A Software Engineer has Started Broadway’s ‘Wicked!


Software Engineer by Day. Broadway Star by Night

Carla Stickler, who was given 24 hours notice, flew from northern Michigan to New York City on one of the worst days to travel. She was scheduled to be on Broadway as Elphaba. “Wicked.”

“I was like, ‘I’ve got to go. I’ve got to do this,'” she told Inside Edition. “I love this company. I love the show, and if they need help, I would love to help them.”

Stickler was on her holiday vacation from her full-time job as a software engineer when she got the call on Sunday, Dec. 26. By Monday night, she was sitting in the audience at the Gershwin Theatre. Tuesday, she had rehearsals. And on Saturday, Jan. 1, she put on the costume and went on stage in the leading role. 

“I’I won’t lie. I think it might have been one of the best shows I’ve ever done,” she said, noting the adrenaline rush might have helped with that.

Stickler was able to nail every line in the role, which is not surprising for anyone who knows her. She is an expert on the whole show. Yes, all the roles. 

“I’ve been joking that I will be able to do the show when I’m 100 years old. I can do the whole show from beginning to end, every character,” Stickler said. 

Broadway isn’t unfamiliar with Stickler “Wicked,”The musical that predateds “The Wizard of Oz.”In 2015, she played the role of the green Witch. It was the last time she performed this role. She has stepped in over the years as a vacation relief swing and emergency covers other roles, having most recently done so in 2019. 

In 2015, she quit her Broadway career to pursue new opportunities. She got her master’s degree in education at New York University and taught in the city for while. After that, she began to code. “randomly.”

“It’s been really fun getting to flex a different part of my brain and prove to myself that I am more than just this one thing,”She said it in reference to acting. 

Return to “Wicked”Elphaba’s role helped her close an old chapter in her own life. 

“It was really overwhelming and calming, which is kind of an odd thing to say,” Stickler said. “If I never do it again, I’d be really, really happy. At our curtain call at the end, our Glinda, Ginna Claire, said, ‘I don’t know how you’ve been so calm.’ I was like, ‘I don’t either, but it’s been really wonderful.’” 

Stickler was reintroduced to the show for a period of 10 days. This comes at a moment when swings and understudies are more well-known than ever. Many principal actors have been absent due to COVID-19’s spread. Stickler’s final show is Friday. She worked in a hotel as an engineer during the day.

“They think it’s great,”She spoke of the company in which she works as an engineering manager. “They’ve been really supportive.”

She hopes that sharing her success story inspires young girls. 

“I just hope that they take away that they can love science, they can love math, and they can also love theater,”She spoke.