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“Heathers: The Musical” Takes Over Shaw Center

“Heathers: The Musical” Takes Over Shaw Center

Since the beginning of the semester, 19 cast members, a director, a choreographer, and some technicians have put over 100 hours of work each for the theatre department’s spring musical, “Heathers.” I’ve been lucky enough to be the stage manager for the production, which will be my last at Graceland, and it’s been a wild ride from the get-go.

“Heathers” is a rock musical that was performed off-Broadway in 2014 for the first time.  Veronica Sawyer (Vanessa Vuckovic), a 17-year-old senior in high school, wants to stop dealing with the asshole bullies around her, and she looks to the Heathers for help.


The Heathers: Heather McNamara (Jayne Welch), Heather Chandler (Mancy Oney), and Heather Duke (Daryn Nowlin)

The Heathers, three teenage drama queens, transform Veronica into a nobody to a somebody in the first number, and Veronica struggles with fully becoming a Heather and leaving her friend Martha behind.

Overall, the play is humorous, and it touches on a lot of teenage problems (that definitely still hit home for many of us in college) like suicide, bullying, homophobia, and gun violence – and the more scary, less funny concept of murder. (That’s one I hope that most teenagers (and people in general) don’t have to deal with).

Last Friday, the Visual and Performing Arts Division put on the first (of many, hopefully) Gratitude Gala where Vanessa Vuckovic and Ashly Elliott (Veronica and J.D.) sang one of the most popular songs from the musical, “Seventeen”, for donors and other VPA students to give a little sneak peek before opening night next week.

Rehearsals for the musical have been in full swing since the Spring semester began in January, and this week has the last few rehearsals without technical elements like lights, microphones, and the full band joining the cast on stage.


Cast members Krista Berry and Anthony Ginger hangout in JR during rehearsal

Here’s a list of songs that your friends will be singing during the show!

The 1988 cult film, Heathers, starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slader as Veronica and J.D. The movie wasn’t a musical in any sense, and a lot of the songs in the musical were spurred off from one line from the movie, like:

  • “Freeze Your Brain”
  • “Our Love is God”
  • “I Love My Dead Gay Son

The cast and crew for “Heathers” has 5 seniors.

  • Mancy Oney-Lackey, Heather Chandler
  • Christopher Ortiz, ensemble member
  • Maceson Spencer, Kurt’s Dad, Veronica’s dad, and Principal Gowan
  • Taylor Scafe, sound technician
  • and myself, Jenna Pitstick, stage manager

“Heathers: The Musical” premieres next Thursday, February 15th at 7:30pm in the JR Theatre. The following Friday and Saturday, 2/16 and 2/17, the shows are also at 7:30pm, and for all three of those nights the house opens at 7:00pm. There is a matinee on Sunday, February 18th, at 2:00pm. For all shows, student and faculty tickets are $1 and general admission tickets are $5.

About Jenna Pitstick

Jenna Pitstick is a senior English and Film/Theatre double-major from outside Chicagoland. She's currently one of the editors of The Tower and is obsessed with memes, cats, and writing investigative journalism that makes people question what they really support and believe.

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