Carthage High students get into the habit

Sister Annunciata Collins of the Sisters of St. Joseph, third from left, helped Carthage Central High School student “get into the habit” in preparation for their roles in this weekend’s performances of “Sister Act.” The actresses include, from left, Mary Root, Larissa Wiltse, Dorcas Martinez, Paula Martin and Emma Zehr.

CARTHAGE — In preparation for the upcoming spring musical, some members of the Carthage Central School cast for “Sister Act,” paid a visit to Sister Annunciata Collins of the Sisters of St. Joseph. There are 24 “nuns” in the cast for the Carthage production set for 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

The nun of more than 50 years, gave the actors a tour of the Carthage convent and St. James Church along with telling stories about how she became a nun and answering questions about the daily life of a religious.

The high school girls said meeting with Sister Annunciata helped them to better understand their characters.

“It was really cool,” said Paula Martin who plays Sister Mary Paulinus. “There is a lot of history and you can tell Sister is passionate about what she does. I never met a real Catholic nun. I got my ideas about what a nun is from TV and musicals. After meeting Sister, things made more sense — their devotion to God. It made it easier for me to portray my character and better understand her.”

“It’s a lot different than I thought,” Dorcas Martinez who plays the lead character Deloris Van Cartier said of the convent. “It was big and spacious — more roomy than a normal house. It was very comfortable.”

Sister Annunciata said that in prior years there were 17 nuns at the convent adjunct to the church but now she is the only occupant.

“The sisters started to help the poor and show love for God’s people,” said the nun. “It is hard but tremendously rewarding.”

Sister Annunciata told the girls that being religious is a “way of living, showing the love God has — it’s a unique way of living.

Larissa Wiltse who plays Sister Mary Lazarus said the visit helped her to better understand the background of the play.

“Sister Mary Robert (Annabelle Workman’s character) is a postulant, training to be a nun,” Larissa said. “This gave me insight to process. It’s a big decision.”

Dorcas said the “nuns” in the show have formed a bond similar to the relationship religious have for one another.

The lead actor also reflected on the change that took place in Mother Superior, played by Abbigail Bloom, and Deloris.

“Deloris needed that bond but didn’t know it,” Dorcas said. “She was angry with Eddie being stuck there but didn’t get angry she just decided to have fun. Mother Superior didn’t like Deloris at first but she also changed. It was God’s work taking place.”

Paula said she was really disappointed when she was cast as Sister Mary Paulinus.

“I didn’t want to be a nun, I wanted to be something I could relate to,” said Paula. “But this was one of the best roles — it was the most fun. Like the sister in the convent we got close and knowing the sister have that bond made it more fun.”

Tickets, at $7 each, may be purchased online at or by calling the Carthage Central School main office, 315-493-5030, or athletic office, 315-493-5180. If ordering online, search for Sister Act — Carthage High School. Tickets are also available at the door.

Other lead cast members are Abbigail Bloom as Mother Superior, Joshua Curtis as Curtis Jackson, Nick DeForest as Lt. Eddie Souther, Annabelle Workman as Sister Mary Robert, Annabelle Kahle as Sister Mary Patrick, Larissa Wiltse as Sister Mary Lazarus, Konrad Wojcikowski as Monsignor O’Hara, Jordan Monaghan as Joey, Christopher Hennessey as TJ and Tommy (Zele) Yue as Pablo/Dinero.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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