'Wicked' Brings Back Broadway Alum to Play Elphaba Amid COVID Casting Shortage

Carla Stickler left the show in 2015 and is currently working as a software engineer in Chicago.

Carla Stickler decided it was time to close her eyes and leap! The Broadway alum got a call no one expected seven years after she left the role as Elphaba on the hit show Wicked

Stickler performed in the company from 2010 to 2015, taking on the role that Idina Menzel made famous. She then moved to Chicago where she now works as a software engineer. But due to casting shortages with the holidays and COVID-19 restrictions, Stickler got the call asking her to fill in for the lead role over New Year's weekend. 

"This past weekend I got the chance to perform Elphaba on Broadway after not having done it since I left the company full time in 2015," Stickler wrote on Twitter. "To say it was an incredible moment would be an understatement."

She thanked the cast and crew for helping her to return to play the iconic green witch, noting that it was a beautiful way to come back after a difficult exit in 2015. 

"When I left the company full time, I was battling with a lot of health issues. Every time I’ve been able to step away and then pop back into this show with space to breathe and process, ive been able to fully grasp the beauty of getting to be a part of something so magical," she shared. "Having the opportunity to perform her again after having left the biz is giving me the closure I have been missing. If I never performed again, I could rest easy knowing that something out of this world happened this weekend!"

Ultimately, Stickler hopes that her story will inspire other young girls to focus on following all of their dreams, no matter how wide-ranging. 

"At the end of all of this, I hope some little girl who loves coding/math/science but also loves music/theatre/art saw this story and thought to herself: I can do both, I can be so many things, the possibilities are endless! #SoftwareEngineer #broadway #wicked," she added.