EWU theatre students go back to grade school for 2017 fall musical


Holly Kirkman and Scott Worley pose for a picture after practice. Kirkman will be playing Veronica Sawyer and Worley will be playing J.D. | Bailey Monteith for The Easterner

A cast of 20 EWU Theatre Department students are preparing vigorously to showcase Heathers the Musical this November.

The musical will be performed throughout six shows on Nov. 10, 11, 17, 18 at 7:30 p.m., Nov 12 at 2 p.m., and Nov. 16 at 5 p.m. at the University Theatre.

The show is free to EWU students with ID. For non-students, there is a $10 general admission fee (cash or check only). Non-students can reserve tickets beforehand by calling 509-359-2459.

Heathers takes place in a high school setting and focuses on Veronica Sawyer (Holly Kirkman), who is frustrated with the hierarchy and bullying portrayed at her school by a popular girl group called “The Heathers”. Soon, Veronica encounters a boy, J.D. (Scott Worley), who also rejects the pecking order.

“A lot of the themes in the play are about bullying in high school, peer pressure to be cool, look a certain way, and think a certain way,” said Scott Worley. “ The play shows what happens when that kind of hierarchy is interrupted or thrown off because of the struggle for a new world, the want for a new world and how that leads to the lengths people will go to create a better world.”

Some members of the cast like how the musical portrays real life stereotypes and draws attention to the problem with bullying in high school.

“My favorite thing about the play is how true it is to what’s going on right now in general anyways,” said junior Skyler Moeder, an actress who plays Stoner Girl. “I really like the way it hits every stereotype in high school. You have the popular kids [and] you have outliers such as the stoner girl [and] the geek. I feel like you get to see so many different sides of one story. It all comes together to really show where we are in society now and kind of poke at it but not throw everyone into it.”

This show sticks out to the cast because it takes real life situations and elevates them.

“Especially with this show, it’s brought us all a lot closer together because we’ve had to relive and go through when, and if, we were bullied in high school,” said Holly Kirkman. “It’s just brought us closer together as an ensemble and made the show that much stronger.”

The show is easy to relate to, which leads to difficulty for the actors to shake off their characters and return to their real selves.

“This is true about any show I think. You have to find a way to be able to get it off of you when you’re leaving,” said Moeder. “When we’re in this space where we have to remember what it feels like to be in high school again. Going through all these things this character is going through and being able to commit to this character. When you finally go back to yourself, you find it leaking in your real life without realizing it. You just have to take a moment and realize where you are in life and develop some kind of shake off or something.”

The director appreciates the way the playwrights adapted the piece to be different from the movie, in the sense that there’s a sense of hope at the end.

“It does something that the film doesn’t to at the end, the film at the end is very cynical and nihilistic,” said the Director, Jeff Sanders. “It leaves you kind of in that place existential dread and questions if the world will ever get better. But the musical takes a moment and says, no, we can, and it rides us out on that wave at the end.”

This performance does contain strong sexual content, explicit language and violence, therefore there is a strong advisory warning.

The show is free to EWU students with ID. For non-students, there is a $10 general admissions fee (cash or check only). Non-students can reserve tickets beforehand by calling 509-359-2459.