By Jasmine Virgen
For the first two weekends in November, the drama department’s production of “Mean Girls” sold out four of six nights. A favorite among teens, “Mean Girls” is known for its iconic lines: “It’s October third,” “On Wednesdays we wear pink,” and “You go, Glen Coco,” to name a few.
When new girl Cady Heron moves to Evanston, Illinois, she’s invited to join the Plastics: the school’s ruling clique. Junior Lucy Fasano and sophomore Celia Magee both shared the role of Cady. Fasano voiced Cady’s doubts and inhibitions as Magee found her way through the high school drama.
An actress at heart, Fasano has been involved with the high school drama department since her freshman year. She enjoyed giving a voice to Cady’s inner monologue and interpreting the character to fit her own habits and facial expressions. “I like it because it wasn’t an original character in the movie so I kind of got to create my own character. I could interpret her myself and have more emotion in my face,” said Fasano.
Unlike Fasano, Magee enjoyed drastically changing her personality for the play. “[Cady] is very naive but she ends up learning how to adapt to the people she’s with and even though it turns her into a really terrible person, she learns from it. It’s fun to portray being really mean to people.” Eventually Cady recognizes that kindness is better than popularity. Magee advises students to continue being themselves so they “won’t end up in situations where the whole school hates you and so do your parents.”
The leader of the Plastics, Regina George, was portrayed by junior Janne Brunhs. Regina is both idolized and hated by the school, making a punch in the face seem awesome simply because it came from her. When asked what she likes about her character, Brunhs laughed and asked, “Regina?” A common perspective among the students of North Shore High School, Brunhs describes Regina as a mean bully. “I like how mean she is because it’s really fun to be so extreme about such an unfortunate character,” Brunhs said.
Brunhs said she loved playing a character that was so different from her own personality. “I really enjoyed getting hit by the bus and getting so wrapped up and yelling at Celia and then being violently hit by the bus. It was the most intense scene but I really enjoyed it because I got to get so into character.”
Unlike Regina, Brunhs prides herself in being kinder than her character. She doesn’t boss her friends around, tell them what to wear, cheat, or offer blunt criticism. However, she identifies with Regina’s ambition: “I think everyone likes going after what they want and that’s a good thing. Usually.”
Regina’s loyal sidekick, Gretchen Wieners, is also one of the Plastics. Portrayed by freshman Nyah Morgan, Wieners is known for her insecurity and big hair that is “full of secrets.” Morgan said she loved her character because of her comical attempts to regain Regina’s attention. “She’s kind of an insecure character but the way she portrays it is hilarious. She’s not your typical insecure teen,” said Morgan.
Although she played one of the Plastics, Morgan recognizes that the clique is meant to show the audience that mean girls are something to laugh at. “They should take away from it that mean girls don’t really matter … they’re not as important as everyone thinks.”
The last Plastic, Karen Smith, was played by senior Daisy Stock. Karen is an intuitive, albeit slow, character who uses her “sixth sense” to forecast the weather.“I had a lot of liberty with what I did with her and her character,” says Stock. “There was a lot that I could morph her stupidity into.”
Unlike Karen, Stock said she tries to reflect before she makes decisions. She admits that she can be impulsive, but never as much as Karen. Currently in her second year of drama, Stock spontaneously decided to join the class. “Last year was my first year. It was really fun. I didn’t know anyone in the class so I kind of just dove in. I didn’t know if I would like it or not so I was like why not just try it.”
Also in his second year of drama, sophomore Spencer Lee portrayed Cady’s crush, Aaron Samuels. Lee described his character as a charming good guy. “It’s really great to be playing someone you find you really want to be in real life,” said Lee.
He does, however, wish he had more “crazy” time in the play. His favorite scene was the hall fight among the female students and faculty. “I wish I could be in the background or something,” he added with a laugh.
“Mean Girls” has proven to be a timeless classic among teenagers. Drama teacher Megan McKinley noted that the production was the most successful play she had directed in terms of box office. She loved how energetic the cast became with the audience’s support. “They were so excited to do the show. They really brought it to life. There were a lot of naysayers who said we couldn’t do the play because there were so many scene changes and we proved everyone wrong,” McKinley said.
Although the play follows the petty drama of a clique, McKinley said she was happy to see how close the cast had become by closing night. “It was nice to see they had bonded like one big family.”