A musical twist on a story that has scared generations of parents and children is being brought to UNC’s Historic Playmakers Theatre this weekend.
UNC's Pauper Players are primed to present "Carrie: The Musical," a story of bullying, mass-murder and in this case, plot related melody. Carrie was originally published in 1974 as a novel by renowned horror author Stephen King, but has since been adapted into two blockbuster movies released in 1976 and 2013.
Senior journalism and dramatic arts double major Max Bitar serves as executive director of publicity for Pauper Players and was on the executive board that made the decision to choose Carrie for the company's fall musical.
“As a board, we accept proposals from people for which musicals to do,” said Bitar. “We come together to discuss directors and vote, so choosing to put on Carrie was a group decision. Carrie is an exciting show because it's a story that everyone knows, but yet not as a musical. It is kind of a new show with new music and a new feel of this horror story."
Bitar said the board was also excited to put on a production with a strong female lead.
“We love to have a lot of really strong leading characters and it shows off our talented girls," he said. "This musical brings up the really serious subject of bullying and Carrie's a character who is bullied throughout the show and it's an upfront look at the effects."
The original musical first opened on May 12, 1988 and the revival opened on March 1, 2012. The musical twist to this horror story is still relatively unseen and Bitar said he hopes that Pauper can put a new spin on a story so many already know.
“The musical side of Carrie is kind of weird because half of the songs are really cheery," said Mariah Barksdale, junior Journalism major and producer of Carrie.
"Even though it's dark, the show is set during a high school’s prom. Even though Carrie is really misunderstood, all of her bullies are just high school kids. It’s a very musical show and I think the music culminates all the elements and emotions of the plot.”
The show opens tonight at 7:00 p.m. and runs through November 17th.
Though the performance is a musical, Barksdale said its origins as a horror story are still evident. Whether it is the blood, the special effects or the contrasting musical moods, she said she promises a performance that won’t disappoint.
“There will be strokes. You’ll pee your pants. You’ll be that scared! The technical elements are so insanely crazy. We worked with HPT and the lighting and set designer to make it actually look like the Stephen King novel.”
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