“If you’ve got a taste for terror… take Carrie to the prom.” This fall, Millersville University Theatre presents “Carrie” the musical, adapted from author Stephen King’s debut novel of the same name.
The production follows the story of Carrie, a bullied social outcast in her high school who comes home every night to her controlling mother. However, her peers are unaware that she recently developed special powers, and there’s no telling what she can do when pushed too far.
This production features a 14-student cast from a wide variety of majors, including theater, music, entertainment technology, social work and mathematics. The crew consists of students who fill numerous roles, like designing props and backgrounds or technological aspects of the show.
Jonathan Strayer, assistant professor at the University and director of “Carrie” explains that organizing and performing a musical can become a complicated process, as they are a multi-faceted production.
“Musicals require a careful collaboration between the director, musical director, pit director, technical director, designers and choreographer,” says Strayer. “One of the director’s primary jobs on a production like this is to work with those involved to pull all these various elements together into a cohesive story.”
Rehearsals began on August 29, when the cast started vocal rehearsals and learning each song in the production. Soon after, dance rehearsals were added in, and the students learned their choreography and blocking. The pit orchestra will join closer to technical rehearsals, so the cast and crew can get accustomed to the live music.
The musical director of the production, Kristin Sims, says that the vocal arrangements of “Carrie” are complex, but the cast is willing to put in the necessary time and work.
“The vocal requirements of ‘Carrie’ are challenging,” she explains. “The music ranges from rock and roll to grand opera and we are fortunate to have a cast that meets the vocal and emotional demands of the story.”
“For some of the songs, we rehearsed line by line, slowly adding parts. The cast was patient and hardworking, and eventually, we were able to put all the parts together,” she adds.
“Those familiar with the book or movie will certainly recognize the story, but the audience does not need to be familiar with them to come and enjoy this production or understand the plot,” Strayer adds. “The production opens in the days following Halloween, so what better way to celebrate the spooky season than by seeing our production of ‘Carrie’ the musical!”
There will be four in-person shows in Clair Performance Hall at the Winter Center. The performances take place Wednesday, Nov. 2 through Saturday, Nov. 5, with all shows beginning at 7 p.m. Tickets go on sale online and in person Oct. 4 and can be purchased at the MU Ticket Office or online at https://artsmu.com/buy-tickets/.