Gibault student loves the stage

Caroline Geringer played the role of Dorothy in the recent Gibault Catholic High School performance of “The Wizard of Oz.” 

Since she was 2, Gibault Catholic High School junior Caroline Geringer has not been a stranger to the stage. 

Now, she is making a name for herself beyond the St. Louis theater scene. 

In mid-February, Geringer starred alongside Broadway professionals in the beloved musical theater variety show “Broadway Sessions” in New York City.  

Geringer performed two songs in the show as a “Rising Star,” an honor she received after impressing the show’s host Ben Cameron – who is best known for being in the original Broadway production of “Footloose,” “Aida” and “Wicked” – and “Legally Blonde: The Musical” actress Nikki Snelson when Snelson’s Musical Theatre Mayhem workshop came to St. Louis County. 

Geringer was one of three selected from over 70 kids to star in “Broadway Sessions.” Yet, this was not her goal of attending the fall workshop. 

“I actually really wanted to do (Musical Theatre Mayhem) for fun, because I think workshops are fun and I always jump at the opportunity to get some extra help and advice from Broadway professionals,” Geringer said. 

A few months later, Geringer was spending a week in New York City seeing Broadway shows, tourist attractions and, of course, preparing for her big night. In ”Broadway Sessions,”Geringer performed two songs close to her heart. 

“I definitely fell in love with the songs before I picked them,” Geringer said. “(“Off Broadway’s”) ‘I’m a Star’ was the song that really got my name into the Muny. They loved that song and that’s why I wanted to sing it. (“Wonderland’s”) ‘Mad Hatter’ is about how the Mad Hatter wanted to take over Wonderland and be the queen, and I took that as the opportunity to show everybody that I want this – I want to be on Broadway, I want to be the ‘it’ girl.” 

The “Broadway Sessions” show Geringer starred in was devoted to recognizing swings, standbys and understudies – those who fill roles in a pinch should a cast member be suddenly unable to perform. 

In being with these talented individuals, Geringer said she developed a further appreciation for all aspects of a production. 

“I learned that there are many parts to a show and every part is important, and you need to respect those who worked so hard to get to where they are today,” Geringer said. 

After her return to Monroe County, Geringer was fully enveloped in preparing for her next role – the lead in Gibault’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” last week. The show’s final performance was Sunday. 

“Being in New York was kind of a fever dream for me, and I had looked forward to it for months,” Geringer said. “But, I was also looking forward to playing such an iconic role, Dorothy.” 

It was not only playing the lead that made this production special to Geringer, though. 

Geringer first started acting alongside her brother Jacob beginning when she was 2 When Jacob was in high school, he played the Cowardly Lion in “Wizard of Oz” and Geringer accompanied him as a munchkin. 

She credits her love for theater to her brother. 

“I always looked up to him a lot, so I really got into it because he was really into it,” Geringer said. 

By the time she was 8, Geringer decided it was time to star in a show without her brother. She played a small role in one of director Mary Beth Babcock’s Actor’s Attic productions of “Winnie the Pooh.” 

Eventually, Geringer grew into bigger roles. Around the age of 10, she was in her first Muny production of “Beauty and the Beast.”

“When I’m on that stage and the lights hit me and I see the audience, it’s a feeling that I’ve never felt before (elsewhere),” she said. “It’s the best feeling in the world, especially when I hear and see the audience loving the show because we worked so hard.” 

Geringer is currently deciding which college to major in musical theater at, and is looking forward to returning to New York for a month-long boot camp at the Institute of American Musical Theater in New York. 

“I love it there. I feel peace in the chaos,” Geringer said with a laugh. 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email