(CINCINNATI, Jan. 21, 2020) – Xavier University Theatre begins 2020 with its production of the off-Broadway hit Heathers the Musical. Written by Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy and based on the 1989 cult classic movie starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, the show runs Jan. 31 through Feb. 8 in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center Theatre.
Veronica Sawyer is a brainy, beautiful misfit who hustles her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High School. But before she has time to get comfortable atop the teenage food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerously sexy new kid, J.D. When the almighty Heather Chandler kicks her out of their group, Veronica decides to bite the bullet and kiss Heather’s aerobicized ass … until J.D. suggests a more sinister plan for that bullet. Heathers is a hilarious, heartfelt, and homicidal show based on one of the all-time great teen comedies.
Stage Manager Emi Suarez believes the juxtaposition of the show’s style and unconventional set design will provide a uniquely intimate experience for audiences. “Our production of Heathers is unusual, as we have chosen to perform this big musical using an arena stage,” she said. “As an audience member, it’s impossible to look away from Veronica Sawyer as she battles with her peers to find beauty in her world.”
Senior Gigi Relic, who plays Heather Chandler, agrees. “Seeing the musical in this setting will be eye-opening,” she said. “I hope audiences leave inspired to speak up and be kinder to one another.”
That intimacy is important, according to sophomore Connie Kavensky, who plays Veronica. “It’s a dark yet relatable show,” she said, “that has taught me how we are all capable of being better to each other.”
The cast for Heathers includes first-year students Annalese Cahill, Anna Campise, Anthony Contreras, Faith Macko, Zac Martin, Lillian Reynolds, Liz Sundstrom, and Jenna Treinen; sophomores Elliot Auch, Danielle Jacobs, Connie Kavensky, and Ryan Whitford; juniors Matthew Benedek, Caroline Conard, Andrew Leonard, Julia Olinger, Amara Shroba, and Dylan Van Camp; and seniors Andy Girmann, Emily Jorgenson, and Gigi Relic.
The creative team includes Stephen Skiles (director/producer), sophomore Nick Minion (assistant director), Scot Buzza (music director), Ashley Goos (choreographer), junior Grant Zentmeyer (assistant choreographer), Joe Leonard (set designer/technical director), junior Tatum Mann (lighting designer), and junior Steven Stapleton (sound designer). The stage manager is senior Emi Suarez, and the assistant stage managers are first-year student Sam Sadler and sophomore Josie Daley.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on January 31 and February 1, 6, 7, and 8, as well as at 2 p.m. on February 1. Tickets are available now at the Gallagher Student Center Theatre Box Office. They are $18 each for adults and $13 each for students, as well as Xavier faculty and staff. To purchase tickets, visit http://www.xavier.edu/theatretickets or call 513-745-3939.