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The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Inside UW Theater rehearsal of ‘Heathers’

Cast chemistry, directorial excellence on full display in early production
Madeline Haines
UW Theater rehearses their upcoming performance of Heathers

In preparation for their upcoming performance of “Heathers” the musical from April 14-24, the cast and crew of the University of Wisconsin Theater Department are working diligently to put on a spectacular performance.

The group puts in four hours of demanding work daily, Monday through Friday and devotes most weekends to preparing an exquisite show.

Upon watching a rehearsal where the cast and crew were adding on to act two, their devotion to making everything perfect is prominent from the start to the end of rehearsal. The first task tackled was to split the cast into small groups to work on different scenes.


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The first scene workshopped included characters Veronica and JD performing the song, “I Say No.” This was the first impression given by lead actors Caroline Hansen and Michael Decker of the night.

The chemistry the two actors exhibit is impressive, to say the least. The two play off each other well and convey intense emotion. The knowledge Director Jake Penner has for the show and all the characters was nothing short of mind-blowing. He masterfully picked at each scene with input from the actors until it was just how they wanted it.

While Penner worked in one room, choreographer Brian Cowing worked with the actresses on perhaps the most iconic song in the show, “Candy Store.”

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Actresses Corinna Smith, Natalie Wolff and Natalie Matthai — Heather Chandler, Heather McNamara and Heather Duke respectively — brought great energy to the fun choreography.

“Brian comes up with the craziest ideas, but this is the show to do it for. He’s great,” Assistant Director Anna Jansson said.

Through his direction, Cowing plays off the vulgar nature of the song in a way that works perfectly. The actresses execute the dance number with precision and a needed intensity to the number.

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After the team workshopped more of act two including, “Hey Yo Westerburg,” “Kindergarten,” and “Dead Gay Son,” the cast performed a run-through of the first half of the act.

Without the lights, costumes and theatre ambiance, the actor’s astounding voices, passion, quick learning skills and ability to use a wide range of emotions were on full display. Even in its early stages, the performance is a pleasure to watch.

Not only was the cast able to put in this hard work, but it was also clear they were having fun doing it. They were able to make real progress while laughing and joking with each other.

They all showed support for each other, by clapping after songs and complementing singing and acting choices. It is not hard to see that they all love what they do and thoroughly enjoy the process of making this show one to remember.

Tickets for “Heathers” can be purchased on the UW-Madison Theatre and Drama website. Over half of the tickets are already sold, so move quickly and get those tickets if you want to catch this great performance.

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