Southeast Missouri State University student publication

Modern interpretation of classical “Carmen” performed at River Campus

Monday, January 22, 2024
The cast of Carmen performs on stage during act 3 of the show.
Photo by Lily Niebrugge

River Campus’ “Carmen” presented a modern interpretation of a classical story about love and obsession on Jan. 19 and Jan. 21 in the Bedell Performance Hall.

This telling of “Carmen” depicts a story of a young, hot-tempered woman from a small town in Wyoming through bright singing and dance performances.

Director Christopher Goeke said the idea to place “Carmen” in a modern setting makes it more relevant to the audience and highlights the timelessness of the main conflict.

“You have a woman who is independent and does not want to be told how to live her life, then she meets a controlling guy who wants to tell her exactly what to do. The play was written in the 1840s, and here we are in the 2020s, and it's still a relevant story,” Goeke said.

“Carmen” is one of the biggest shows done by SEMO. Morgan Gode who played Carmen shared her experience of being a leading actor.

“Carmen is special to me. It is the first lead role I have ever done. She is a fiery independent woman who will not be told what to do. There are definitely features of her that I also have,” Gode said.

One of the most memorable aspects of “Carmen” is passionate music that supports an energetic and lively narrative. Freshman theater and dance major Grace Sandrcock said that her favorite part of the show was the students' singing.

“The vocals were incredible. I was here for my friends, and for a lot of them it was a debut. Seeing them was great,” Sandrcock said.

The new show attracted new audiences. Music education graduate Alan Bruns said he enjoyed a fresh look at a classical story.

“It is not my first time watching “Carmen.” I think what makes this particular show special is the diversity of the cast and audience. Seeing older folks like me and younger students together is great,” Burns said.

River Campus’ next play, Our Play, will take place on Feb. 28- March 3.