Center for the Arts brings ‘Carrie the Musical’ to Murfreesboro

Story by Blake Holliday / Contributing Writer

Halloween season is upon us, and the Center for the Arts is preparing a wide variety of festive haunts for Murfreesboro locals. 

With the continuation of their 2017 season, the Center for the Arts plans to offer a thrilling production of “Carrie the Musical.” The musical is based on the novel “Carrie” by Stephen King and has a book by Lawrence D. Cohen, with lyrics by Dean Pitchford and music from Michael Gore. The show focuses on a teenage girl with telekinetic powers who is bullied by a religious, fanatic mother and the popular crowd at school. She is later invited to the prom where things get bloody.

Helming the show is Matthew Hunter, a frequent collaborator with the Center for the Arts. Some of his past directing credits with this company include successful productions of “Shrek the Musical,”The Wizard of Ozand “Dreamgirls.” Rounding out the production team is Emily Dennis, who serves as music director, and Tosha Pendergrast as choreographer.

“‘Carrie the Musical’ is really focused in on the aspect of bullying and how it affects people, as well as what a typical high school student, popular or not, struggles with,” Hunter said about the musical’s dark themes and intense subject matter.

Hunter had high praises for his cast and team, stating, “First off, I can’t say enough about my production team. I truly have the best of the best this time around, and the cast is absolutely top notch. We had about 40 local actors audition for this production … and through some very difficult cuts, we have an incredible cast of 14 multi-talented performers.”

Leading the show in the titular role is Cassie Donegan, a newcomer to the Center for the Arts stage.

“Cassie Donegan makes her CFTA debut as Carrie White, and her stage presence, not to mention her voice, will blow you away,” Hunter said.

Also in the cast is Nicole Turner as Sue Snell, Daniel Carrasquillo as Tommy Ross, Kayla Petrille as Chris Hargensen, Alexius Frost as Margaret White, Chase Michael Tucker as Billy Nolan and Kate Murphy Johnston as Miss Gardner. Michael Oystern II, Lauren Proctor, Evan Acklin, Nathan Willis Nathan Keffer, Holly Adams and Megan Scott round out the ensemble of local actors.

There are a multitude of events happening this season, so it can be difficult to choose what to see and when, but Hunter is confident that “Carrie” offers something you won’t find anywhere else.

“Another fun element to this show is that it’s a little more immersive than some,” Hunter said. “Lots of times, when you see a show, the action is solely onstage. We are breaking that rule a little bit. When you enter the theatre, you will be at prom. You will be able to take prom photos at a photo booth, vote for prom king and queen, and the action will be happening all around you.”

“Carrie the Musical” runs October 6-22 at the Center for the Arts located at 110 W College St, Murfreesboro, TN.

Ticket prices range from $15 for adults, $13 for students, seniors and military and $11 for children.

They are also offering a deal for $2 off “The Rocky Horror Picture Show” tickets with the purchase of “Carrie” tickets. This production is rated R and is intended for mature audiences.

For tickets, contact the box office at (615) 904-2787 or visit

To contact Lifestyles Editor Tayhlor Stephenson, email

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