'How very!' HSU Presents Heathers the Musical

HSU’s Department of Theatre, Film & Dance present Heathers The Musical, beginning Friday, October 25.


The rock musical’s book, music, and lyrics were by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe, based on the 1988 film Heathers written by Daniel Waters. After a sold-out Los Angeles tryout in 2013, the show moved Off-Broadway in 2014 and then traveled to Australia in 2015 and 2016 and to London in 2018.

In the musical, Veronica Sawyer is a brainy, teenage misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers — three ultra-rich and ultra-popular girls who rule the school through fear and intimidation. But misfit Veronica rejects their evil regime and falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid, J.D., who plans to put the Heathers in their place—six feet under.

While the musical is a darkly satirical look at high school life and the struggles of teenagers, it mirrors what is happening today and opens conversations about troubling issues, including bullying, gun violence, teen suicide, sexual assault, and violence in schools.

Rae Robison, Professor of Theatre Arts, directs the production.

“It is unfortunate that bullying, violence, hate speech, and problems teenagers and adults face daily are still in the forefront of our society, but I think we are at a point in time where we are more aggressively saying ‘no’ to bullies,” Robison says. “This play gives us the opportunity to expose the ugly, mean side of human nature, recognize it for what it is, and make the changes necessary to be better human beings.”

Professor of Music Elisabeth Harrington is Music Director. The live orchestra has six musicians including John Chernoff on keyboard.

The production includes 28 cast members and features Gwynnevere Cristobal as Veronica, William English III as J.D., and Kiara Hudlin, Liz Whittemore, and Caitlin Pyle as the Heathers. Scenic and lighting designs are by Raymond Gutierrez, costume design by Tzveta Stoimenova, properties design by Destiny Aguilera, and hair and make-up design by Stephanie Thomas. Choreography is by Tatum Olander. The production is stage managed by Grady Moore.

Heathers The Musical opens October 25 at 7:30 p.m. in the Van Duzer Theatre, and is the first fully staged production of the 2019-20 Season at HSU. The run continues October 26, November 1, 2 at 7:30 p.m. There will be two matinee performances beginning at 2 p.m. on Sundays October 27 and November 3. General admission is $15. Students and seniors are $10. Note: A perfomance has been added on Saturday, Nov. 2 at 2 p.m.

Recommended for middle school age and older due to adult language and situations. Not intended for children. Lot parking is free on weekends. Buy tickets online or by calling 707.826.3928. For more information, call 707.826.3566.