BY ELLEN ROSSOW
A blood bath is to be expected on the Gaede stage this weekend. After months of rehearsals, special effects design and even some engineering, “Carrie: The Musical” is ready for audiences this Thursday.
Like the popular movies and book before it, “Carrie” follows the teenage angst-ridden story of high school misfit Carrie White. Unlike the films, however, MSUM’s production is set to shock and awe audiences, not only with blood and explosions, but a spectacle filled with singing and dancing.
Technical theatre sophomore Meghan McLaughlin is the assistant stage manager (ASM) for the production. She thinks audience members should let go of pre-conscieved notions they may have about “Carrie” before seeing the unique production.
“I think it will be very different from the movie,” McLaughlin said.
According to McLaughlin, while the show is a musical, it is “something like no one has seen before.”
“There are a lot of ‘musical’ things that they do,” she said. “I guess it’s kind of like Sweeney Todd. There is a lot of singing, but there is also a lot of blood.”
McLaughlin also thinks people will enjoy the show because it offers situations that college students can relate to.
“It will remind you of high school,” she said. “You’ll say ‘oh yeah. I did that in high school. I know that girl from high school.’”
As ASM, McLaughlin’s duties lay mostly with behind-the-scenes work and special effects which, according to her, are a large part of what will make the production unique.
“Out of the shows I’ve worked on here, this is the most special effect heavy,” she said.
While filmmakers have the “magic” of editing as their friend to make supernatural events occur, McLaughlin and her fellow “techies,” have their work cut out for them because they have to produce these effects live.
To create the effects, the show will include a fog machine and hazer, a variety of special lighting and sound effects and even pyrotechnics and mechanical elements.
“Doors have to open and close from offstage, and windows move,” she said.
According to theatre freshman Molly Berg, the pyrotechnics are used to “display destruction from Carrie’s anger” throughout the show.
According to McLaughlin, the department collaborated with some engineering students to develop some special effects as well, but McLaughlin is mostly eager for audiences to see the explosions that will occur.
“There are a lot of pyrotechnics, which is exciting,” she said.
Theatre freshman Annabelle Peck, plays Miss Gardner, Carrie’s helpful gym teacher, in the production.
Peck thinks MSUM students will find “Carrie: The Musical” entertaining because it is full of elements that will “have you on the edge of your seat.”
“The effects will make you jump,” she said.
As a member of the cast, Peck found that the special effects are not the only thing about “Carrie” that took hard work.
“As far as challenges go, our director has tried to help us in discovering our characters, but we had to do a lot of it ourselves,” she said. “A lot of us have never had to do that, and it is a scary thing to create this whole new person.”
Peck, specifically, feels she had her work cut out for her.
“For me, Miss Gardner is a complex character and she’s got a lot of levels that I’ve had to explore, and that I’m still exploring.”
While they had a lot of work to do, Peck feels the entire cast has succeeded in overcoming their challenges.
“It’s been a lot of hard work, but we’re all very proud of this show,” Peck said.
Berg, who is operating spotlights during the show, thinks people will enjoy the production because of the “twists and turns” and “catchy music.” One of the show’s songs is called “A Night We’ll Never Forget” and, according to Berg, the show will be just that.
McLaughlin, Peck and Berg all encourage their fellow students to see the show.
“Carrie: The Musical” starts at 7:30 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday on the Gaede stage. It is free for MSUM students.
“Even if you don’t like it, it is something cool you can say you saw,” McLaughlin said. “There will be blood.”