This afternoon, I had the pleasure of sitting down with Ella Livingston (Director), Evan Clausen (Jeremy), and Lane Stephens (Michael) to talk about their upcoming production of Be More Chill at SLO High. Be More Chill is a Sci-Fi musical that centers around a geeky teenager named Jeremy who struggles to fit in with his peers, until a seemingly perfect solution arises that changes everything. The show will be opening Wednesday and running through Saturday with shows at 7:00 every night. Tickets will be sold at the door. I recommend getting there a bit early to get good seats.
Be More Chill is massively popular online, particularly with musical-loving teens. It has been gaining even more popularity due to its recent off-broadway revival and move to broadway. This show tends to resonate with its audience because of the wide range of emotionally complex high schoolers that it depicts, as well as a fantastic pop/rock score. Even though this show is set in the present, people of all ages will be able to see some of their teenage selves in these characters.
Livingston has put so much care and attention to detail into San Luis High’s production. She has considered everything from Starbucks cup size as a reflection of character relationship, to thoughtful text on props. She is joined by assistant director Maggie Zuniga who has reportedly contributed some excellent choreography to the show.
The costuming will be different from the original production while still staying true to who these characters are. From just a few looks at production photos, I love what I’ve seen so far. This production offers a slightly more updated take on the costumes with subtle nods to the original. Stephens shared that his jacket includes the fan-inspired rainbow flag patch. There are also some pretty interesting costumes to keep an eye out for in the Halloween scene.
BMC fans may notice that the character of Jeremy’s dad has been changed to Jeremy’s mom. Although Livingston considered several men for the part, Allie Ryan’s personality was a perfect fit for the role. The show has also been toned down a bit in terms of language and mature themes to make it more appropriate for younger audiences. In SLO High’s theatre department, a big goal for them is to make sure that their shows are enjoyable for all ages. In addition to this, a lot of the cast has younger siblings that they’d like to share this show with.
This group of students seem like they have a great connection that’s sure to show on stage and I can’t wait to see this show that they’ve created together. Be sure to go check out San Luis Obispo High School’s production of Be More Chill!