MTs Got The Beat: A Rundown of MMC’s Production of Head Over Heels

MTs Got The Beat: A Rundown of MMC’s Production of Head Over Heels
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MMC’s Musical Theatre program impresses audiences yet again with their mainstage production of Head Over Heels.


Head Over Heels was directed and choreographed by Bethany Christine Elkin with associate director/choreographer Tommy Scrivens, music director Justin S. Fischer, and assistant producer/cast member Aissatou Thiam.


The show ran in the Theresa Lang Theatre here on campus at Marymount from March 2nd through March 5th. 


For those of you who didn’t get a chance to see Head Over Heels, it’s a jukebox musical featuring the songs of the all-female rock band, The Go-Go’s. It takes the historical drama Arcadia (also known as The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia), but revamps it with a modern day twist. 


The show is based around King Basilius of Arcadia trying to avoid the fulfillment of a prophecy told to him by Pythio, the non-binary baddie prophet of Arcadia. If fulfilled, Arcadia will lose the “beat” that keeps it going. During this journey, you see stories of self discovery as characters navigate love, gender, and sexuality, all while singing their hearts out. 


MMC’s production of Head Over Heels started rehearsing in January, and featured a cast of 23 students from all graduating classes here at Marymount. The creative process of Head Over Heels found the cast and crew experimenting with ways they could make the show their own. Something that stands out with this production is the punk aesthetic in the set and costumes, and the use of dice throughout the story. 


Senior cast member Jack Dodson commented on the rehearsal process. 


“[Our directors] incorporated a Dungeons and Dragons theme, where they’d have the characters roll the dice whenever there was a big decision to make on stage, and based on the dice roll, that’s how the characters would decide what to do next.” says Dodson.


“We incorporated a punk theme into this version of Head Over Heels instead of the early renaissance type clothing, even though that’s what the lines are like. The whole aesthetic of the show was supposed to be taking place in a Brooklyn warehouse.” 


Director Bethany Christine Elkin also touched on this in their director’s note. 


“In effort to combat the King’s archaic and inflexible rule, we utilize a conceptual device of Dungeons & Dragons where Pythio is the Dungeon Master (referee/storyteller) and the players form a party; adventuring to explore a fantasy world while engaging in an epic quest of self-discovery and self-advocacy.” 


Though the sets, costumes, and overall aesthetic of MMC’s Head Over Heels brought excitement and energy to all, it didn’t blind the fact that an era was ending. This production especially weighed heavy for some senior cast members, as it was their last chance to perform a show in the Theresa Lang Theater. 


Musical Theatre major Tessa McCormick played the eldest daughter of King Basilius, Pamela. She talks about the heart and joy brought to the creative process of the show, as well as the importance of telling stories like this. 


“This process has been one of the most heart filled experiences I’ve ever had in a show. The entire cast, crew, and creatives were all committed to making something that the Marymount audience had never seen before.” says McCormick. 


“I will always owe Pamela for allowing me to tell my queer story through her. I know that I am alive and I have the beat.”


Even though the 2022-2023 Theatre Arts season here at MMC is wrapping up, there’s still a few chances to go see performances. 


Lysistrata, directed by Jeannine Foster-McKelvia, will be shown at Theatre 555 from March 31 through April 2nd. Tickets go on sale March 24th at 11am.


Uncle Vanya, directed by David Mold,  will be shown in the Theresa Lang theater from April 20-23. Tickets go on sale April 17th at 11am.