For weeks, Maritza Bostic has been Guenevere, the femme fatale of Arthurian legend. The Reading native currently lives in Harlem, but is staying with her father in Dorchester as she rehearses ahead of her performance in the Lyric Stage’s production of “Camelot,” which opens Friday.
This modern adaptation of the classic musical centers around the love triangle between the Celtic queen, her husband King Arthur and her lover Sir Lancelot, Arthur’s trusted knight.
Bostic is the first known African American cast as Guenevere, a role usually associated with the likes of Julie Andrews, who owned the part in the 1960 Broadway production. For Bostic, stepping into these medieval shoes is both daunting and exciting.
“It is intimidating, but also freeing,” says the 24-year-old actress. “I can take this iconic role and explore who my Guenevere is.”
“Camelot” is ultimately a tragedy, as love and lust destroys the Round Table and its high social ideals of the strong and rich protecting the weak and poor. Bostic believes this new version allows for modern interpretations of the three central players.
“The main roles are cast a little younger than usual,” she says. “There is a sense of young people exploring who they are within this love triangle.”
Performing in a Lyric Stage production is like coming home for Bostic. The company is where she broke ground in the role of Red Riding Hood in Sondheim’s “Into the Woods.” It is also where she took her first steps at being a professional performer by enrolling in the Lyric Stage First summer program.
“The long days and hard work just made me love it more and I decided I wanted to do it all the time,” she says.
Outside of the Lyric Stage, Bostic’s recent appearances include roles in “Rent” and “Hairspray,” as well as a background performance in the upcoming crime drama “Detroit” by Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow, which hits theaters this summer.
Though she is busy with “Camelot,” she may find some time to catch Guy Ritchie’s latest flick, “King Arthur: The Legend of the Sword.”
“I am curious to see what he has done,” Bostic says. “The more I work on this show, the more I want to read all the stories.”
If you go:
May 19 - June 25, Lyric Stage, 140 Clarendon St., Boston, $25+, lyricstage.com