BU Players want you to be ‘Be More Chill’

Sarah Emily D'Agostino

Last week Bloomsburg University Players put on their show of the season titled “Be More Chill,” directed by Carrie Winship. “Be More Chill” tells the story of high school student Jeremy Heere and his ever-changing social standing thanks to the help of a “super quantum unit Intel processor” that tells Jeremy what decisions to make so he can be popular and gain the affection of fellow student Christine Canigula. BU Players rendition showcased Noah Eisengrein, a junior Theatre and Biology major, as lovable and dorky Jeremy.

“Be More Chill” brings topics such as bullying, anxiety, and the reality of what it feels like to not be accepted as a teenager to light. In the show Jeremy crushes on Christine, portrayed by Helen Allison, who really likes school plays. This leads Jeremy to join the cast and surprisingly quite a few “popular” students as well. Among these students is Rich, played by Brian Katzmaier, who initially bullied Jeremy, then confesses to Jeremy that he too was once a loser. He tells Jeremy that the way he got popular was through a gray, oblong pill called the Squip from Japan that has a crazy intelligent computer in it that traveled to his brain and tells him what to do.

Jeremy’s best friend and fellow nerd, Michael Mell, played by Maxwell Kreiss, encourages Jeremy to learn more about the Squip. Eventually Jeremy gets ahold of it, washes it down with green Mountain Dew, and is faced with a conscious-like computer personality that can talk to him. This consciousness is played by Kali Morgia and is honestly one of the most entertaining and scary parts of the whole show. Squip helps Jeremy create a whole new persona and even helps his bag a girlfriend.

He ends up dating Brooke, portrayed by Alexis Greiss, for a short time. They eventually break up at a Halloween party thrown by Jake, played by Samuel Krause, who also had a crush on Christine. Brooke’s jealous best friend Chloe, played by Arianna Birnbrauer, pretends to have hooked up with Jeremy squandering any chances for a relationship there. This leads Jeremy to turn to Michael for support, but ends up snapping at Michael and changes his mind to go to Squip for help.

Jeremy turns his back to Michael and his father. After turning his back on Michael and telling him that he is jealous he calls his father a loser and calls him out on being absent from his life since his divorce from Jeremy’s mom. Michael realizes how badly the Squip is affecting Jeremy and teams up with Jeremy’s partially absentee father, played by Mark Obrzut who also plays quite a few other obscure characters throughout the show, to attempt to find a way to get rid of the Squip. After the Halloween party the school gossiper Jenna, played by Reagan Venturi, tells everyone that Rich freaked out and burnt down Jakes house. Everyone starts spreading it until eventually the whole school knows that Rich had a full-blown meltdown.

This leads into the school play that every character we have met is basically in. Jeremy’s Squip encourages him to give Christine a Squip as well. Jeremy offers it to Christine, but she says that having all the answers sounds horrible. Jeremy ends up questioning his Squip about the fire and finds out that Rich’s Squip caused him to set the fire. This upsets Jeremy and causes him question his Squip’s decisions.

The Squip can sense Jeremy’s reluctancy to give everyone Squip pills. This would ruin Squip’s plan to sync the entire student body and then ultimately the world. The Squip finds a way around this and end up finding a way to get the pills into the drink that all of the cast of the play must drink. With the entire cast infected with Squips Michael appears with a small amount of red Mountain Dew: the kill switch. If green Mountain Dew activates the Squips then red destroys it. Jeremy makes the decision to give the Mountain Dew to Christine instead of using it on himself. This causes all of the Squip infested cast to fall. Apparently only one of the Squips had to be destroyed for all of them to disintegrate.

The ending of the show has quite a few epiphanies: Rich realizes that he is bisexual, Jeremy asks Christine out and she says yes, and it becomes clear the Squip is still alive. The final song titled “Voices in My Head” has Jeremy happily singing that he hears himself more than any other voices in his head.

This show far surpassed my expectations and truly brought the un-talked about topics of anxiety, and feeling alone to the stage. Noah Eisengrein and Maxwell Kreiss portrayed Jeremy and Michael’s relationship with so much honesty that I could believe they are best friends in real life.

Helen Allison as Christine was a true representation of the theatre girl we all knew in high school who really is just as lost as everyone else. The realization of the former bully Rich that he is in fact bisexual made me lose it in the theatre. It was hilarious and his portrayal of a boy losing his mind was spot on.

The entire cast was amazing and the discussions of feeling inadequate and alone being something we all face brought truth and honesty to the show. Absolutely impressed.