BKC Presents Mean Girls: The Musical


Lexie Hullivan, Reporter

Good news, you can sit with us…in the audience of the Garde Arts Center to support Waterford performers. On May 5th and 6th, Broadway Kids and Company will be presenting a high school version of Mean Girls the Musical, with a stellar cast of students from local towns. Whether you attend Waterford, East Lyme, Ledyard, Lyme-Old Lyme, Fitch, New London, Montville High School, or even Clark Lane Middle School, you are likely to see a familiar face in the sea of North Shore High students.


The cast members, who are currently nearing the end of the rehearsal process, were ecstatic to see the cast list for the first time. Waterford sophomore Olivia Marelli recalls first seeing her name on the list: “I was already so excited for the show, and I knew I would have so much fun playing this role. Mean Girls is one of my favorite movies and I couldn’t wait to perform it with all my friends.” Waterford High School is represented by senior Ava Burrows (Cady Heron), senior Lea Polcaro (Gretchen Wieners), sophomore Lexie Hullivan (Janis Sarkisian), Marelli (Kevin G), sophomore Ava Rivera (Ms. Norbury), and freshman Nayoung Kwon (Dawn Schwietzer). All six girls also played notable roles in BKC’s production of Frozen this past December, as well as in Shrek this past April. 


The show follows Cady Heron, a sixteen year old who has been homeschooled in Africa all her life. When she moves to the United States to attend a public high school, she finds that nothing could have prepared her for the meanness of teenage girls. She meets Janis and Damian, who show her the ins and outs of North Shore High School. She is also very quickly befriended by the school’s most infamous clique known as the Plastics, including Regina George, played by Fitch junior Lily Curtiss, as well as the cute boy in her math class, Aaron Samuels, played by Lyme-Old Lyme freshman Thomas Kelly.


For Burrows and Polcaro, as well as East Lyme senior Alyssa Green (Karen Smith) and Ledyard senior Sebastian Martelle (Damian Hubbard), this show will be their farewell to high school theater. Burrows and Green agree that this show is especially sentimental. Burrows explains, “Alyssa and I were only three years old when we were bluebirds in our first show, Cinderella. It’s so cool that we have been best friends for that long and doing shows together for 15 years now!” She adds that, “these shows bring people together in a way that you don’t get from competing against other teams in sports, because it’s a community rather than a competition.” Polcaro and Burrows, who were best friends prior to Polcaro’s first BKC musical, Grease, say that the experience strengthened their bond. Despite the offstage friendships, all cast members have to pretend to hate each other, be in love with each other, or envy each other, at some point throughout the show.


As rehearsals progress, the show is really starting to come together. Luckily, Ava Burrows is the perfect fit for a leader of this cast. Burrows is viewed as a role model, not only by the supporting cast, but also by the various ensemble members, most of whom are younger. Keniyah Hill, Clark Lane Middle School student, who plays Taylor Wedell in the show, describes Ava as, “such a good role model for everyone in the studio. When she talks, people listen and she gives great advice. She articulates herself so well.“


Kristin Burrows, BKC owner, who is also directing and choreographing, originally started the school with the goal of “passing on the love of musical theater and dance by creating a positive nurturing environment where young people could explore the arts and build self-confidence, learn to work hard toward something, and have a safe place to grow as individuals as well as work together.” Burrows’ intention is clear in the way that she brilliantly directs her students, year after year, and now with the help of Waterford High School alumni, Hannah Burrows, in choreographing the larger-than-life musical numbers. The versatility of BKC students and teachers is most showcased in the classy Broadway jazz style of “Where Do You Belong,” the tap dancing in “Stop,” and the hip hop moves in  “Whose House Is This?”


Tickets are now on sale! Get them at this link on the Garde website: https://gardearts.org/events/mean-girls/ Mean Girls the Musical (High School Version) is a must-see. “You will leave fetch-er than when you came in,” Burrows says.


Additionally, if you are interested in getting involved in BKC for future shows, and you are between the ages of seven and 18, register for the Matilda Boot Camp on the Broadway Kids and Company website: https://broadwaykidsandcompany.com/summer-progams/. This program will help you and your child learn about the BKC audition process, and prepare them if they want to be in Matilda this winter! There are also three other camps at the studio this summer that will give you a taste of the BKC atmosphere that attracts so many. 


“It’s a cautionary tale/Of fear and lust and pride/Based on actual events/Where people died/No one died!”