Arts and Culture Editor
Get ready, Millersville, because the All-Campus Musical Organization (ACMO) is bringing students another amazing performance this weekend: “Heathers: the Musical”. The musical tells the story of Veronica Sawyer, a teenage misfit who somehow makes her way into the popular clique at Westerberg High. Along the way, she falls for the bad boy and tries to maintain her reputation without losing sight of who she really is. For those who have seen the 2004 comedy hit “Mean Girls”, you’ll see some similarities between that movie and this show…except “Heathers” has much better comedy and, of course, murder. “Heathers” also addresses more of the difficult topics like suicide, depression, and bullying.
Everyone knows high school is full of cliques and stereotypes. For example, there is always that one person that just needs to be hip, cool and “separate from the crowd”. “Heathers” features most high school stereotypes including this one with her name being “New Wave Girl” played by Sydney Sniezek. “[My character] is the high school stereotype of the hip girl who always knows about the new music, but can be a total badass if she wants to be,” says Sniezek, “She is tough and cool but still has her moments where she shows her insecurities.” While watching, students will definitely be able to pick out stereotypes they recognize from their high school. “[You’ll] say ‘that was me in high school’ or ‘that was totally my best friend’. It’s incredibly relatable and highly entertaining,” says Sniezek.
Helping Sniezek and the rest of the cast create a world in which the audience feels like they’re students at Westerberg High is former student Jake McClellan. McClellan played Moritz Stiefel in last semester’s production of “Spring Awakening”. This semester, McClenllan is back after graduating to direct the show “Heathers”. Taking on the challenge of being an actor to becoming a director is one McClellan enjoyed. “With directing, you have to step back and create a world in which multiple characters live, interact and dwell. Taking that step back was different but fun all at the same time. The hardest part is making that world believable for an audience.”
A common theme has formed in University Theatre’s productions this past year: dark topics. During “Spring Awakening” and “Dog Sees God”, students watched performances that had characters going through some heavy issues. Let’s rephrase. Students watched performances that had characters going through some very real issues. In the production “Heathers”, reality is definitely present. Along with it is laugh-out-loud comedy and incredible performances by our students. This show’s shock value is high and, according to McClellan, “give[s] students something to talk about.” Any great show creates conversation and “Heathers” does just that. According to Sniezek, “Heathers” shows “you don’t need to follow the crowd in order to be a good person.”
ACMO is one of many organizations under the umbrella term “University Theatre” and is completely student-led. Students of all majors are involved with ACMO; it’s not limited to just theater majors. “I see students realize that they can grow and be better by seeing other students grow which is the beautiful part of theatre and ACMO “says McClellan. “It feels like a home away from home,” Sniezek elated when asked about ACMO.
Come out March 23, 24, 25 at 8p.m. or March 26 at 2p.m. at the Clair Performance Hall in the Winter Visual and Performing Arts Center to see this raunchy, comedic performance that’ll leave you shocked, amused, and laughing out loud.