Entertainment: Horror classic ‘Carrie’ comes to River Campus (11/28/22)

Musical theater sophomore Caroline Nitardy surrounded by Carrie cast members during a rehearsal. Nitardy prepared for the role by reading the Stephen King novel on which the musical was based and exploring the complex emotions behind the character.

Photo by Lizzy Stock

In SEMO’s take on “Carrie: The Musical,” religion, blood, and psychic abilities are woven together to tell the chilling coming-of-age story. The musical will be performed December 7-10 at 7:30pm and December 10-11 at 2pm at the Wendy Kurka Rust Flexible Theater on the River Campus. The show on Friday, December 9, is already sold out.

Carrie is an emotionally powerful character created by the imagination of author Stephen King. Throughout the musical, she faces difficulties such as bullies at school, a domineering mother, and mastering her new psychic abilities.

Caroline Nitardy, sophomore musical theater teacher, plays the role of Carrie in SEMO’s performance. Nitardy prepared for the iconic role by reading the original Stephen King novel and learning to implement Carrie’s loneliness into her acting.

Nitardy said she incorporated the essence of Carrie finding confidence and becoming more independent from her tyrannical mother into the emotion behind her character’s transformation.

“I also played with the idea of ​​blood in the show, because the show starts with her period and ends with blood being thrown on her, and in those circumstances, her powers come out,” Nitardy said. “This trance takes over her and it’s really cool how the blood has something to do with her powers and how it strengthens her.”

Nitardy said she found it important to “de-roll” after practices to separate herself from the intense emotions of Carrie’s character. De-rolling consists of exercises such as deep breathing and meditation after a rehearsal to help the actor come back to himself so that he does not become attached to the character.

As in Stephen King’s stories, the characters may look like ordinary people at first glance, but their roles have many layers of complexity.

Musical theater major Jared Ritter plays the character of Tommy, whom he described as the classic “golden retriever” boy who is “brainless but full of heart.”

“He’s more than just a guy who plays football and baseball,” Ritter said. “The show takes a lot of the stereotypes of old high school movies for teenagers, like ‘Breakfast Club’ and stuff like that, and turns it on its head.”

Junior musical theater major Sarah Grosse took on the role of Sue, who begins the musical as a bully and as the play develops realizes how her actions have affected Carrie’s character.

“When [Sue] eventually he wakes up, sees that what he’s doing is really painful,” Grosse said. “We explored how hard it is for her to process — the fact that she caused so much hurt to this person.”

While the growth of the characters in “Carrie: The Musical” creates a new perspective for viewers, it has also become a test for the actors to immerse themselves in the emotion and personality of their roles. To witness these complex characters, tickets can be purchased online at the SEMO website or by calling the River Campus Ticket Office at (573) 651-2265.

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