Devin Rotz '25
Dec 9, 2022
Excitement was stirred within the Mercersburg community due to the Dance concert and Gaslight play. Now, many students await the Winter Dance Concert as well as musical. Recently, Kelly Dowling, the Director of Theatre, announced significant changes to Stony Batter’s Winter production. Dowling announced that they would no longer be performing the musical Les Miserables but instead be performing Heathers: the Musical.
Les Mis and Heathers are similar in cast size but have major differences in popularity and story. Dowling said, “Les Mis is really a Broadway classic that will still be talked about decades in the future…Heathers is more of a cult hit. It has actually never had a Broadway run, but it really connects with current teenagers, and, of course, it is a bit edgier.”
Les Mis is also noted by Dowling to be the more difficult of the two performances. Dowling said, "I made a mistake picking Les Mis. It was well-intentioned, but it turned out that I made a bad choice.” Heathers, however, has more dancing. To those who may have been looking forward to the production of Les Mis, it will be making a comeback. Dowling said, “Les Mis will find its time eventually when the moment is right.”
In Stony Batter’s productions, the biggest factor in their success is the students who make them happen. Members of the upcoming winter production shared their thoughts about what it felt like to get through the change and what it means to them. Tyerra Rooffener ‘23 said, “While Les Mis is a classic, in my opinion, Heathers is more fun for both the actors and the audience and I’m really excited to put it on for everyone…The set design [of Les Mis] was going to be very unique and I was excited to see it come together. ” Another member of Stony Batter, Kerri-Ann Denis ‘25, shared similar thoughts saying, “While Les Mis is a classic and I am sad to see it go, I am very happy to produce something that is catered towards the student body.” Both shared the similar idea that, while they will miss Les Mis, Heathers seems to appeal more right now to the students of Mercersburg.
Dowling also said “Our program is very lucky to have their trust to make this show possible.” She is also thankful for the support and leadership from the Head of School Quentin McDowell, and the interim Associate Head of School for Student Life Jen Craig.