Lititz native to portray Carrie

By on September 26, 2018

Kayla Brooks of Lititz is a star on the rise.

The 2015 Warwick graduate has recently been featured in several live theatre productions including “Heathers” at Genesius Theater in Reading in May; and in August, she was in the theatre’s musical production of “Memphis,” as a lead dancer.

Beginning this weekend, she’ll be portraying the lead role of Carrie White in Harrisburg’s Open Stage production of “Carrie: The Musical.”

So, what motivated this young actress to pursue her passion onstage?

“I believe one of the first things that sparked my interest in theatre was seeing some of my first couple of musicals like ‘Annie,’ ‘Cats,’ ‘Wizard of Oz,’ and ‘Annie Get Your Gun’ at such a young age,” Brooks said. “I thought it was magical how everyday people could become whoever they wanted to in the form of acting and musical theatre.”

To this day, she says that she gets lost in the live shows she attends, admitting that it gives her a connection to her younger self.

Looking back, some of the highlights and memorable moments at Warwick High School were her first and last solos with concert choir and show choir. Already a veteran of several professional productions, some of her favorite characters she’s portrayed include Alice in “The Secret Garden” at Cairn University, playing a cupid, tart and a maid in “The Scarlet Pimpernel,” and portraying Ethel in “42nd Street” at Warwick.

“I would say my motivation to continue in music and theatre after graduation were all the great memories, and things I’ve learned in my education and the shows I had participated in,” she said. “If all this good has happened and I have learned so much, what all could happen in the future?”

And even with a go-getter attitude, Brooks never hesitates for the chance to learn more.

“I have grown as a professional by learning through others and auditioning anywhere I can, no matter if I think I fit the part or not,” she says. “I’ve also learned to always expect the unexpected due to being in musical theatre — surprises happen all the time and after all, not all shows are the same.”

Kayla as Carrie.

When asked, Brooks is very excited to be portraying the troubled teen from the iconic Stephen King novel.

“I love the role of Carrie White because I think she shows the innocence we all want inside,” Brooks said. “But because of that innocence, she is harassed at school and at home. I love the role because it shows the effect bullying has on teens throughout high school and what the effects could lead to.”

Catch Kayla Brooks in “Carrie: The Musical” Sept. 29 through Oct. 26 at Open Stage in Harrisburg. For tickets, call 717-232-6736 or visit openstagehbg.com.

Cory Van Brookhoven is a staff writer for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your comments at cvanbrookhoven@lnpnews.com or 717-721-4423.

Warwick grad Kayla Brooks (left) will portray the lead role of Carrie White in Harrisburg’s Open Stage production of “Carrie: The Musical.”

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