With only a few short weeks of rehearsal until opening night, Homestead’s music and drama departments are working feverishly to mount their rendition of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s beloved musical Carousel. William Toney and Grace Bobber, junior, portray the title roles of Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan, a couple who fell in love beneath the glimmering lights of Mrs. Mullins carousel, but are now struggling to make ends meet. Between cast, crew, and pit orchestra, Carousel is truly a group effort, with over 100 students involved.
So come one, come all, and meet the incredible artists who have created the production!
Maggie Collins is no stranger to the theatre. As a junior, this is Collins’s fifth main-stage show at Homestead, and in Carousel, Collins portrays one of the lead roles, Carrie Pipperidge.
“Carrie makes a lot of choices as a person that I wouldn’t necessarily make, but her intentions are nice,” Collins said. “She tries hard to be there for her best friend, Julie Jordan.”
While developing her character, Collins has focused on “reacting as opposed to just acting,” and explains that “It seems like a very basic thing to do, but it can be a challenge. Just knowing WHY your character does something helps a lot.”
In terms of the rehearsal process, “It’s been so much fun!” Collins said, “I’m surrounded by a lot of my friends in the cast, and it’s fun to slowly puzzle scenes together as we go along. I love everyone in the cast.”
However, the musical itself doesn’t always deal with the most fun or pleasant topics, such as domestic abuse. “I know that during the time Carousel came out, the topic of abuse was unheard of, so I think it’s a bold show to perform,” Collins remarks. “I’m all for women empowerment, and some of the songs go against what it means to be a strong woman, but Ms. Figg-Franzoi and Ms. Winnie have made it abundantly clear that by performing this show, we aren’t encouraging these belittling messages.”
In the coming weeks, stress will pile up and culminate with a “tech week” that combines all technical aspects of the show with the actual performers. As Collins describes, “Yes, balancing schoolwork with Carousel can get tough depending on the night, but I’m not complaining. It can be hard, but it’s what I knew I was getting into.”
Nevertheless, those stressors disappear come opening night. “Usually the whole show molds together with the pit and lights during tech week,” Collins said. “It all builds up to the excitement of opening night, and that feeling of being on stage is unlike anything else. The energy really flows throughout everyone involved.”
By: Katie Bandurski
Drama Club Publicist