By Daniel Doan | Editor in Chief
Pearce theater performed the first worldwide performance of Heathers 101 on Sept. 15 at 7:30 in the auditorium. The cast got a lot of support from the Richardson theater community and from many in New York as well.
Pearce was the first high school to perform Heathers, and writer/performer Michael Gioia wrote an article for Playbill on the changes that were made to the script and how Pearce is the first high school to get the licensing rights. The article has been shared hundreds of times, lending the musical popularity and support nationwide.
“When we got the offer to it back in March, I imagined what this moment would be like, this particular moment once the show went up,” director Heather Biddle said. “I anticipated all the experiences the kids would get from it. I knew the road would be hard to get it all done, but I’m so thankful for the support from this campus and the district because they allowed this important message of the show to be heard. Life can be beautiful. Just take a moment to be kind to everyone else.”
Because the musical was approved during the summer, auditions were heard online. Of the 68 actors who sent in auditions, only 31 were accepted. Among those were junior Adi Bitton who played Veronica, senior Trevor Norris who played JD, and junior Erica Newborn who played Heather Chandler.
“This is such a good opportunity for Pearce theater in general, and it was perfect for us because it showcases all of the incredible talent here at Pearce High School,” Trevor said.
Because this was the first time the musical was performed, the original Veronica, Barrett Weed, came to help out the week before by giving a masterclass to the actors. In addition, Andy Fickman, the original director of Heathers, the Broadway show, gave a donation to the theater booster club and a note to the actors as well. Finally, the playwright who wrote the play and the adaptation, Kevin Murphy, and the head of iTheatrics, Marty Johnson, came to see the musical on Saturday.
“It was a super cool experience, and it was an honor to perform it in front of the person who wrote the show. We put a lot of hard work into it and had a great time,” Adi said.