Chariho Theater Company students were treated to a remote magic show on the last day of distance learning | Richmond and Hopkinton

WOOD RIVER JCT. – Amid all the chaos and discomfort caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, former Chariho student Caroline Horsman and her husband, Spencer, treated members of the Chariho Theater Company to a virtual magic show a recent Wednesday evening which coincided with the last day of distance learning for Chariho students.

The Horsmans pride themselves on expertise in magical illusions and are also co-owners of Illusions Bar and Theater in Baltimore, Md. Caroline, a native of Hope Valley, was heavily involved in the Chariho theater program in high school, graduating from Chariho in 2005 , and is now a professional actress and magician.

Her husband grew up surrounded by magic in Baltimore and is now best known for his dangerous Houdini escapes on the TV show “America’s Got Talent” as well as performing alongside renowned magicians such as David Copperfield and Criss Angel.

Although the pair had to halt in-person performances at their Baltimore venue in mid-March due to the pandemic, they have recently begun enchanting virtual audiences with remote performances focused on magic and storytelling.

“The pandemic has definitely shifted everything to an online format,” Caroline said. “At the end of the day, we have to move with the times. It just forces us to move a bit faster than we otherwise would have.

Caroline felt the Chariho Theater program was a place where she found herself, and she thought a virtual performance would be a great way to give back to the program that launched her.

“I was the weird kid growing up and didn’t have a concept of community until I came across the theater program, and that really helped solidify who I was,” said Caroline. “It was so important to do something for the theater students.”

Last Wednesday, a handful of members of the Chariho Theater Company logged on to the Zoom online meeting platform and waited for what the two magicians had in store. The performance started with Caroline appearing out of a mysterious box, then included card tricks, a house magic trick and even a session that shook a set of metal pans, as well as a question and answer session. -answers.

Chariho sophomore Christian Sullivan, from Richmond, was impressed with the performers’ ability to modify their magical routine to fit the virtual environment.

“I’m impressed not only with their performance, but also how well they’ve adapted to our current circumstances,” noted Sullivan. “It shows a real dedication to the craft, and I love seeing that in show business.”

Charlestown sophomore Elaine Sumner was inspired to see a Chariho graduate who went on to pursue a career in the performing arts.

“As a fellow performer, I was afraid that being from a small town in Rhode Island would make it even harder to pursue a career in the performing arts,” Sumner said. “Hearing a Chariho graduate artist gives me confidence in myself and my abilities.”

Chariho theater manager Rebecca Burns, who coordinated the virtual magic show, said the show provided a delightful end to the tough semester, which has been virtual since mid-March.

“The members of Chariho Theater Company have worked so hard and adapted so well – they certainly deserved a nice surprise,” Burns said. “I think the arts especially bring people together, with all the virtual concerts and streaming events.”

Burns said she was also proud to show her student performers an example of how a Chariho alumnus pursued a career in the performing arts.

“Through this magic show, I hope students will be inspired by how Caroline was able to make a career out of her passion for the arts,” Burns said. “But more importantly, I hope they learn the importance of giving back and using their talents selflessly to bring joy to others.”

Brian L. Hartfield