Don’t Be a Mean Girl, Come See Mean Girls


Taylor Andrews, Managing Editor

Mean Girls the Musical is being performed in the JB Chambers Performing Arts Center on May 5th, 6th, and 7th. Friday and Saturday shows start at 7 p.m. and the Sunday matinee begins at 3 p.m. 

Mean Girls follows Cady Heron, played by Laken Faulstick, after she moves to America from Africa, having to navigate the most hostile environment to exist: high school.

Throughout her journey she meets the artsy Janis Sarkisian and Damian Hubbard, played by Laykin Milton and Logan Frazier, as they help her navigate through high school’s social dynamics. 

She also befriends the Plastics, a group of teen girls that rule the school. She befriends Regina George, played by Addy Wright, the queen bee of Northshore High. Gretchen Weiners, played by Laken Franke, is an insecure teen that collects gossip in order to help Regina keep her queen bee status. Finally, there’s Karen Smith, played by Molly Henthorne, a ditzy blonde that follows Regina’s lead.

The cast and crew of Mean Girls have been working tirelessly to bring this musical to life, holding auditions all the way back in January and starting rehearsals in February.

“I think my favorite part is working as a group and bringing it all together,” Faulstick said. “During rehearsal we’re fixing lots of problems, it really helps us overall. I just like working with all my friends and doing it all together.”

“My favorite part has probably been the blocking,” Wright said. “It’s fun to see everything starting to get put together and adding the ensemble in. It’s just fun to see everything come together.”

The months-long rehearsal process has also offered the cast a chance to grow as performers.

“I think I’ve grown as a performer by not being perfect all the time,” Milton said. “I’ve learned that I can let things slide a bit and go with the flow a little more and then just also be more receptive of people.”

Mean Girls offers many messages to the audience, and the cast has been quick to pick up on and internalize them.

“I believe the important message is to not let other people influence you,” Faulstick said. “To not let the want of being popular influence you as a person because you don’t want to become a mean girl to become popular. It’s really being true to yourself and not letting things like popularity and looks affect who you are as a person.”

“I think the most important message is a line that I say in the end, ‘Calling somebody stupid won’t make you any smarter, so get off their backs.’,” Frazier said. “I think people are quick to judge and it’s very easy to talk about people behind their backs but that doesn’t do anything for you. The message is getting people to find acceptance in themselves and not looking for that through talking about others.”

Mean Girls is directed by Bill Cornforth and Joyce Jingle.

“I was actually scouring the internet looking for musical recommendations and discovered that the highschool version just released the rights,” Jingle said when asked about selecting the musical. “But I had no idea what the show was about. The thing that I noticed is that the cast was our students and it fit our kids perfectly.”

The directors have also gotten to watch the actors grow since auditions in January.

“I think that individually, each person is starting to understand their own character more,” Jingle said. “And so many of the characters have real emotional changes that they go through, so I think that they understand that more and that’s something Mr. Cornforth has been working on a lot.”

Mr. Corforth has worked closely with the students in honing their acting skills and bringing these characters to life while also enjoying while they’re doing.

“I hope that ten years from now, every student looks upon this as a fond memory,” Cornforth said when asked about his hopes for the show. “A memory both in the reward of working hard to make this a good production, but also the memory of working with each other and becoming friends. I hope there are some good memories for them not only ten years from now, but for the rest of their lives.”

This is the last show that Mr. Cornforth will be directing with Wheeling Park High School before his retirement.

“I haven’t been looking at things like that, but after it’s done I realize it’s my last,” Cornforth said. “Like I realized this semester that was my last New York Trip, that was my last state championship. I’m just going day by day with it. Many people who retire say they’re counting the days but I’m not counting the days, I’m trying to live each day and make it the best. But now that you mention it, I would like it to be good.”

Tickets are available at Tickets are $15 for adults and $7 for non-Ohio County Students. Ohio County Students are free!

Disclaimer: Mean Girls- The High School Version contains mature themes, including bullying, manipulation, and social hierarchy, which may not be suitable for all audiences. Viewer discretion is advised.