Off Off Broadway Presents: Heathers The Musical

 

USC’s Off Off Broadway, an on-campus musical theatre club entirely run by students, is proud to put on their annual Spring production. This year’s show will be Heathers The Musical, based on the 1988 film Heathers. We had the opportunity to sit down with Off Off Broadway’s PR Officer Jordan Thomas who gave us a breakdown of the musical and why you should see it.

 

 

Her Campus South Carolina: What is the musical about?

Jordan Thomas:  It’s basically about a high school in Ohio where there’s a clique of mean girls, all named Heather, and an outsider named Veronica Sawyer. Veronica becomes a part of this group and ends up not liking the things the Heathers do so she decides to rebel against them and falls in love with another outsider named J.D. who has some violent tendencies and decides he needs to start taking down the Heathers by threatening their lives. The musical has lots of 80s stereotypes but a lot of them are still stereotypes we see today. It’s about a love that turns toxic, it’s about frenemies and tolerance, and it shines a light on the use of black comedy to talk about serious issues by making a joke out of them.

HCSC: Why should people come to see your musical?

JT: People should come and see Heathers because it’s a cult classic. A lot of our generation isn’t super familiar with it and I think they should be because a lot of things that the movie and the musical have to say is stuff our generation deals a lot with, like encountering violence daily and having all these issues with no clear way to talk about them.

HCSC: What do you think is Heathers’ message?

JT: Pretty much every likable character in Heathers in a teenager and so I think it has a lot to say about teenagers feeling lost and alienated, especially in high school. It’s frustrating, not being taken seriously. This musical, in a nutshell, is showing what happens when no one takes these characters seriously and then the teenagers do crazy stuff.

HCSC: How many songs are in the musical?

JT: 10 in the first act and 12 in the second act, so almost 22 songs total.

 

 

HCSC: What character do you relate to the most?

JT: So, the lead role, Veronica, is supposed to be an every-man and every-woman type character. You’re supposed to see yourself in her and I really do. I was the type of person in high school who didn’t talk to other people much, only on a necessary basis, and Veronica looks at college as an escape. She is basically just trying to survive high school and then move on to the rest of her life. That was how I felt about high school.

HCSC: Tell me a little about your organization Off Off Broadway.

JT: We’re the only musical theatre organization on campus. We are completely student-run. Our students are directors, actors… they’re designers, treasurers, and just everything. Everyone on Off Off Broadway wears a lot of different hats, no one is solely a dancer or singer. Everyone is a singer, dancer or actor and they do stuff backstage or administrative and organizational work. We also work in a black box theatre with a minimal budget. We’re unique in that we are a performance theatre organization that takes all majors, all classes and anyone affiliated with the university.

 

 

HCSC: How can students get involved?

JT: All students have to do is get in contact with us and if they want to star in our shows, just come to our auditions and interest meetings.

HCSC: What is your favorite thing about the organization?

JT: Everyone here is very diverse. We have bios that say where everyone is from and what they major in, and it’s just wild! You’d think everyone here would be a theatre minor or a music major, but we all come from doing musical theatre in high school or always wanting to do it. We spend a lot of time together and we get really close over a short period of time. It really is like a family—and I know a lot of organizations say that, but it really is!

 

Heathers The Musical will be shown at Benson Theatre, located at 226 Bull Street. Their opening showing is Thursday, April 4 at 7 p.m. Admission is free. For more information on showings and the organization, you can follow Off Off Broadway’s Instagram.