Nakisa Aschtiani on Children of Camelot / by Declan Maloney Drummond

What's your show about?

Children of Camelot is an alternative reality play about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. This year marks the 100th anniversary of his birth (May 29, 1917), so I think that he is back in the forefront of people's minds. Growing up, I always heard stories about him and his life and, inevitably, his death. It always struck me that Lee Harvey Oswald, while he never got the chance to stand trial and defend his accusers, was labeled his assassin. I also remember hearing about Jack Ruby's motive for shooting Oswald: to spare Mrs. Kennedy the pain of a trial. I decided to take that away from her, but give her the chance to fight fer justice and to give Oswald the chance to fight for his life. Children of Camelot's timeline skews from the reality as we know it with Oswald surviving his shooting and ultimately showing us the backstage of a trial.

How did it get to SheNYC?

Children of Camelot got to SheNYC because I originally submitted the play to last year's festival. While it was accepted, we asked to defer the show's production by a year because of costs. We are coming from California to New York - by "we," I mean the show is cast with California actors and rehearsing in California. The entire production will pack up and head to New York for the festival July 12.

What's your casting and rehearsal process been like?

Our casting was done by our director, Kate Felton with some input by myself and our show's Producing Director, Amanda Strader. The cast is actually a combination of previous casts and newcomers. Children of Camelot was workshopped and performed in Long Beach and Los Angeles previously, so we contacted some of our past actors to reprise their characters. I am very excited to see the newest cast perform. As far as the rehearsal process goes, the cast had the first table read June 4, so we are very early on in the rehearsal process, but I have high hopes that things will come together well.