1780 – The Official Blog of Transylvania University

1780 | The Official Blog of Transylvania University

Transylvania’s theater and music programs present Rodgers and Hammerstein masterpiece “Carousel”; opens May 15 for three night run

LEXINGTON, Ky.—Selected “Best Musical of the 20th Century,” by TIME magazine, “Carousel” is the enduring effort to overcome prejudice, greed, and self-doubt. Transylvania’s theater and music programs’ production features 26 students in the classic roles and another 17 in the orchestra conducted by music professor Ben Hawkins. The beloved classic runs Thursday, May 15 through Saturday, May 17, at 7:30 p.m. in Haggin Auditorium. Tickets are $10.

Carrie Pipperidge (Hope Kodman) and Enoch Snow (Luke Watts) imagine their married life together “When the Children are Asleep.”

Written in 1945, “Carousel” was Rodgers and Hammerstein’s second collaboration, following “Oklahoma!” in 1943. With an overture that is visually evocative as well as musically exciting, a love duet between two characters who never admit they are in love with each other and the suicide of a main character who is later seen in Heaven, “Carousel” has a strong set of real characters, a fast-paced plot and a powerful theme of forgiveness and redemption through genuine caring and love. The lyrics suggest a specific time and place, and Transylvania’s sets, costumes and lights echo that New England atmosphere while also giving the production a transcendent and surreal mood.Julie (Sarah Elizabeth Billiter) and Billy (Cameron Perry) enjoy the falling spring blossoms against a starry night, as each speculates on what it would be like to love the other, singing “If I Loved You.”

“The basic concept I’ve been following in directing the musical is the need to find some balance between rigid conformity and absolute independence,” said director and drama professor Tim Soulis. “There is much in the script to suggest that those who only conform to societal expectations are just as lost as those who seek total freedom. A carousel is fun, but also predictable and you have to get off to experience real life.” 

For more information, contact the public relations office at (859) 233-8120 or Tim Soulis at (859) 233-8163.