Musical Version of Horror Classic Hopes to Start Conversation about Bullying


It's a terrifying tale perfect for Halloween written by the master of horror himself. Students at Lewis-Clark State College are bringing Stephen King's classic, "Carrie," to life.

But while the story has been around since the 70's, this show has messages that are relevant now more than ever.

You may be familiar with Stephen King's "Carrie," but not like this.

"If you're coming looking for the film, I think you should just rent it," director Shea King laughs.

King (the play's director, not the novelist) says this is not a recreation of the Sissy Spacek movie. But it does follow the same story of Carrie White, a 17 year old girl who finds she has unique powers and uses them against those who hurt her, including her oppressive mother.

Kelsey Chapman plays Carrie's mother, Margaret. "Well you've got domestic abuse, you've got a lot of bullying, and then having this kind of supernatural presence."

King says, "Not only is it rare for a musical to tackle such taboo topics but also to do it in a way that it's not beating you over the head with it."

The climactic end is one of the most infamous scenes in film, but cast members say their stage version aims at tackling the tough issues that lead up to those final moments.

Chapman says, "It messes with your head a little bit. But I think it's really important to see why she does all of those things."

Alexa Lamers plays Sue Snell, the "popular smart girl" who befriends and looks after Carrie. This story took on a personal note for her. "A lot of the things that happen in this show were happening to my little sister in school. And like with the Spokane shooting, which is super relevant, it's all too real. And it makes it more important that this story's being told."

King says he was drawn to this play exactly because of the message of how to treat others, something that has only become more relevant since the original debuted.

He says, "The sad thing is my career is starting to be benchmarked by tragedies. I directed a show two summers ago and the Orlando shooting happened, and we have the Spokane shootings and now this show, we have the Las Vegas massacre. It's starting to become just the norm and I don't think that's ok."

He says the show may dredge up a lot of emotions, but that's what he's hoping for. They're also organizing a talk-back after the show with local counselors, hoping that instead of just entertainment, this show will start a conversation.

Walker Berry, who plays popular athlete Tommy Ross, says, "There's a lot of things you can learn from this musical. You're going to come in as one person and I feel like when you leave, you're going to leave as someone else."

This show does contain adult themes and language and is not recommended for young audiences.

"Carrie the Musical" will run from October 19th until Saturday the 21st, and October 25th until October 28th.

Showtime is at 7:30 P.M. at LCSC's Silverthorne Theater. General admission is $10 and seniors and service members are $7.

There will also be a 2 P.M. matinee on October 22nd where you're encouraged to bring canned food to "Scare Away Hunger."

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