First Year Players’ ‘Heathers’ Review

The highly anticipated First Year Players production of ‘Heathers’, has been a year in the making. In that span, there have already been 3 ‘Annie’ Revivals, including the Jamie Foxx motion picture installment. For such a long wait in preparation, you would think that the highly regarded FYP cast and crew would have somewhat measured to the standards of professional theatre. Instead, the result was highly amateurish and collegiate at best.

‘Heathers’, adopted from the 1988 motion picture tells the tired tale of another privileged white high school student navigating her way through the social hierarchy of a Disney Channel like high school depiction. Suddenly, all her problems are gone away when she meets the darkest Disney prince you have ever seen — complete with social insecurities and a remarkable affinity for 7/11 soft drinks.

The vocal talent for such a musically demanding show was lacking. The voices of many of the actors in the lead roles sounded almost sophomoric. It was as if they had just undergone puberty a few years before. Where is the seasoned talent? I think FYP and Syracuse in general may have a bit of an acting drought. And as someone who has seen Aladdin twice on Broadway, I believe I’d be quite knowledgeable on the subject of talent. I felt my $7 were wasted (Let it be known that I was unaware of a certain card of some sorts that allowed younger viewers to get into the theatre for only $4. Elitism at its finest.) I do not believe the prestigious Goldstein Auditorium should have been subject to such a play that was barely above High School Drama Club level.

As is usual these days, these actors look about one year older than their apparent “high school” characters. That isn’t even to speak about the actors playing the teachers in this production. Some of them looked like they were still in college!  Does FYP lack the resources to appropriately cast a middle-aged person in their productions? Truly a despicable showing (#FYPsoYoung).

Overall, this critic fairly enjoyed this viewing of ‘Heathers’. I was simply unable to let go of the cast’s striking resemblance to actual college students! It was rather astonishing! Where would you even find cast members this young? I simply hope that next year’s FYP production features a cast with more experience. I would dread having to view a show with actors who perform like it is their first year.