McDaniel students, alumni and faculty stage the musical thriller ‘Carrie’

McDaniel junior Emma Bartels-Jones as Carrie and Elizabeth van den Berg, chair of McDaniel’s Theatre Arts department, as Carrie's mother Margaret
November 06, 2017

McDaniel College presents the musical thriller “Carrie,” based on Stephen King’s best-selling novel. Performances are Nov. 15–18 at 7:30 p.m. on campus in WMC Alumni Hall. Note: the show contains adult material, including mature language and violence.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for students, seniors (over 60), active military members and veterans, as well as those with a McDaniel College ID. For ticket information, call 410-857-2448.

Directed by 1987 McDaniel alumnus Josh Selzer, arts manager at McDaniel, the show features McDaniel Theatre Arts students in addition to 2012 McDaniel alumna Brooke Hain, as well as Theatre Arts professor and department chair Elizabeth van den Berg as Carrie’s mother Margaret. in conjunction with McDaniel College’s yearlong 150th anniversary celebration. This is the first time that a theatre production at McDaniel has brought together current students with alumni and a professor.

“I have wanted to do this show for almost 30 years,” said Selzer. “The original Broadway production is legendary, but I got to New York the day they announced the closing. I’ve been obsessed ever since.”

The musical, which features a book by Lawrence D. Cohen with lyrics by Academy Award winner Dean Pitchford (“Fame,” “Footloose”) and music by Academy Award winner Michael Gore (“Fame,” “Terms of Endearment”), focuses on misfit Carrie White, an outcast at school who is bullied by the popular crowd and virtually invisible to everyone else. At home, she is at the mercy of her loving but cruelly overprotective mother. Carrie discovers that she has a special power, and if pushed too far, she’s not afraid to use it. When Carrie’s prom dreams are crushed, she unleashes her power in a bloody climax of fire and fury.

About the unforgettable prom scene, Selzer notes that this climactic moment in the show has proven tricky for everyone who has staged it “because of all the violence and the telekinesis.” The production at McDaniel is “tackling it in a very theatrical way that I don’t believe has ever been tried before and we’re all very excited about that.”   

McDaniel junior Emma Bartels-Jones of Cockeysville, Md., plays Carrie. Other McDaniel students in the cast include seniors Bryan Bowen of North Beach, Md.; Joseph Fox of Hurlock, Md.; Valerie Lamb of Miami Gardens, Fla.; Brandon Richards of Huntingtown, Md., and Megan Smith of Federalsburg, Md.; sophomores Ethan Cortes of Sykesville, Md.; Trevor Haupt of Abingdon, Md.; Veronica Johns of Parkville, Md.; Chris Shatzer of Taneytown, Md.; Danielle Taylor of Lewes, Del., and Patsy Zetkulic of Arlington, Va., and freshmen Vanessa Bliss of Reston, Va.; Matt Foley of Fair Lawn, N.J.; Lauren McKenna of Sykesville, Md., and Corey Van Huff of Neptune City, N.J.

The ensemble is made up of senior Torreke Evans of Atlanta, sophomore Olivia Michel of New York, and freshmen Mikayla Braswell of Germantown, Md., and Karly Congero of Lavallette, N.J. The interrogators are played by senior Jonathan Halberstam of Manchester, Md., and freshman Allisa Baker of Fairfield, Pa.

Choreography is by Julie Herber of Reisterstown, Md., with musical direction by Alison E. Shafer of Frederick, Md.