In This Story
The effervescent production, featuring a cast of Mason’s School of Theater students, will make its debut at Mason’s Center for the Arts on October 27, 2022, and will run through October 30, 2022.
From the visionaries that rocked Broadway with Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Avenue Q, and Spring Awakening, Head Over Heels will have you laughing out loud while taking you on a nostalgic journey with 1980’s classics such as the Go-Go’s “We Got the Beat,” and Belinda Carlisle’s “Heaven is a Place on Earth.”
"I know what you might be thinking, how could a 15th-century Elizabethan farce and the music of an 80s rock band possibly go together? Well they do in this fun and relevant show, Head Over Heels!" said Erin Driscoll Gardiner, the show's director, who is also an adjunct faculty member in the School of Theater and a well-known D.C.-area performer.
"At its core, Head Over Heels is about a people steeped in tradition awakening to their true selves, love, acceptance, and forgiveness," shared Gardiner. "When I first was approached to direct this piece, I immediately thought of Madonna’s 1991 MTV Awards performance. She and her dancers were all in period costumes performing Vogue for the young MTV audience. That mixed world where both coexist is where I wanted this show to live. Head Over Heels is its own universe full of color and nature. "
Performing alongside the actors is a band composed of three alumni, one current student, and one faculty member from Mason’s Reva and Sid Dewberry Family School of Music.
The show is based on the 15th-century story, The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia, written by Sir Philip Sidney, with the book by Jeff Whitty, and adapted by James Magruder. A love story that is equally heartwarming and hilarious to watch follows the escapades of a royal family on an outrageous journey to save their kingdom from extinction.
The show features musical direction by Joe Walsh (Term Assistant Professor, Dewberry School of Music) and choreography by Stefan Sittig (Adjunct Faculty, School of Theater).
"For the characters in our fictional Arcadia, they must leave their home and journey into the unknown. After two years in a global pandemic and our current political climate, changing ‘the norm’ can seem to threaten our way of life. But, this is the very time to let ourselves be turned upside down and see things anew. All the while, remembering that everyone can make mistakes, learn, and grow. Finding forgiveness and embracing love, when it seems impossible, IS how we change and grow.”
"This show is a challenge asking its performers to conquer the heightened Elizabethan language while also having proficiency in 80s rock music. Not only has this cast risen to the challenge but they have managed to create a piece that is heartwarming and a blast to watch," said Gardiner.