The Department of Theatre & Performance Studies’ presentation of “Heathers: The Musical” shows how the program is on the edge of greatness.
The musical, based off the 80s movie “Heathers,” is a wild, raunchy ride following high school students through the typical themes of popularity, parties, prescription pills and pubescent boys.
While there were many standout performers in the cast, the best were often found in supporting roles. Heather Duke, played by junior Laura Reboulet, often seen as a puppet of her more popular Heather Chandler, stood out as a natural, effortless performance.
Despite not being a role of much substance, Reboulet was able to find a depth to an often overlooked Heather.
Two performers that breathed life into the theater were Hayden Rowe and Carson Seabolt. The pair plays a raucous duo of overly sexual jocks who, at one point, break into song about Veronica Sawyer, played by Andrea Mora, to convince her to be with them. This two became crowd favorites.
Mora took the whole production to the next level with her performance as Veronica, an average high school girl thrust into popularity and a relationship with a serial killer. The character deals with the perplexities of the real world, and Mora expertly portrays her loss of innocence and overall growth throughout the show.
What left much more to be desired from the production were things often out of the hands of these performers. Costumes throughout the production were poorly fitting and sometimes did not match well with the text.
In keeping with the original production’s costume designs, often, the audience was left with a stale imitation. The audience was similarly barraged throughout the production with lights spilling off the stage and the excessive use of a fog machine.
These shortcomings highlight the funding this department greatly needs. Many high school theater departments in the county have better-suited facilities than those found at Kennesaw State, such as the Marietta Performing Arts Center which cost $8.5 million taxpayer dollars to build and opened in 2013.
Despite TPS’s shortcomings, “Heathers: The Musical” was overall an enjoyable production performed by a program that will one day rival the best in the nation.