Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Penn State Centre Stage's BE MORE CHILL Begins Tonight

Penn State Centre Stage presents the musical Be More Chill to kick off its 2016-2017 season. With music and lyrics by Joe Iconis and book by Joe Tracz, Be More Chill was first produced at Two River Theatre in New Jersey, where it was given its world premiere.

Penn State's production is the first since that premiere - and will run tonight, October 4, through October 15, 2016 in The Playhouse Theatre, on the University Park campus.

John Simpkins, head of musical theatre at Penn State, directs. Music direction is by Dan Riddle, with choreography by J. Austin Eyer.

An average and un-special teenager, Jeremy Heere is almost invisible. That is, until he discovers a tiny supercomputer that gives him access to everything he wants: girls, parties, popularity. Truly the teenage dream - or so he thinks. Based on the novel by Ned Vizzini, this science fiction musical follows Jeremy and his search to find his own voice in the world. Praised as "a high-energy, imaginative, well-crafted world premiere musical," Be More Chill was also lauded as "a vibrant, inventive musical that makes the most of every moment."

The production features Joseph Allen as Jeremy, Jonathan Savage as Michael, Maria Wirries as Christine, Aidan Wharton as The "Squip," Johnathan Teeling as Rich, Jessie Davidson as Chloe, Samantha Littleford as Brooke, Maggie Malaney as Jenna, Graham Hancock as Jake, and Jonathan Hashmonay as Jeremy's dad.

Penn State's production is designed by Michael Schweikardt (scenery), Zach Straeffer (lighting), Richard St. Clair (costumes), and Curtis Craig (sound). Mary Dennis is production stage manager.

Joe Iconis will provide a special post-show concert after the October 13 performance. Join Joe and his merry bunch of punks as they bring Joe Iconis & Family to Penn State to sing Joe's original songs. The New York Times calls Joe Iconis & Family "the future of musical theater" - don't miss this late-night concert following the evening performance!

Broadway historian Jennifer Tepper will lead a post-show discussion after the October 9 performance. Featuring members of the original cast, the Penn State cast, creative team, and Joe Iconis, the discussion will focus on the creation of new musicals in 2016.

Iconis has also authored the musicals Bloodsong of Love, The Black Suits, ReWrite, The Plant That Ate Dirty Socks, and We The People. His songs were featured on Season 2 of NBC's Smash. He has been nominated for two Drama Desk Awards and a Lucille Lortel Award, and is the recipient of the Ed Kleban Award, the Jonathan Larson Award, and a Doris Duke Grant. Joe is currently under commission by Penn State's School of Theatre to write an original musical for the University (the first writer in a new yearly commissioning series in musical theatre).

For more information and tickets to Be More Chill, visit

Related Articles View More Central Pennsylvania Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You