Office of Public Affairs

Portland Press Herald features Sam Carner and upcoming USM performance of "Unlock'd"

Sam Carner with USM students

Falmouth, Maine native Sam Carner writes musical shows and songs that have been performed around the country. He was in Maine last week to help USM students prepare for an upcoming performance of his musical “Unlock’d” (written with composer Derek Gregor).

The show "will be produced at the University of Southern Maine in Gorham in March as part of a tune-up process that is intended to land the show on Broadway," writes Ray Routhier for the Portland Press Herald.

A musical collaboration between the USM Department of Theatre and the School of Music, the show is "set in sort of a fantasy 18th-century England, it’s a whimsical coming-of-age story with a musical fusion that includes baroque, classical and contemporary pop."

Carner began his musical theater career with the Children’s Theatre of Maine and now lives in Manhattan with his wife and son.

"In 2004, he and Gregor won the Richard Rodgers Award – named for the legendary creator of many Broadway musicals – for the first version of “Unlock’d.” The award is given to help subsidize New York productions by developing artists. In 2015, Carner won the $100,000 Ed Kleban Prize – named for the lyricist for “A Chorus Line,” among other shows, and given for excellence in lyric writing."

"Carner credits the “incredibly passionate” adults in Maine who let him write and produce musicals as a teenager, including those at the Children’s Theatre of Maine, with helping him grow in his chosen career."

"Both of Carner’s parents were teachers at USM. His father, Frank Carner, taught English and his mother, Marcia Carner, taught art. His mother passed away in 2001 after a battle with cancer. A flower garden on the Portland campus is named for her."

Read the full story at the Portland Press Herald.

Primary photo by PPH staff Ariana van den Akker.