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Like the whole world's out of sync: or how things would feel without queer joy

By Charlotte Van Schaack


Just in time for Halloween a chill set into the DC air and dropped the temperature nearly twenty degrees. I know that by the time you are reading this it is likely November, or months after, but bear with me. As of late I have been consuming a lot of “spooky season” media, but all with good academic intent. I am writing about ghosts and I am reading about Frankenstein (his Creature too) and I am listening to songs about werewolves and I am sure that all of my friends are sick of it. I watched the movie Ghost (which I highly recommend) and as I am writing now, The Sixth Sense is on in the background. All of my wits say that it makes sense to take advantage of what was supposed to be an October 30th blog post and write about one of my academic topics or at least Rocky Horror Picture show. Honestly though, and quite unfortunately perhaps, I have not had a single idea come to mind.


Rather, I would like to write about the magic of live theater (this is not a joke).


Over Halloweekend I went to see Head Over Heels for the third time this year. The AU Department of Performing Arts put together a magnificent production of the musical. As a disclaimer: I am a theater enthusiast, not a critique, but please take what I have to say to heart.


Head Over Heels is an unapologetic celebration of queer joy. This musical won my heart over several years ago when I remembered having seen a marquee once and never hearing anything more. That is to say that in 2021, I spontaneously remembered hearing about the show in 2018, and then in 2021 decided to listen to the soundtrack and make it my entire personality.


If you haven’t yet privileged yourself with viewing a production and have not looked up the wikipedia page by this point, let me direct you to the two pieces of media it miraculously and seamlessly stitches together: The Countess of Pembroke’s Arcadia by Sir Phillip Sidney and The Go-Go’s discography. Now, if you would like to hear about the use of each musical number, or the plot, or the complications and various iterations of the show before the version most people know now, please go find another article. I am here to write about how much I enjoyed AU’s production and I am here to remind readers of how important it is for us to see representations of queer joy.


My favorite part of Head Over Heels, hands down, is that any instance of queerness is met with unwavering acceptance. When characters realize they are queer, everything falls into place. It is the kind of affirmation that more people need to see. I hope that some college students or community members were able to feel something positive take hold of them too. I encourage everyone to seek out media that celebrates queer identities and showcases happy experiences unique to queerness. It is incredibly important to you and to the queer community that you do so.


And if you will allow me three final words:

“Let’s go lesbians!”


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