The Young Players Second Stage group of Benton present "Heathers The Musical," a dark comedy that facilitates conversations about important issues including bullying, teen suicide, sexual assault and school violence.

Performances will continue at 7 p.m. Jan. 16-18 and 2 p.m. Jan. 19.

The show tells the story of Veronica Sawyer, a brainy teenage misfit who finds her way into the most powerful and ruthless clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers (Heather Chandler, Heather Duke, and Heather McNamara.) Before she can get comfortable at the top the high school food chain, Veronica falls in love with the dangerous new kid, J.D. When Heather Chandler, the Almighty, kicks her out of the group, Veronica must decide whether to comply or fight back.

The production at The Royal Theatre in Downtown Benton features a cast of 37 actors. The leads were double cast to allow both college and high school aged actors to take center stage. A large ensemble is featured in all of the shows. 

Young Players Second Stage, YP2S, is a branch of the Young Players program at the Royal Theatre. It exists to provide advanced theatrical opportunities to likeminded, creative young people in the greater central Arkansas area. YP2S stresses dedication, positivity, preparedness, community, and focus as a means to success. This program provides a unique youth theatre experience in that it combines the talents of young theatre enthusiasts with the talents of experienced adult mentors. 

YP2S was conceived in 2013 by Justin A. Pike and Daphne Shoppach and produced its first production in January 2014. 

Ages 13 to 23 are eligible to audition and participate.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 for military, college students with a valid ID, and senior citizens 60 plus; and $6 for students, 12th grade and younger.  

Tickets can be purchased at www.theroyalplayers.ticketleap.com/heathers-the-musical.