Greta Lawler ‘23
Feb 14, 2023
Mercersburg’s Stony Batter theater group performed Heathers the Musical: Teen Edition over the weekend of February 10-12. As a middle school Heathers devotee, I have been waiting for this moment since just about seventh grade. Sitting in the Simon Theatre on Saturday night, I was not disappointed. Tyerra Rooffener ’23 shone as the female lead, Veronica Sawyer; her strong vocal performance set the tone for the night. Rooffener previously starred as Matilda in Mercersburg’s 2022 production of Matilda the Musical, but she found her perfect role in nerd-turned-popular-girl Veronica.
A strong cast of supporting actors reinforced Rooffener’s outstanding performance. Notably, “teenage has-beens waiting to happen” Ram and Kurt, played by Kali Tembo ’23 and Margaux D’Arabian ’25, stole the show with their hilarious antics and excellent stage presence. William Tutt ‘25, making his Mercersburg theatrical debut as Ram’s father, nailed an enthusiastic performance of “My Dead Gay Son.” Shoutout to the costume designer who acquired rip-off pants for Tutt’s counterpart Kurt’s dad, played by Angela Watts ’23. Despite being only a high school sophomore, Crystal Chiu ’24, embodied washed-out hippy teacher Pauline Fleming and the three Heathers, played by Damien Dowling ’23, Talia Cutler ’23, and Keri-Ann Denis ’25, truly “floated above it all”. Denis ’25 in particular stood out during her gut-wrenching solo “Lifeboat”.
The high-tempo dance number “Candy Store” boasted the best choreography of the night, featuring a guest performance from Mercersburg’s Dance PGA. Although the small cast of the musical performed mightily for its size, I can’t help but wish the dancers had taken on a larger role in the production after witnessing their standout performance of “Candy Store.”
Last but not least, this wouldn’t be a complete review without mentioning the integral contributions from the lighting crew and pit orchestra. If you didn’t already know, Jasmine Zhu ’23 was in charge of all the piano melodies accompanying the cast’s vocal performances. Imagine playing piano for two and a half straight hours!
Watching my friends and classmates perform is always a treat, but this weekend’s musical was particularly special. Between the actor’s excellent performance and the adrenaline rush of a story about teenagers narrowly avoiding blowing up their own school, Heathers provided something for everyone… and just what the middle school “me inside of me” came to the Simon Theatre hoping to experience.