As “The Capital Fringe” is ramping up for their opening, one of the entries in this year’s collection of talent is “The Knights of Salisbury” by the Knighthood Players. This is an original musical by Tim Caron. It takes place along the North Shore of Massachusetts in the 1960s. This was a time of The Beatles, Rolling Stones, Four Seasons and Monkees. Four high schoolers form a rock band their senior year and are managed by a young married couple. It tells the story with a mix of 60’s tunes and other conventional music.
Caron is the composer, lyricist and playwright. The musical is somewhat autobiographical according to Caron, “It infuses the rough structure of someone else’s story with a heavy mix of my own experiences.” It was inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s high school band, the Castiles, which was managed by a middle-aged couple on the Jersey Shore.
“’The Knights of Salisbury’ is teeming with moments of intimacy, friendship and coming-of-age nostalgia” states co-director/co-producer Ilyana Rose-Davila. “This show is the culmination of everyone’s love of ‘60s rock-and-roll. It is a timeless piece, and despite being set over fifty years ago, its characters, trials and tribulations will resonate with a 2019 audience.”
“The music is exceedingly catchy and has a lovely sound that has me humming at work, days after our last rehearsal,” she adds.
In the principal roles are local actors Nessa Amherst, Ann Daily Moreno, Nick Adjami, Cornelius “C.J.” Andrews, Larissa Dowling, Nadine Foty, Mo Hafez and Pete Peterson.
Tim Caron is incredibly excited to debut this project at the Capital Fringe Festival. A proud Canadian/Lebanese-American from the Boston area, Tim studied political science and law at GWU and has done theater in the DMV area since 2009. He most recently played the title role in ACCT’s “The Count of Monte Cristo.” Tim also performs with a band he co-leads, the Heartless Romantics. He’s incredibly grateful to his family, friends, and fellow artists for helping to bring “The Knights of Salisbury” to life and hopes he’s properly atoned for his support of Boston teams.
I had a chance to ask Tim Caron some questions about himself and his show.
- What is your background in music and theatre? Do you have formal training or just by experience?
I’ve been acting in plays since high school, with some brief forays into writing and directing. In college, I was one class shy of minoring in theatre, so it’s mainly been experience over formal training. In terms of music, I’ve always been passionate about it, and I tried writing lyrics back in high school, but I only got the patience to learn instruments after I began college. Since then, I’ve performed in two different bands around the DC area. With music, the closest thing I had to formal training was teaching myself guitar and piano chords via the internet, learning rhythm for drums using the Rock Band video game, and my dad’s help.
- Tell us how long the Knighthood Players have been together?
The Players were actually established for this show, so it’s been a relatively short period of time (basically a couple of months).
- Were you alive in the 60-70’s? If so, how did it affect you and your writing, music in general and this show in particular? If not, what drew you to that music?
I was born in 1990, but I was drawn to that music primarily through the influence of my parents. My dad got me hooked on classic rock and alternative music from the 70s and 80s, and my mom rounded it out with other stuff like Motown, soul, and contemporary acts in the 90s and 00s. Beyond that, it seems like there was a remarkable blossoming of music styles in the 70s (punk, reggae, prog), and so it’s a bit of having nostalgia for an era I never actually lived in. It just seems like music as a whole was so much more adventurous and new.
- What easiest part of writing and directing this play? The hardest part?
The easiest part comes from how much of the show is born from personal experience. It’s from a fusion of different times in my life, but those memories are all still very clear to me, and I had a strong urge to get the stuff in my head on paper. In a way, writing out the play felt like I could distill a lot of the most memorable moments of my life. Similarly, in directing the performers, those memories gave me a good frame of reference for the basic makeup of their characters.
The hardest part is everything needed to tie all the scenes together into a unified show. It was easy enough writing directions in the script for the characters’ movements, but it becomes a whole other matter when scenes are actually being staged. Should the actors start the scene onstage? Should they walk onstage? If they walk, are they talking too much to keep the movements looking natural? Thankfully, my co-director Ilyana’s been there to make up for all my shortcomings.
- Do you expect to write more shows in the future?
It depends. A lot of the music for this show was pulled from bits and pieces of stuff I had been working on over the last ten years. In that sense, it feels intimidating to try another full-length musical. However, I think I’m definitely game to write straight plays when I have the time. I’m a big history nerd, and from time to time I’ll read about a figure or a particular event that I think could work perfectly in a show.
The Knights of Salisbury will be live on stage at DC’s Westminster Presbyterian Church, 400 I (Eye) Street, SW on: Saturday, July 13 at 11:30 a.m.; Sunday, July 14 at 6:00 p.m.; Tuesday, July 16 at 5:45 p.m.; Saturday, July 20 at 3:15 p.m.; and Sunday, July 21 at 8:15 p.m.
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Tickets for the show go on sale in mid-June on the Capital Fringe website. For more information about the Capital Fringe Festival, please visit their website.