“Carrie” Makes its Debut at Meredith
On Feb. 22, “Carrie” the musical is set to debut at Meredith College. This return to theater marks an almost four-year hiatus from big shows following the pandemic, with the last big musical performance being Annie Get Your Gun in 2019. This year the show is dual casted with Carolina Gao, ‘23, and Sky Symonds, ‘24, both taking on the role of Carrie White. The Meredith Herald recently interviewed both in order to get their perspective on the upcoming run.
When asked about her favorite part of portraying Carrie White, Gao shared, “[My favorite part] so far has been the variety of musical numbers both Sky and I get to be in, as well as the challenge that playing someone like Carrie brings. She is so misunderstood within the show, as are many of the characters being played by our peers alongside us.” Symonds shared a similar sentiment saying “My favorite part of portraying Carrie has been taking a character who is often viewed as "hysterical" or "campy" or "nonsensical" and bringing her into a slightly more realistic light.
Carrie White is an adolescent who has been failed by every institution and person meant to uplift her. She is broken down repeatedly until she realizes that the only person who will ever save her is herself. Symonds stated, “Don't get me wrong, I want audiences at this show to have fun and laugh and get caught up in the magic, but I also want them to leave slightly shaken, with a new perspective on the weight that words and actions can carry.”
The double casting has allowed for both actors to learn and develop the character together. Gao shared that this experience has allowed “the actors to portray Carrie as they see fit,” but they have also been given time to talk together and separately to maintain certain aspects of Carrie White's story. Symonds echoed this by sharing that “[she has] known Carolina since [she] was a freshman in high school, and [she has] always looked up to her for her strong work ethic and brave acting choices.” The actor continued by sharing that “Getting to work alongside [Carolina] on this show has been wonderful! As an actor, getting to watch your part be played out by another person isn't an opportunity that comes often, and [she has] found that it has given [her] a new perspective on [the] character and her relationship with other characters and the world around her. Overall, the experience has been enriching and [she feels] extra supported having Carolina by [her] side.”
Gao is most excited for the audience to see “the large group numbers like “Prom Climax,” and also “The Destruction!”” Symonds is excited for them to see “all of the "magic" moments of the show!” And shared that she has “been lucky enough to participate in the creation of Carrie in many ways.” Aside from acting, Symonds has been involved in constructing the set and working at costume calls, and emphasized how much work the crew has put in to make this a magical experience that will “blow [all of the audience members] away!”
“Carrie” the musical will run from Feb 22. until Feb 26. Tickets are free for all audience members. For information on show times and reservations, you can visit the Signup Genius in the @merediththeatre Instagram bio.
By Rachel Van Horne, Senior Associate Editor