In Part 2 in a series of interviews with the cast of Carousel at Catholic University, meet Luke Garrison.
Joel: Introduce yourself to our readers and tell them what other shows you have appeared in and some of the roles you have played?
Luke: My name is Luke Garrison and I am a junior at CUA. Favorite past roles at CUA include Jesus in Godspell, and Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity. Other favorite roles include Enjolras and Grantaire in Les Miserables, Gabe in Next to Normal, and Princeton in Avenue Q.
Why did you want to be in Carousel at CUA? What did you sing and read at your audition?
I wanted to be in Carousel because I am a fan of the show, love to perform in the Hartke Theatre, and wanted to work on another show with a great production team and cast. I sang “Younger than Springtime” from South Pacific for my audition.
Had you ever been in another production of the show, and if yes, who did you play, and how is this production different than the other one you were in?
I have been in this show before. I played the same role (Mr. Snow) my sophomore year of high school at Our Lady of Lourdes High School in Poughkeepsie, NY. This time around, it is a very different show. Having the abilities to perform the full dance numbers, in a full size theatre, with a 28 piece orchestra in an unbelievable experience. I am also happy to have another shot at the role now that my voice has left the squeakiness of puberty.
What does Carousel have to say to your generation of theatergoers?
Carousel can say a number of things to my generation, if you let it. So many people are willing to put the show aside, saying that it glorifies abuse. There is much more to it than that. It is one of the first shows to really look at the imperfections of human relationships. Without going into too much detail (come see the show!), it shows what people are willing to deal with to make their relationships work. No one is perfect, we all make mistakes. It’s how you fix them that show what you’re really made of.
Who do you play in Carousel and how do you relate to him?
I play Mr. Snow. I can relate to him because he is very goal driven. He has plans for his life, and he will accomplish them, no matter what. I try to have that same drive.
What do you admire about your character and what do you not admire?
I admire Mr. Snow’s determination to achieve his goals. Unfortunately, he isn’t so concerned about how his plans mesh with those around him. He can also, at times, let his pride get the best of him.
What have been the challenges you have encountered while preparing for your role and how have you overcome these challenges? How did your director help you?
One of the challenges I face with the role is that it is vocally challenging. It has a high, operatic tenor range. To get through, I try to take really good care of my voice when not in rehearsal by drinking tea, using a steamer, and drinking pineapple juice. I’ve also had a lot of help from my voice teacher Bryan Lilley, and the Music Director, Tom Pedersen.
What is your big solo or highlight in the show and what do we learn about your character when you sing perform it?
Mr. Snow’s main song in the show is a duet with Carrie called “When the Children are Asleep.” They dream about their future together. This is where we learn of Enoch’s big plans for the future. We learn that while Enoch and Carrie both want similar things, they may not see eye to eye on how they get there.
What have you learned about yourself – the actor and singer- during this whole process?
Having played the same role about 5 years ago, revisiting it has made me realize how far I’ve come since then. It made me very grateful for all the people who have helped me develop into who I am today, both on stage and off.
How do you describe the Rodgers and Hammerstein score and what is your favorite song that you are not performing and why?
In a word, the score is beautiful. It’s my favorite of theirs. To hear it played by the massive CUA Symphony is just amazing. My favorite song that I don’t perform is “If I Loved You.” The words are just so powerful and the score complementing it is perfection.
What do you want audiences to take with them after watching you perform in Carousel?
After leaving Carousel, I want the audience to be humming their favorite song from it. It is such an amazing piece of theatre that isn’t performed enough. We are so lucky to get to perform it.
Meet the Cast of ‘Carousel’ at Catholic University: Part 1: Meet Philip da Costa.
Meet the Cast of ‘Carousel’ at Catholic University: Part 2: Meet Luke Garrison.
Meet the Cast of ‘Carousel’ at Catholic University: Part 3: Meet Harrison Smith.
Meet the Cast of ‘Carousel’ at Catholic University: Part 4: Meet Catherine Purcell.
Meet the Cast of ‘Carousel’ at Catholic University: Part 5: Meet Hasani Allen.
Meet the Cast of ‘Carousel’ at Catholic University: Part 6: Meet Mary Efimetz.