Heathers: Still SO VERY Relevant After 30 Years

Julia Nosworthy, Amaia Licciardello, Olivia Licciardello and Molly Casey in Heathers: The Musical

The Burdekin Singers & Theatre Company will close its sold out season of Heathers: the Musical this weekend.

Much like the 80s’ cult classic movie, Heathers centres on an epic high school tale of teen suicide, bullying, homophobia and gun violence.  

The story follows Veronica Sawyer (Amaia Licciardello) as she falls in with the Heathers, the original high school mean girls. When Veronica’s rebellious outsider boyfriend J.D. (Mark Whittaker) manipulates her into murder, the two find themselves caught in a web of drama.  

Starting some tough conversations

Director Jasmin Delle Baite and Director/ Star Amaia Licciardello say Heathers still powerfully conveys these strong themes of suicide, bullying, homophobia and violence in 2022.

Heathers was a movie that shocked others because it exposed those issues, which was a shock for the culture of the movies back in the 80s,” says Jasmin.

“We’re in 2022 – and we still have those same issues but we are starting that conversation and opening up that dialogue.”

Mark Whittaker and Amaia Licciardello in Heathers: The Musical

Amaia said the musical shines a light on some dark themes to provide a talking point for those needing assistance.

“I think in some ways we’re not as good as dealing with these issues as we think we are, sometimes we need those discussions about it,” says Amaia.

“Everyone’s going to experience hardships in high school and have those thoughts and what’s great about Heathers is that the musical promotes this message that we are all capable of change and worthy of love. That message will never go out of date.”

Despite its darker themes, entwined in the songs in Heathers is its ongoing motif “we’ll make it Beautiful”, touching on the bases that everyone will experience hardships in their lives but there is always a way to overcome it.  

“As confronting as it is, we’re using that to start that conversation and to open a dialogue and to help people feel comfortable to talk,” says Jasmin.

“You open up so people know that they’re not alone, which is what Heathers does so beautifully.”

Fundraising to help others

The Burdekin Singers’ are proudly fundraising for CORES Queensland by donation a portion of Heathers’ ticket sales.

“CORES is a suicide prevention program. It’s about educating local community members on how to help someone who’s thinking about taking their life or having those thoughts,” Amaia says.

The Burdekin Singers has teamed up with CORES for many years. September is suicide awareness and prevention month, which ties in really well with the timing and themes of the show,” Jasmin says.

Mental Health Support

Beyond Blue:
1300 22 46 36
1800 650 850
Talk to a GP or health professional.

The Burdekin Singers and Theatre Company’s production of Heathers: The Musical is SOLD OUT.

This article was supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.

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