By Sarah Goldrup
After having the privilege of interviewing some of Heathers’ passionate cast and crew on opening night, my excitement continued to grow as I joined the packed foyer waiting for the theatre doors to open.
Much has changed since Heathers, the cult classic film, was released almost thirty years ago. The main character Veronica struggles to negotiate the dysfunctional social dynamics of an 80s high school, young love, and her relationships with her sometimes best friends but mostly enemies, the three Heathers. Dark developments and humor follow.
Originally seen by some as controversial for its depictions of suicide, the story is now further complicated by the incidents of school violence and suicide that have taken place since the original release. Curtain Call Productions’ (CCP) rendition of Heathers: The Musical felt satirically self aware. The dark comedy was given depth by a cast and crew of students and presented on a university campus, adding an interesting and potent layer to the production.
What I found so striking in my conversations with Curtain Call Productions’ cast and crew was how many expressed the vital role that CCP had played in their university experiences. In a counterpoint to the material of the production, many cast and crew commented on the sense of community they found with CCP, the incredible collaborative learning experience, and the opportunity to create and perform. One cast member noted, “[CCP] doesn’t supplement my university life, it is an integral part of my university experience.”
Curtain Call Productions’ rendition of Heathers: The Musical was clearly a monumental effort, with cast balancing three rehearsals a week on top of their other demanding academic and extracurricular responsibilities; and was executed with incredible passion and professionalism.
Every year since 1957, Curtain Call Productions has showcased the astounding talents of its members. Since 1993, CCP has produced yearly full-scale, Broadway-style musicals. Based at the University of Guelph campus as a registered club, CCP strives to enrich the lives of others through the performing arts. CCP has grown in size and stature while still remaining a student- and volunteer-run production company.
“It’s been amazing, so much fun, and I’ve made friends that will last forever. It’s a tight-knit group. It’s so nice to get away from science and school for a bit and do some art and perform and put yourself out there.”
Curtain Call Productions Presents Heathers: The Musical
Book, Music, and Lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy
Based on the film by Daniel Waters
Find more information about Curtain Call Productions’ incredible cast and crew here.