Creating a wild, chilling Halloween atmosphere on stage, “Carrie the Musical” will open Friday, Oct. 23, at Clear Space Theatre.
Adapted from Stephen King’s bestselling horror novel, “Carrie the Musical” hasn’t been seen since its legendary 1988 Broadway production.
In 2002, the show’s original authors joined MCC Theater in Manhattan for a newly reworked and fully reimagined vision of this gripping tale.
The story is set in the small town of Chamberlain, Maine. Carrie White, played by Sussex Tech senior Julia Sturla, is a struggling high school freshman. A lonely outcast, she is bullied at school and mistreated at home. Then, Carrie discovers she has a special power, and the blood, gore and excitement begin.
“Stephen King created a fantastical world to tell a story with a message,” said Lorraine Steinhoff, who plays Mrs. White, Carrie’s emotionally unbalanced and tyrannical mother. “And it brings a wonderfully complex and fun musical score to the stage at the same time.”
Sturla said she was drawn to the music itself. “I hadn’t seen the movie, but I listened to the soundtrack and felt Carrie’s emotional singing parts would test me. The emotional roller-coaster in the story is draining, but it is a good experience.”
Steinhoff, who teaches theatre at Southern Delaware School of the Arts, says the story is relevant today with messages of bullying and acceptance. The question, “What does it cost to be kind?” is heard several times throughout the performance, she said.
“I have loved the story since I read the book, and I am excited to be playing the mother,” Steinhoff said. “She is a kind of a villain. She tries to protect her daughter, but seems to do all the wrong things.”
Sturla said she relates to the character Carrie in some ways. “But the abuse is beyond what I have ever experienced in my life,” she said.
“Carrie the Musical” features a book by screenwriter Lawrence D. Cohen. Dean Pitchford wrote the lyrics and Michael Gore wrote the music. David Button directs. Melanie Bradley is music director and Shondelle Graulich choreographs. Dogfish Head is the sponsor.
“Carrie the Musical” runs through Sunday, Nov. 1, with performances at 7 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays, and 3 p.m., Sundays. A special Halloween performance is set for 11 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 31. Tables for two or four are available.
For more information and to purchase tickets, go to clearspacetheatre.org/shows/carrie.
The Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce is sponsoring a scarecrow contest, with more than 25 local businesses entering their individual scarecrows. Clear Space has a Carrie-crow at 413 Rehoboth Ave. To vote for Carrie-crow, No. 17, go to beach-fun.com/scarecrow-contest.
For a chance to win a table for two to the 11 p.m. Halloween performance, take a selfie with the Carrie-crow, post the photograph on Facebook or Instagram with #Carrieandme and tag @clearspacetheatrecompany.