Oyster River Players do Carousel
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Written by Top Event Team

Carousel by Oyster River PlayersMARK YOUR CALENDAR

The Oyster River Players perform “Carousel” on Friday, July 11 at 7pm, Saturday, July 12 at 1 and 7pm and Sunday, July 13 at 1pm. Carousel is set in a small village in Maine at the end of the 19th century, after the Civil War and in the beginnings of the Industrial Revolution. (Click title to read more)

The central character’s name is Billy Bigelow and he arrives in the small town with a magical carousel. To the townspeople he appears worldly, exciting and well-traveled. “This was a time in Maine where many people worked in mills or on a farm; there were a lot of mill workers. This is part of our New England heritage,” director Kelly Eggers explains. “This story is socially aware for the time that it was written. It’s about love, abuse, and the political and socioeconomic classes.”

Rowan Dunning, who plays Heavenly Friend in the Saturday night show, gives some insight into his character. “He helps guide Billy through earth to get to Heaven. If he wants to get in [to heaven], he has to make up for some stuff.”

“Billy Bigelow has to realize what he has done wrong. He dies and goes into a sort of purgatory and angels have to help him figure it out,” Eggers states. “The story puts us through OUR paces, it has interesting characters and they go through a journey.” The story is complex. Branwyn Ritchie who plays Julie in the Friday show explains, “There is more than meets the eye. Their lives seem simple, but the characters live rich lives. Nothing is ever that simple and that makes the story more compelling.”

Eggers has even included some of the original choreography from dancer and choreographer Agnes de Mille. “She was the first to include ballet within a musical as a plot device. In this way de Mille showed us how ballet could move the plot forward.”

Part of the fun of this production is that there is a rotating cast for each performance. “You get to see a different show with every new cast, as each actor will have their own take on their character,” says Eggers.

The Oyster River Players production will be an entertaining visit to our past and we can see how we have grown as a society. “This story is about all of us everywhere, and how we are all human beings and make mistakes” Eggers shares, “It is also about how choices do matter and that we always can be redeemed. Every generation has the real chance to do better than the last as long as they have hope.”

Oyster River Players production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's “Carousel” at Exeter’s Historic Town Hall on Friday, July 11 at 7pm, Saturday, July 12 at 1 and 7pm and Sunday, July 13 at 1pm. Suggested donation: adults, $8; Children, $5. Tickets at the door only. For more information: 603-767-4988.  On the Web: www.oysterriverplayers.org