CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Film and musical enthusiasts alike are invited to the Island University to experience the world-renowned cult classic “Heathers: The Musical” which will debut for the first time on the South Texas stage March 7-11, at 7:30 p.m. each evening in the Center for the Arts, Warren Theatre.
“We did a rock musical last year, which was hugely successful, so we wanted to do something that had the same vibe,” said Alison Frost, Associate Professor of Theatre and Director of “Heathers: The Musical.” “The timing was perfect because the rights to this play just became available to Universities this past year, so this will be a fresh and new show.”
The musical, originally adapted by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe from the 1989 movie of the same name, has traveled the globe since 2010.
“The film was a satirical, sarcastic twist on other high school films that were coming out at the same time, like ‘The Breakfast Club’ and ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,’” said Frost. “The film pushed the dark edges of high school about as far as they could go, and the musical retains that.”
The story follows Veronica Sawyer, a newcomer to Westerburg High; a school which is ruled by a venomous trio of queen bees known as the “Heathers.” She is welcomed into the Heathers’ ranks, but soon finds herself in the middle of a series of murders committed by her bad-boy boyfriend J.D. Ultimately, she must choose between him and her classmates.
The show embodies several important messages for the audience, such as how teenagers should not worry about growing up too quickly or about fitting into common teenage stereotypes. The musical also carries a strong theme of bullying and the devastating effects it can have on young people.
“Two characters in the play attempt suicide as a direct result of having been bullied by other students,” said Frost. “Thankfully, they survive to finish high school. They learn from their experience and they become better from it, but it’s still horrifying to watch it happen.”
Texas A&M-Corpus Christi students gain valuable experience by participating in musical productions such as “Heathers.” From auditions to opening night, the students put in many hours of their time to make the shows come alive.
“Working on this show has been great for me since I’m going to be a theatre teacher in the future,” said David Amador, senior directing student and Assistant Director of the musical. “I’ve learned so much from Alison, the choreographer and the music director that will benefit me and my career goals.”
This sentiment was shared by Paige Walker, a junior theatre major, who is playing the main character, Veronica Sawyer.
“This has been such a wonderful opportunity to grow as an actor and performer,” said Walker. “I’ve had a blast working on this show.”The musical is recommended for mature audiences ages 14 and up. Tickets are $12 for the general public and $8 for A&M-Corpus Christi students with a valid SandDollar$ ID. To learn more about the musical or to purchase tickets, visit http://cla.tamucc.edu/theatre/.