Hippodrome holds Scary Carrie Prom Night

by Administrator

An arrow pointed guests to the basement of the Hippodrome where “Scary Carrie Prom Night” awaited.

Inside, sparkling purple and orange lights snaked around wide white-brick columns, illuminating the space. Along the right side of the room, a chocolate fountain flowed and a photo booth waited, prepped with an array of props: glasses, mustaches, lips and top hats.

Guests recycled their prom dresses and suits for a night to join in “Scary Carrie Prom Night,” an event hosted by the Hippodrome, 25 SE Second Place, Friday to promote its ongoing play “Carrie.”

Put on by the Florida Players, the event began at 7 p.m. with a preparty in in the basement, followed by admission to the production of “Carrie” and a two-hour postproduction party. Anyone was welcome to attend.

Florida Players event coordinator Stefanie Anarumo, a 20-year-old theater performance junior, said the event was a fundraiser for the student-run organization. The funds will primarily cover the costs of the event and production and play rights.

“It’s a wonderful idea to bring all the circles together — the School of Theatre and Dance, the Florida Players, the Hippodrome — further our relationship with the Hippodrome as the only equity theater in Gainesville and support our friends in the production and in Florida Players,” Anarumo said. “It just seemed perfect.”

Several other proms will be held during the duration of the play at the Hippodrome.

Chase Milner, a 23-year-old theater performance and marketing senior and marketing intern at the Hippodrome, said the event was designed to bring large groups to the Hippodrome, particularly sororities, fraternities and clubs.

Depending on the number of people each group brings to the event, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to a charity of their choice. The more guests who attend each event, the more the Hippodrome will donate to the charity per ticket, Milner said.

Meg Westermann-Clark, rentals and group sales coordinator for the Hippodrome, said nine “proms” are available for rental through Nov. 2. The eight remaining proms are still open for rental.

Unlike the Florida Players’ “Scary Carrie Prom Night,” these events will not be open to the public.

The turnout for the Florida Players event, Anarumo said, exceeded her expectations. The organization sold 77 tickets, and is going into fundraising for the Florida Players.

About 50 guests arrived early to enjoy the preparty. Prom dresses of all styles and eras made appearances.

Dressed in a floor-length pale blue gown, Melissa Nave, a 19-year-old theater performance sophomore, said it was a great opportunity to wear the dress she never got to wear to her own high school prom.

“It’s finally coming out!” she said.

Logan Wolfe, 23, said, he “had a bad prom the first time, so maybe this will be a good one.”

Clad in a ruffled shirt underneath his suit, Wolfe said the prom was a unique event.

“I have never been to an event like this,” he said. “I think it’s awesome. The basement is beautiful.”

Guests then moved upstairs to watch “Carrie.”

After the show, the basement came to life for the postproduction party. Music blared from the speakers as the remaining guests arrived, and the stars of “Carrie” joined the fun. Fondue frothed from the fountain as guests gawked at each other’s re-donned formal prom wear.

The photo booth was active all night, with Florida Players historian, 20-year-old theater performance junior Shari Thompson, arranging guests into stereotypical prom positions.

“I think this is one of the most collaborative events that we have done in a while, working with the Hippodrome and doing something for us as well,” Thompson said. “I think this is innovative, and it will set a standard for the future.”

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