"Carousel" to Feature Large Ensemble of
Hope Actors, Singers and Dancers
Posted November 5, 2002
HOLLAND -- Hope College Theatre will present
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein's much-loved musical,
"Carousel," as the second offering of the current season.
A run of six performances begins on Friday, Nov.
15, and continues on Saturday, Nov. 16, and Wednesday
through Saturday, Nov. 20-23. The production will be
presented in the main theatre of the DeWitt Center. All
performances begin at 8 p.m.
According to several accounts, "Carousel" was
Rodgers and Hammerstein's personal favorite of the many
musicals on which they collaborated--a list that includes
"Oklahoma," "The Sound of Music," "South Pacific" and The
King and I."
Critics and audiences have agreed over the years.
When it first appeared in 1945, "Carousel" ran for 890
performances and won several awards, including the
prestigious New York Drama Critics Circle Award for "Best
Musical." When the National Theatre of England revived it
in 1993, and returned it to Broadway in 1994, it again won
several awards, including four Olivier Awards, five Tony
Awards and eight Los Angeles DramaLogue Awards. In 1999,
"Time" magazine voted "Carousel" "Best Musical of the
There happens to be an interesting connection
between Hope College and the recent English revival. In
that production, American actor Michael Haydon played the
role of Billy Bigelow. Haydon spent two seasons as an actor
with the Hope Summer Repertory Theatre.
Hope's production of "Carousel" joins an
international Richard Rodgers centennial celebration marking
the 100th birthday of the famous composer. The worldwide
commemoration includes stage productions and concerts,
ballet, jazz and film tributes, new books, recordings and
television programming, museum exhibits and more, according
to The Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization in New York.
"Carousel" is based on "Liliom," a play by
Hungarian playwright Ferenc Molnar. Rodgers and Hammerstein
transferred the locale from Budapest to a small New England
town in the late 19th century.
The plot centers around a love affair between
Billy Bigelow, a carnival barker (played by senior David
Mark Ovies of Royal Oak) and Julie Jordan, a local mill
worker (played by junior Sara Luneack of Alma). Trouble
develops in the relationship as Billy's darker side emerges,
revealing him to be undependable and even abusive as a
When he learns that he is going to become a
father, he tries to obtain some much-needed money, only to
lose his life in a botched robbery. Several years later,
Billy is allowed to return to earth in order to search out
and meet his daughter, who is now an unhappy teenager. The
visit allows him to redeem himself with one final good deed.
As in all works by Rodgers and Hammerstein,
"Carousel" contains a rich musical score, winsome melodies
and memorable lyrics which support and inform the story.
Several songs have become American standards: "If I Loved
You," "June is Bustin' Out All Over," "What's The Use of
Wond'rin?" and "You'll Never Walk Alone" are some of the
In addition to Ovies and Luneack, the large cast
includes: senior Brenna R. Bosma of Orland Park, Ill., as
Nettie Fowler; senior Joshua Brandenburg of Hamlin, N.Y., as
Jigger Craigin; sophomore Clarissa Stowell Gregory of
Portage, Wis., as Miss Louise; junior Daniel Kwiatkowski of
Cheboygan as Enoch Snow; senior Anne Mathias of Jackson as
Carrie Pipperidge; junior Angela Mishler of Pickford as Mrs.
Mullin; and junior Erik Saxvik of Libertyville, Ill., as
Others in the Ensemble include: senior Rachel
Carrozziere of Rochester, N.Y.; freshman Emily Casey of
Wheaton, Ill.; freshman Mike Dominiak of Dearborn; freshman
Alexandra Eaton of Traverse City; junior Matthew Farmer of
Bangor; sophomore Helen Fylstra of Hinsdale, Ill.; freshman
Alyssa Garcia of Belmont; freshman Peter Gillotte of
Laingsburg; sophomore Katherine Grambau of Kalamazoo;
freshman Peter Hammer of Laurel, Mont.; freshman Kelly
Hargrove of McHenry, Ill.; junior Tim Heck of Libertyville,
Ill.; sophomore Rebecca Helene Hillyard of Rochester, N.Y.;
and freshman NoahDavid Lein of Kewadin.
Also in the Ensemble are: junior Micah J. Maatman
of Kalamazoo; sophomore Andrew Meyers of Churchville, N.Y.;
junior Tara Mistry of Schaumburg, Ill.; sophomore Patrick
Patton of Grahamsville, N.Y.; senior Alyson Payne of Three
Oaks; sophomore Grace Margaret Pollert of Ada; junior Carmen
Rabbitt of Muskegon; sophomore Katherine Seifert of
Plymouth; freshman Kendra Stock of Saint Charles, Ill.;
freshman Andrew Taylor of Flushing; freshman Eric Van
Tassell of Spencer, Iowa; sophomore Shelly Walker of
Brighton; and sophomore Lisa Warmus of Rochester, N.Y.
Area school children involved in the ensemble
include Ali and Griffin Baer, Anna Carissa Torres and Kaija
Several Hope faculty and guests are in charge of
the production, which is being directed by Daina Robins, a
member of the theatre faculty and chairperson of the
Choreography is by John Dayger, formerly
associated with both the Hope theatre and dance departments
and Hope Summer Repertory Theatre. Currently Dayger is
living in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., where he is on the
University of Illinois dance faculty.
Kelly Daab, music teacher and director of Vocal
Dimensions at Holland High School, is ensemble music
director. Steven Ward and Linda Dykstra, both assistant
professors of music at Hope, are serving as orchestra
director and vocal coach respectively.
Costume design is by Michelle Bombe, also a member
of the Hope theatre faculty and resident costume designer.
Scenic design is by local guest designer Todd Engle.
Lighting design is by guest designer Damon Herbert from the
Kentucky Shakespeare Festival in Louisville. Sound design
is by guest designer Richard Ingraham of Cleveland, Ohio.
Paul Anderson of the Hope theatre staff is the technical
Emily E. Parkhurst, a junior from Lansing, is the
rehearsal accompanist. Amanda Joy Weener, a junior from
Grand Rapids, is the production stage manager.
Tickets for "Carousel" are available in the
theatre lobby box office in the DeWitt Center, and cost $7
for regular admission, and $4 for senior citizens and
students. The ticket office is open from Monday through
Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from noon 5
p.m. Telephone reservations may be made by calling (616)
The DeWitt Center is located on Columbia Avenue at