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Chandler+Drake+and+Jordan+Hicks+took+the+lead+roles+in+%22Carousel%22+as+Billy+Bigelow+and+Julie+Jordan.+%2F%2F+Photo+from+piedmont.edu

Chandler Drake and Jordan Hicks took the lead roles in “Carousel” as Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan. // Photo from piedmont.edu

Presley Field, Arts & Entertainment Editor

“Carousel” is Piedmont theatre’s first performance for the spring semester. “Carousel” encompasses a love story between Billy Bigelow and Julie Jordan. Billy is a carnival barker and Julie is a millworker. Their love story is not one of fairy tales, but a more complicated and complex story. They are both challenged with losing their jobs, cycles of abuse, and other decisions that they make; however, they don’t seem like the best decisions. As they struggle, Billy is tempted to and becomes an accomplice in a robbery. He then realizes what he has done and decides to take his own life. The key twist is that Billy is offered a chance at redemption. 

 

Carousel’s story provides a more realistic approach to a fictional story. In many musicals and other theatre performances, the ending is more of a happy ending that leaves a good thought in the audience’s mind; however, “Carousel” leaves audiences with a different thought, but with one that is meant to encourage. 

People should have in mind that this show won’t give you a fairytale ending. It’s an ending that is supposed to break your heart, but also be encouraging,” said Chandler Allen. Allen will be playing the lead role of Julie Jordan, and wrestles with portraying the character as best as possible. “I believe my biggest challenge playing this role is matching Julie’s soft-yet-knowing personality. I’m a bit more outspoken, while she isn’t, and having to rail it back can get challenging,” said Allen. 

 

Director Bill Gabelhausen is excited to bring back the original format of “Carousel” to audiences at Piedmont. Carousel’s message of forgiveness and redemption is as poignant as it is timeless,” said Gabelhausen. “In this production, we hope to highlight not only the beautiful operatic music, but the musical’s powerful story. By focusing on the light and the dark, the struggling heroine and the anti-hero, and the beautiful opposition in this journey, we hope to relive this musical in its original Golden Age format.” 

“Carousel” should be a great way to kick off 2021 and give some insight to what’s to come in the future for Piedmont theatre.

 

The theatre department will continue to follow the same protocol from last semester. Everyone entering the Swanson building will be required to wear face coverings as well as receiving a temperature check upon entering. Social distancing will be maintained in the theatre and there will be hand sanitizer stations located throughout the building. The theatre department, as well as everyone at Piedmont, is committed to putting on this show as safely as possible. Audience members are encouraged to read and follow the protocols to maintain a safe performance. 

 

Carousel performances are at 7:30 p.m., February 25-27 and 2 p.m., February 28 on the Swanson Center Mainstage. General admission is $10 and $5 for seniors and students. Piedmont faculty, staff and students will be admitted for free. In order to ensure socially distanced seating, patrons must call the box office at 706-778-8500 x1355 to purchase or reserve tickets.