Why did F.A.M.E produce Heathers? A play about murder, suicide, sex, drugs, bullying and school violence — what could possibly go wrong?
At FAME, students have input in deciding which shows get produce. Before choosing, the students meet to discuss possibilities and give us, the production team, their three top picks. They have input, but the adults have veto power.
As quoted from the FAME website, ‘FAME is not doing this play for the shock value. We are not looking to offend. The students requested a venue where they can use theater to talk about the issues that concern them the most. As parents, teachers and leaders, we like to think that we are cooler and more insightful than our parents. Unfortunately, we are not. One of the most poignant lines in Heathers is when Heather Chandler says: “This is their big secret. The adults are powerless. They can’t help us. Nobody can help us.” There is no short cut to growing up. Every generation faces its unique social circumstances. Heathers is a cry for help- and our cast members had the brilliant insight that FAME could use the play to help.’
To help explain the reasoning behind the musical production, I conducted interviews with some of the cast and directors. Here is their take on things.