There Will Be Blood: Costuming for Carrie: The Musical

Go behind the scenes of CapU theatre’s newest production

Andie Bjornsfelt (she/her) // Contributor
Hannah Bontinen // Illustrator

Pig’s blood, a small town, matriarch tension, prom queen and psychic powers — what do all of these things have in common? 

After Capilano University’s production of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night in the fall, the theatre and costuming department have been busy this year with the adaption of the Carrie the Musical, coming to the stage in late March. The theatre department is working very closely with the costuming department to get a familiarly modern look perfected for the show.

Eve Partridge is the costume coordinator; a second — year costuming student and a jack — of — all — trades. Brian Ball is a set and costume designer extraordinaire, who works closely with the theatre and costuming team. Both of them shared some exciting tidbits about the coming production of Carrie the Musical.

The source material is familiar to many– Lawrence D. Cohen’s musical script is adapted from Stephen King’s classic 1974 book. The horror story centers around an isolated teenage girl who experiences religious abuse from her mother and is bullied at school by the popular kids. Her life flips when she develops telekinesis (the psychic ability to move things with your mind). When she is humiliated at the prom, she unleashes her powers with deadly results. 

Instead of being set in the 70s, this time Carrie is taking place in 2015. “It’s very, very 2015. It’s a bit of a throwback for some people. All the prom dresses are being made and they’re all coming off of designs from 2015, so a lot of high — low skirts. That has been really fun to explore,” said Partridge. 

Ball explained the time jump choice further. “We decided that we wanted it to be contemporary because many of the actors have said that they never had a prom because of COVID. But most of them can remember that year– maybe they had a sibling graduate then, or watched some older kids at school graduating– so they can remember the looks from 2015. It’s kind of nostalgic for them, but for us it’s still somewhat contemporary”. Clothes were easier to source for Brian and Eve (just dig in your closet and I’m sure you’ll find something from that year). 

The crescendo of the story involves a bucket of blood at the climactic moment. To be safe, the costuming department has made many doubles of all the outfits, because it is bound to get messy when working with fake blood. “We’ll deal with the aftermath. That’s why we’ve got twelve different dresses for Carrie,” laughed Eve.

Two exciting aspects of the costuming for this production are the details in the clothing for the supporting cast and the 2015 clothing reflecting the characters unique personalities. “Sue is very preppy, very pink– think Betty from Riverdale. Tommy is a jock, so he has a letterman jacket, a very blue color palette and boy-next-door vibes. Chris wears a lot of leather, studded boots, black and purple. All the side characters have their own personas and it’ll look really cool on stage,” said Eve.

The costume department is busy making the prom dresses for the deadly dance. “We’re having everybody in their own separate color palette, while still being cohesive as a group. Carrie’s in her light pink dress and nobody else is wearing that color, so it’s going to really pop on stage from the audience’s point of view,” shared Eve. “There’s going to be a lot of bright colors. A lot of mint green, a lot of peach. Because it’s a musical, the more glitz, the more glam, the better”.

Don’t miss Carrie: The Musical, playing March 23rd to April 1st at the Blueshore Theatre at Capilano University. 

Tickets are available now:

Preview Night  —  Adult/Senior $15, Student/Child $11

Remaining run  —  Adult $22, Senior $15, Student/Child $11
Get your tickets here:

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