Carver Ulrich’s Last Curtain Call

Senior Carver Ulrich tells the story of how he joined theatre.


Photo by: Olivia Straus

Senior Carver Ulrich as Harry Bright in “Mamma Mia!” playing guitar during his song “Thank You for the Music”

by Lelah Moeller, Guest Writer

Over the past decade, Texas high school students participating in musical theater have pushed to make a name for their school at The Heller Awards for Young Artists. They endure every long hour of rehearsal, facing the brutality of tech week head-on in hopes of receiving nominations for their hard work amongst the impending competition. It’s every lead and/or supporting actor’s dream to see their name show up under the “Best Performer” category. That dream soon became a reality for senior Carver Ulrich.

Ulrich began his theatrical journey in the sixth grade at Running Brushy Middle School, playing his first lead role on stage as Oliver “Daddy” Warbucks in their 2018 production of  “Annie.” He continued to pursue theater in high school, and soon enough he went from Daddy Warbucks to Harry Bright, one of Sophie’s three possible fathers in the musical “Mamma Mia!”

“[Originally] I just did [theater] for the fine arts credit,” Ulrich said. “But then I was like, ‘wow, I really like this.’ [So] I just kept going, and it was awesome.” 

While transitioning from middle school theatre to high school theatre, for Ulrich, there were many differences.

“In middle school, there weren’t that many guys that were incredibly invested in theater, so it was very easy to get a role and run with it,” Ulrich said. “But in high school, that changed – there was [more] competition, so I had to work harder to get [roles.]” 

Ulrich said he was “shocked” to find out about his nomination, but “excited” nonetheless.

“There were a lot of emotions that went through my head,” Ulrich said. “I was nervous because I was like ‘oh, this means I have to do more theater now.’ Not that it’s a bad thing, but I was done [with theatre.] I had to go to The Long Center and do a whole bunch of rehearsals from five to ten. Then, I was excited, [because I realized,] ‘Oh my gosh, I get to go to the Long Center, it’s not over, I get to work with all these other people who got nominated.’ I got to share my experience with [the other nominees]. It was really exciting [to know I was] going to be able to meet new people in the same position.”