One of the many events hit by the COVID-19 outbreak was Sterling College Theatre’s production of Carousel.
Carousel is the second musical done by the dup of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The 1945 musical was adapted from Ferenc Molnár’s 1909 play Liliom, moving the Budapest setting to the Maine coastline.
The musical was set to take the stage in late April until the COVID-19 outbreak led to its cancellation.
The cast had already begun some rehearsals.
Sasha Hilderbrand, the director of the show explained the outcome of the cancelation.
“Obviously, I am sad to say we won’t be able to put on the production of Carousel later this April like we had planned – especially since it was a production that I was greatly looking forward to since we were going to produce it in the round in Upper Wilson, had an excellent cast, and were going to be joined by a choreographer from New York City,” Hilderbrand said. “However, with the global pandemic and the closing of virtually every other theatre production around- I take a strange comfort knowing that we were not alone in having to cancel our show at this time and that it was all for the greater good and health of our community and our students. That being said – I don’t think that means that our production of Rodger’s & Hammerstein’s masterpiece will never be produced – it’s just been put on hold. The rights and royalty companies are working with all theatre groups, companies and schools to help postpone their productions until it safe to proceed with having audiences in the theatre- and Sterling College is no exception. We are all in a ‘wait-and-see’ pattern as of now- which is difficult when needing to make plans for the near future and next year’s season. However, I am hoping that we can place Carousel somewhere in the line-up for next year- so that we can follow through on our dream of creating a beautiful show- using as much of our original ideas and cast as possible.”
Will Dutton, who was set to play the lead role of Billy Bigelow, shows that SC theatre is still preparing for future shows as best as they can.
“COVID-19 has had massive ramifications for the SC theatre program,” Dutton said. We aren’t sure what shows are on top for next year, but Sasha as a theatre educator will continue to creatively find ways for students to learn theatre. Dance professor Piper Harding is having students learn dances online and film themselves dancing to the specific songs to fulfill their dance credit. I myself am not enrolled in a large size theatre class but rather a one-on-one lab. Sasha has promised to personalize the content and opportunities we will have and accomplish as much as possible. I had to smile tonight as I saw that my girlfriend’s first assignment in one class was learning about “Shakespeare and pandemics.” What an appropriate thing to research at this juncture in the history of our world.”
As it comes to no surprise, the SC theatre program is on a trajectory to pick up right where they left off.
With the efforts of the directors and new technology, students will continue to hone in their theatrical talents.
This time their stage will be their own home.