Sunday, October 1, 2023

‘Heathers: The Musical’ makes its way to Murfreesboro, raises awareness of mental health services


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Photo courtesy of Ashleigh Newnes / The Center for the Arts

“What’s your damage, Heather?”

Even if you haven’t seen the classic ’80s film that made that catty one-liner famous, you probably know what the movie is anyway: “Heathers.”

Beginning this weekend and running through Sept. 16, Murfreesboro’s Center for the Arts is bringing the movie to life with its production of “Heathers: The Musical.”

The original movie, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, follows Veronica Sawyer as she navigates her way through the emotional minefield everyone knows to be high school, albeit a much more twisted version of the average person’s high school memories.

Veronica’s best friends (Worst enemies? Same thing.) are none other than the most popular girls in school, “the Heathers.” Heather Chandler and her posse paved the way for the rest of the girls whom audiences still love to hate today: Sharpay Evans, Blair Waldorf and Regina George to name a few.

The movie rose to fame and gained a cult-like following before becoming a Broadway production in 2010.

Although “Heathers” is set in the high school years, a time some may find themselves nostalgic for every once in a while, it juggles with darker themes such as suicide and bullying. For this production, the Center teamed up with the nonprofit Insight Counseling Centers in Murfreesboro to share the story’s heavy themes in a different light, making mental health awareness part of the conversation.

In the production’s press release, director Rachel Jones said the goal is to not only raise awareness of mental health issues but to also provide information on where to receive affordable, quality mental health services in Middle Tennessee. In the Center’s lobby, showgoers will find the interactive #MurfreesboroMood wall from which stickers that name different emotions hang.

Should you find yourself reminiscing back on the high school days, do yourself a favor and snag a ticket or two for this show while you can. From the primary-colored plaid skirts to the catchy numbers such as “Candy Store” and “My Dead Gay Son,” this production is a pure delight.

The songs will find their way into your head for days to follow, and the sound effects are so realistically loud, you may have the slightest of headaches afterward. And, if not for anything else, go for the classic one-liners.

To purchase tickets, go to or call 615-904-ARTS (2787). This show is rated R.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Sydney Wagner, email

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