Carrie: The Musical Review

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On Thursday, April 7, the Theater Department at Armstrong Campus premiered “Carrie the Musical ”, a play which centers around a teenage girl’s awakening of her supernatural powers while facing relentless highschool bullies and a fanatically religious mother.

The musical was directed by Tomica S. Jenkins, a visiting professor in the communication arts department on campus. The show was performed on the mainstage of Jenkins Hall from April 7 until April 10.

I attended the performance on Friday, April 8, and was thoroughly impressed by the production. This was the first play I had seen from the Georgia Southern Theater Department and the talent and passion that I observed from everyone involved set high expectations for the next one I will be attending.

Morrow Smith, a freshman at Georgia Southern and the stage manager of the production, gave more details about the show in an interview before the premier. She described her work on set, which included everything from helping with props and lighting, to keeping track of the actors progress with lines and calling cues.

Smith had her first experience with the Georgia Southern Theater Department last semester when she played the role of Nana in Armstrong’s production of “School Girls”. She described her experience with other students, specifically theater majors, as fun. “In rehearsals and breaks I get to speak to them about past shows and kind of take notes about how they do things.”

The musical featured Javanna Rogers who played the star role of Carrie. “She does amazing,” said Smith while describing Roger’s stage presence and vocal skills.

Roger’s talent was evident from her first solo song “Carrie”, in Act 1. Coupled with her excellent acting abilities, she embodied the pain and emotional confusion that the role of Carrie requires.

The chemistry between Joanna Sellman, who played Carrie’s mother Margaret, and Rogers stood out to me, and elevated the performance.

Smith said that many challenges had to be overcome in the production and rehearsal process due to overlapping schedules with another play on campus called “Timeflies”. Smith said there were issues getting everyone together, and setbacks with lines and choreography leading up to the premier.

In spite of these challenges, the show went on, and was a major success. It was clear that hard work had gone into every aspect of producing the show including the music, set, acting, choreography, and lighting.

Sarah Luongo, the costume manager of the production and a volunteer with the theater, gave additional details and opinions about the show in an interview before the premier. She compared both the original 1976 and 2013 Carrie films to the musical, stating that the music in the play added more emotion to the story. “Carries not the only person that’s being hurt and you can see that more in the musical than in the movies,” Said Luongo.

Gabby Reilly, a Freshman Communication Studies major played Norma in the musical. “I think that each of us brought a new element to the show and our characters, and I couldn’t have imagined this production without everyone that made up the cast and crew,” said Reilly.

“Just be kind,” said Smith when asked what she hoped the audience would take away from the musical.

For more information about future productions from the Georgia Southern University Armstrong Campus Theater program visit: