Heathers is based on the 1989 film written by Daniel Waters. Back in 2010 a low-key reading was done of the script, but it wasn’t until 2013 that the show had its world premiere in Los Angeles, starring Barrett Wilbert Weed as Veronica, Ryan McCartan as JD, and Sarah Halford as Heather Chandler. In 2014, Heathers opened off-Broadway at New World Stages. It played its final performance there on August 4, 2014. Reviews were mostly positive, and like the film, Heathers the Musical quickly gained cult status. Heathers was nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and two Lucille Lortel Awards: Weed for Best Actress, Murphy & O’Keefe for Outstanding Music, and Marguerite Derricks for Choreography.
Currently, workshops are in progress for Heathers 101: High School Edition. Most of the swearing and explicit sex and drug references have been removed or rewritten in order to make it more appropriate for high school audiences. Some examples of changed material include the replacing of Kurt and Ram’s explicit number “Blue” with slightly tamer “You’re Welcome,” and the rewriting of Veronica’s rocker anthem “Dead Girl Walking” to be less about sexual liberation and more about a young girl breaking free of social constraints. Despite these changes, the authors have insisted on preserving the original themes of the story: bullying, teen suicide, peer pressure, and adolescents trying to be kind to each other.