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10 Questions With Thespians’ ‘Heathers’ Lead Lauren Bauer

Freshman Lauren Bauer is making her college acting debut as the lead role in “Heathers,” a production put on by the Penn State Thespians Society. Bauer is filling the lead role as Veronica Sawyer who goes from an outcast to a member of the most prestigious clique in school.

“Heathers” will have shows on Friday, October 11 at 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, October 12 at 1:30 p.m. You can buy tickets at the HUB or at the door.

We sat down with Bauer to talk about all things acting, how she prepares, what she has learned after her first college performance, and more:

Onward State: How did you get involved with theater?

Lauren Bauer: I started theater in the fourth grade with my first production, and I’ve done it ever since then. I’ve taken voice lessons since I was six, and I have been really involved with music from a very young age, and it’s just kind of evolved since then.

OS: How have your high school performances prepared you for this college performance?

LB: In high school, I did every show. I did summer theater programs as well. The directors really helped as I got a lot of different opinions throughout high school. I also have a lot of experiences playing leads, which really prepared me for this experience in college.

OS: What do you normally do to prepare for a show?

LB: I never stop listening to the music. I have it playing in my headphones and in my car all day long. I am constantly singing the music to learn the words and pick it up. I also have friends who’ll help me read lines, and I constantly review the material as soon as I get new information.

OS: What is the experience of being a lead actress as a freshman like?

LB: It was overwhelming, and it still is overwhelming, but very exciting. When I got the news, I was nervous that it was going to be a lot to take on with new courses and getting adjusted to life here. I am not from Pennsylvania, so I am pretty far from home. Overall though, this experience has really encouraged me and helped me work harder, because I have less time, which means I can’t procrastinate as much. I got more done with the limited time that I had.

OS: How can the play “Heathers” relate to a 21st-century audience?

LB: There’s a lot of dark material in “Heathers.”It talks about suicide and murder, but I think the biggest takeaway I had is understanding the signs of when somebody needs to get help. There’s a character in the show who attempts suicide, and she shows many signs throughout the show that she should get help. The biggest takeaway is definitely realizing the signs of when people need help and mental health awareness in general.

OS: How are you able to connect to the role of Veronica?

LB: I really love Veronica. She is easy to play for me because I feel like there is so much of myself in her. She is dorky and quirky and confident in herself. Her fault is that she is easily persuaded by different people that she wants to impress, but overall she still keeps herself intact and is uniquely herself.

OS: What advice were you able to take away from your co-stars?

LB: My co-stars are mostly older than me, though there is another freshman on the cast. They are all really kind people an I’ve learned persistence is huge with everyone. Not getting down on yourself and moving forward. Also understanding the rehearsal process and how it is all a work in progress until the moment we put it on stage and that everything is building. They have allowed me to have a lot more confidence in my performance.

OS: How has this performance changed how you think about acting?

LB: This performance is different from others, figuring it is my first college show. It was a lot more fast-paced than the high school shows I had done, and it really changed my opinion on acting. A lot of the assistant directors and the director ended up giving me very specific notes I haven’t ever received before. For example, notes on a specific scene or a facial expression or a character, and I feel like that’s really helped me develop my acting into something it wasn’t before. It has certainly grown since I have been here.

OS: Why should people go and see “Heathers”?

LB: It is phenomenal. The cast is so talented. They are all wonderful, wonderful people. The set and tech design is amazing. I was floored when I saw it the other day. It is just a really strong production in general and there’s been a lot of work put into it, so we would just love for everyone to come out and see it.

OS: Per Onward State tradition, if you could be a dinosaur, what would you be and why?

LB: A T-Rex because I want to feel how those little arms feel. Really bad (laughs).


Some of these responses were edited lightly for brevity and clarity.

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About the Author

Owen Abbey

Owen Abbey was a Secondary Education major before he graduated from the wonderful institution known as Penn State. When he was not writing for the blog, he enjoyed rooting for the Baltimore Orioles and Ravens, supporting Penn State basketball and softball, dreaming of all of the ways he would win the TV show "Survivor," and yes mom, actually doing school work. All of this work prepared him to teach his own class of students, which was always his true passion. He still can be found on Twitter @theowenabbey and can be reached for questions and comments at [email protected]

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