Heathers the Musical

by Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy
Directed by Dr. Robert Vrtis
Musical Direction by Lynne Rothrock

About the Production

Heathers The Musical (based off of the 1989 film) is the dark story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy, beautiful teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers. But before she can get comfortable atop the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerous new kid J.D. When Heather Chandler kicks her out of the group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss the Heathers goodbye... but J.D. has another plan for that bullet.This electrifying, off-beat comedy-musical guarantees a wild ride for those in attendance!

Director's Note

By Robert Vrtis 

In a play intended to disturb its audience, I think one of the most unsettling things is how appealing Heathers can make itself. The humor, intended to shock and transgress, often makes us laugh in spite of our sense that we shouldn’t. The most cruel characters are often the most charming, wickedly so. At times, the play even makes its violence seem justified, almost reasonable or necessary. We can quickly find ourselves complicit in the play’s cruelty.

Of course, that's the point. Power has a distinct appeal.
We want to get close to it.
We want it for ourselves.

Heathers makes that desire a perfectly understandable thing. Power can make you feel safe in an unpredictable world. Power can help you set wrongs right or correct imbalances.
And it's nice to get your way.
You just need more than the others around you. Enough to set yourself apart. 

Or to see them as less than you.

All too often we let bullies thrive. Partly that’s because we don’t know how to deal with them coupled with the fact that there’s a lot of really bad advice about how to deal with them in the first place.
Maybe you were told once to just hit the bully square in the nose one good time. I was.
It's really bad advice. But it feels like a good idea. It feels right. It feels justified. It feels just.

It feels like what they deserve.

I don't think Heathers offers clear solutions for this problem. I don't think that's really what plays do.
Rather, Heathers unspools difficult issues, trying to give them their dark complexity, all the while forging the most necessary tool for the task of solving these problems: empathy.

Empathy is not a solution in and of itself. Without it, however, solutions will remain hopelessly invisible to us just as they are to most of the characters here. 

The play is dark, no question. 
But empathy can be a light for us here, something to navigate by, and to see us through to somewhere else.

But for it to work well, we might need to give people more than what we feel they deserve.

 

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Designed by Katie Waller