Stephen King’s horror-classic spinoff “CARRIE the Musical” to make Maine premiere at USM School of Music

GORHAM — Stephen King, internationally famous horror author, is doing it all this fall. His new novel, “Doctor Sleep,” is already No. 1 on the New York Times Best Seller List; King and John Mellencamp’s new musical, “Ghost Brothers of Darkland County,” launched its nationwide tour this month; and the movie remake of “Carrie,” based on King’s bestselling novel, hits movie theaters this Friday.

And just in time for Halloween weekend, “CARRIE the Musical,” makes its Maine premiere at the University of Southern Maine School of Music.

Set to a score of thrilling pop and rock songs, the cult prom-queen musical is the perfect recipe of exciting, subversive and provocative fare for a terrifying weekend of live theater.

Performaces will be at 8 p.m., Friday, Nov. 1; 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 2; 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 3; at Corthell Concert Hall, USM Gorham campus.

“‘Carrie’ is a classic story that people associate with all the gory and ghostly fright-inducing sights, sounds and stories that make the week of Halloween so spectacular,” said Edward Reichert, director of the production and USM lecturer in musical theater, in a recent interview. “This year, they can see the horrific story unfold for the first time on a Maine stage.”

Set in present-day Chamberlain, Maine, “Carrie the Musical” tells the story of an awkward teen outcast who is bullied by popular kids at school and is at the mercy of her fanatically religious mother at home. Eileen Hanley, USM Musical Theatre major, will play the title role.

“‘Carrie’ by nature is a spooky story — one of a girl with psychic powers who is getting revenge,” said Hanley. “Along with presenting the struggle of teen angst and trying to fit in, the show embraces the supernatural and the unusual. It’s a great way to get into the spirit of Halloween.”

After Carrie White’s classmates subject her to unimaginable humiliation, she discovers that she has a powerful gift and ultimately harnesses her power with devastating rage.

“When her classmates pull one prank too many, Carrie realizes she does indeed have a controllable power,” Hanley said. “Her built-up anger is expressed in a very negative, destructive way.”

Musical direction will be provided by Kellie Moody, USM Piano Performance major. Moody will lead a five-piece band of USM School of Music students playing a score of exciting songs. Half of the songs remain unchanged from the original 1988 production of “Carrie the Musical,” and half of the songs have been composed for this new version.

“While some of the original songs are more traditional musical-theater ballads, the newer songs have infused the production with a contemporary rock edge,” Reichert said.

Tickets are $15 general public; $10 seniors, USM employees and alumni; and $5 students. Make reservations online at or call 207- 780-5555. The production contains mature subject matter.

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