Who knew that the dark 1980s cult classic movie Heathers would make a stirring musical? Turns out it does, and Barrett Wilbert Weed stars as Veronica Sawyer (the Wynona Ryder role). Eight times a week Weed has the challenge of being onstage during almost the entire run time of Heathers The Musical, singing her heart out (which she does masterfully), while trying to stay cool amidst the clique of shallow Heathers. So for Weed, who recently received a Drama Desk nomination for her performance, her dressing room is a sanctuary. It’s filled with meaningful mementos that connect her to various people whose lives have touched her in some way (like the sweet koala bear from a woman who traveled from Australia to see our show). Here Weed, who previously appeared in Lysistrata Jones on Broadway and Bare Off-Broadway, shares the items that she adores.
One of my best friends, Corey, brought this hat for me, from Disney World. I definitely wear it backstage sometimes while I get ready, until I have to put on my wig and go do a show.
Above Left: My friend Taylor Trensch (who I have known since I was 17, and then went to school with…and THEN was in Bare with…basically the kid wouldn’t stop following me until he got cast in Matilda) and my roommate Jared Loftin have a disgusting habit that they know makes me so uncomfortable but also makes me laugh SO hard. They take lovely children’s coloring book pages, and turn them into twisted masterpieces. These are from a Barbie coloring book, and they were a present to me for Heathers‘ first preview. Obviously, they got taped up on my wall with Barbie stickers. They help me warp reality just the teeniest bit before I go onstage. Don’t read the captions…they’re so gross.
Above Right: Andy Fickman, our glorious and very kind director, set the tradition of doing a cast circle every night before the show. You know, that thing where you hold hands and someone says something lovely, and you feel ready to perform a great show for one another. Our circles tend to be very sweet and very inspirational. Our circle on opening night lasted for over an hour and I cried so hard that Ryan McCartan ( who plays J.D.) had to basically push my eyes back into my head. I love my cast, and we tend to cry a lot, so I had these hankies made by an amazing artist named Ellen Schinderman for every member of the company. Each has a different line on it. This is the one I stole for myself, “Everybody’s life has got static.”
Above Left: If he ever reads this, I will be mortified, but when I auditioned for Juilliard in high school, I met Adam Driver. I doubt he remembers this. I was 17 and was eating alone at lunch. I wasn’t the type who would ever just walk over and sit next to people at lunch time in high school. I’ve always been very nervous; I’ve just gotten better at hiding it as I’ve grown up. Obviously, I was totally overwhelmed and he spotted me, came over, plopped down next to me, introduced himself, and just decided to have lunch with me. It’s still, to this day, one of the nicest things a stranger has done for me. We talked a lot, and I remember him telling me about being a marine which I thought was pretty surreal – I think it’s part of what makes him so grounded and fearless. Right after we ate, he did a reading of a play by one of the playwrights in the program and, frankly, just blew me away. I’d never seen anyone so odd, human and lovably disconcerting onstage before, which made me think “I’d like to be like that. I’d like to make someone feel the way I feel right now.” He instantly became one of my favorite actors and I’ve never forgotten about him – so when I saw the very first trailer for HBO’s Girls, I lost my mind. When I went hunting for the issue of Paper magazine that featured our Heathers photo shoot, I picked this up as well and now keep it on my dressing table. He’s a totally fearless actor and it thrills me that he’s on magazine covers. Perhaps one day I’ll run into him again, so I can say thank you.
Above Right: This lovely woman came all the way from Australia to see our show, and gave me this koala at the stage door. I thought it was just beyond sweet. Look at his little boomerang! Adorable. He lives on my dressing table now. He reminds me how important this show is to people. This story has continued to resonate with people for 25 years. That completely floors me. This little guy reminds me that nothing else matters aside from human connection.