On April 20, 21, 22 and 23, 2023, the Dance, Drama, and Music Departments presented HEATHERS, THE MUSICAL at Skyline College in six sold-out performances. Adeptly adjusting to supply chain delays with the main Theater rigging retrofit project, the musical team moved the production into the Art Gallery, which was transformed into an intimate 95-seat black box space by Josh Harris, Theater Events Manager and production Technical Director. The staging and musical accompaniment were modified to fit in the temporary theater space by Director and Choreographer Gary D. Ferguson and Music Director Jude Navari. The exceptional cast of 28 students (lead roles were double-cast) roused audiences with a pop-rock score featuring energetic production numbers and heart-wrenching ballads. The production was enthusiastically received by appreciative audiences.

Photo by Yesika Wong-Sanchez

Due to the timely and difficult issues the show depicts, such as teen violence, bullying, suicide, and sexual assault, the show directors collaborated with Perry Chen, Skyline College Personal Counselor and advisor of the Active Minds Club, to host an event on April 12, 2023 titled “Weaving and Watching Difficult Stories: A Conversation about Bullying, Suicide, Sexual Assault, and School Violence as depicted in HEATHERS, the Musical.”

Photo by Chris Woo

This event featured a ’sneak peek’ of a challengingly-themed number from the show, followed by a panel discussion with student performers, the production director Gary D. Ferguson, Active Minds student president, Jewel Ocampo and Perry Chen, campus mental health professional. Psychology Professor Jennifer Merrill, advisor for Psi Beta the Psychology Honor Society, led the discussion with students, staff, and guests. Special thanks to Perry, Active Minds, Jennifer, and the Psi Beta Psychology Club for assisting with refreshments at the weekend shows.

Photo by Chris Woo

Extra special thanks to the amazing Chris Woo, SS/CA Program Services Coordinator, for setting up and running our front of house/box office and for organizing and directing the 2 opening night gala receptions in our newly-renovated Music Hall (Rm. 1-111)! Spring musical information and updates can be found at https://skylinecollege.edu/music/springmusical.php

Article by Jude Navari | Photos by Yesika Wong-Sanchez and Chris Woo

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