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WVU presents ‘Carrie: The Musical’ Oct. 20-23

Carrie The Musical PosterThe West Virginia University School of Theatre and Dance presents “Carrie: The Musical,” based on Stephen King’s classic horror tale, October 20 – 23, 2023 at the Metropolitan Theatre, Morgantown, WV.  Carrie: The Musical features a book by Lawrence D. Cohen with music by Michael Gore and lyrics by Dean Pitchford. 
Set in the small fictitious New England town of Chamberlain, Maine, Carrie: The Musical tells the story of Carrie White, a teenage outcast bullied and mocked at school for being different while dominated at home by her cruel and controlling mother. Within this life of constant sadness and pain, Carrie discovers special powers where just her thoughts make simple objects move; powers she tries to control but ones making her a threat to anyone who crosses her.

The musical, in its original incarnation, premiered on Broadway in 1988, closing after only five performances and went down as the most infamous flop in Broadway history. But many rewrites by the creators in the early 2000s led to a significant 2012 off-Broadway run and renewed interest in this musical.  Carrie: The Musical found a new and excited audience, even featured on an episode of the CW’s “Riverdale” in recent years.

Scene from "Carrie: The Musical"The 2012 version is set in current times but the director, Lee Blair, decided to take the contemporary classic back to its origins: The 1970s. “As a child of the 70s and 80s, Carrie was a huge moment for my generation as King combined teenage rebellion with the supernatural. Then the movie had all the up-and-coming actors like Spacek, Amy Irving and John Travolta.  And it was pretty scary – both the book and the movie.  It was iconic. That is the Carrie and the time that I knew.  That’s the way I knew I could help tell the story.”  

Liz Gutridge, a Senior BFA Musical Theatre major who plays the titular role of Carrie in WVU’s musical production, is happy to be tell this tale for a very personal reason. “As a horror movie fan, it’s very cool to represent that onstage…the grand circumstances of a musical AND a horror movie all in one.”  

In her story, Carrie has little kindness or comfort in her life. Kyra McKillip, a Senior BFA Musical Theatre major is the gym teacher, Ms. Gardner, who befriends Carrie. “She is the only one that extends a hand out to Carrie“ says McKillip. “But at the end, she still has the same dark fate as everyone else.”  In the 1976 film, the character was called Miss Collins and played by a young Betty Buckley – who later originated the role of Carrie’s mother, Margaret on Broadway in 1988.

WVU’s School of Theatre and Dance will present the show at the historic Metropolitan Theatre in downtown Morgantown returning to the venue after a three-year pandemic absence.

Scenic design is by recent MFA graduate Abigail Wagner, lighting design by current MFA graduate Maren Taylor, sound design by senior BFA Design/Tech major Savannah Mateyka and costume design by WVU Director of Costuming Mary McClung.

"Carrie: The Musical" begins at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 20, 21, and 22 with a 2 p.m. matinee on Oct. 23. Tickets are available through the WVU Box Office’s on-campus location, by phone at 304-293-SHOW or by visiting