Carrie (Anya Ditzler) attacking Chris (Allie Lockhart) with rage. MADELYN SMTH/SNAPPER

Katelyn Auty
Head Copy Editor

“Carrie: The Musical,” a musical based on Stephen King’s novel of the same name, is set to kick off the Millersville University Theater’s 2022-2023 season this Nov. 2-5. The show tells the story of Carrie White, an awkward teenage outcast with telekinetic powers. Carrie is bullied at school and governed at home by her overly-controlling mother. When she’s humiliated by her classmates at the senior prom, chaos is unleashed.

“I think the spectacle of this show is going to go beyond anything that I’ve ever personally seen on stage, especially here at Millersville University,” said Michael Klitsch, playing antagonist Billy Nolan, “I almost wish I wasn’t in this show so I can come and experience it on opening night.” 

Assistant Stage Manager Giancarlo Cooper was quick to note that “Carrie: The Musical” is one of the most complicated shows he’s worked on. He discussed one of the final and most difficult scenes, which involves music, visual effects and even onstage death.

 “It’s a very effect-heavy show,” Cooper said. “There’s a lot of wild stuff that goes on within it.”

Professor Jonathan Strayer, director of the production, also discussed the difficulty of the production. He noted that there are many pieces coming together, such as the singing, dance choreography and a pit orchestra. 

“Having to coordinate all of those into something that looks like a cohesive vision is actually a real challenge,” Strayer said. “The technical crew has done a load of work in this show.”

In addition to the technical aspect of the show, it hasn’t been entirely easy for the cast to portray characters so different from themselves. 

“People are going way out of their comfort zones for this kind of thing,” said Allie Lockhart, who portrays antagonist Chris Hargensen. “Seeing how completely different they can be offstage versus when they’re on stage is just magical.”

Anya Ditzler, leading the show in the titular role of Carrie White, discussed the difficulty she faced trying to connect to her character. She spoke about the character work that she has done all throughout the process, including diving deep into the different relationships Carrie has to the various characters. According to Ditzler, Carrie is a character that has trouble connecting to others, and that has been difficult for her to portray.  

“She’s a doozy, let me tell you that,” Ditzler said with a laugh. “She’s a tough cookie all around to break open but she’s been fun.”

Abigail Valeriodiscussed the difficulty of playing Carrie’s overly-controlling mother Margaret White.

“Margaret’s a religious fanatic that’s abusive to her daughter so it’s hard for me to pick a similarity between us,” said Valerio. “I signed up to play an abusive character but in general, when you’re playing a character like that, it’s not gonna be a comfortable experience. You have to go to some uncomfortable places and think about uncomfortable things.”

The cast was also very excited to discuss the horror aspects of the show. They remarked that if you enjoy a little edge, “Carrie: The Musical” is for you. 

“We’re literally getting murdered on stage,” Lockhart said. “Come watch it for a spooky time.”

Opening right after Halloween, the show is the perfect way to prolong the “spooky season” for just a few more days. If the telekenesis and murder wasn’t enough to give that spooky vibe, the cast was thrilled to discuss the bloody aspect of the show. 

“If you like the movie, there will be blood, I promise,” said Ditzler. 

Whether or not you are familiar with the film or book by the same name, this show is sure to be a “night you’ll never forget.” 

See “Carrie: The Musical” in Clair Performance Hall at the Winter Center for Visual and Performing Arts at 7 p.m. Nov. 2-5. Tickets are on sale now at the Millersville Box Office and at