show is more focused in its storytelling and the director has taken a fresh, modern approach to the book. It is a tighter paced show but all the great Lerner and Loewe music is there.

BWW Nashville: What has been one of your favorite experiences with this tour?

Mark Poppleton: I love touring and meeting new people at every venue. Whether in the Green Room with the presenters and the local backstage crew or the audience after the show at the stage door or at a talk back! It's wonderful to hear and share stories about how theater has affected our lives.

BWW Nashville: Over you're career you have been in many different types of shows. Camelot appears to be a very physical show overall. Can you share about your most physically demanding role that you've ever played?

On that same note, emotionally demanding roles can be just as exhausting. What has been your most emotionally demanding role that you've played? What made it so demanding?

Mark Poppleton: The answer to both the previous questions are the same. Every character, like every person, has their emotional journey. So whether you are doing an intense drama or a comic farce, it is always a challenge. It is such a rewarding feeling when the work you put into a role touches someone and they go out of their way to tell you.

BWW Nashville: How did you enter acting as a career? Was it purely by accident, or did you set out to make this a career?

Mark Poppleton: I wanted to do theater as far back as I can remember. I got hooked at an early age. I did school plays. My parents took me to live performances: national tours, regional theater, summer stock, community theater, concerts etc.

BWW Nashville: This is always my favorite question to ask (I love the variety of answers I receive): If you could perform with any person, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you perform?

Mark Poppleton: Robert Shaw in Pinter's The Dumbwaiter

BWW Nashville: Help our audience know what to expect when they venture out to see Camelot. Give us five words to describe your show.

Mark Poppleton: Chamber meets epic. Grand. Bold.

BWW Nashville: Thank you again for taking time out to answer some questions for our readers!

Camelot plays at Tennessee Performing Arts Center through November 9th. You can purchase tickets by calling the box office at 615-782-4040 or by visiting their website.

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From This Author Cara Richardson

Cara Richardson is an avid theatre fanatic that grew up on movie musicals and showtunes. Participation onstage and off through high school and her first (read more...)