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Theatre / We Are The Tigers

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The playbill
We Are the Tigers is a pop-rock murder mystery musical. The show follows cheer captain Riley Williams and the rest of her cheerleading squad at their annual cheerleading sleepover. Riley is determined to bring her team to victory at regionals until a serial killer starts picking off team members one by one.

The show premiered in Los Angeles in 2015, and ran Off-Broadway from February 2019 to April 2019.

We Are the Tigers contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Farrah, to the point that she fills her water bottle with alcohol to drink during cheer rehearsal.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Reese is the outcast of the group, and was left off the squad because of her weight. In "Captain of the Team," she reveals the others have bullied her since second grade.
  • Arc Words:
    • "Riley is a wallflower"
    • "Our words are pure inspiration, years of creation, changing the nation!"
  • Bittersweet Ending:
    I'm sick of happy endings
    Cause I don't think they exist
    I think we're always gonna be a little pissed
    I think we're always gonna be a little sad
    I think we'll do the best we can
    If that's not great, then that's not bad
  • Black Comedy Rape:
    It's a thing you can't see happening in your life
    But some girl named Tasha just made me her wife
  • Black-and-Grey Morality: most of the Tigers exclude girls like Reece for her weight or Farrah for her alcoholism, and decide to frame Mattie, a sweet Freshman girl they got blackout drunk, for murder. But the villain of the musical is a serial killer.
  • Break the Cutie: Mattie after the rest of the squad decides to accuse her of killing Chess, Farrah, and Clark, and she gets arrested.
  • Brick Joke: Annleigh asking if Riley has a landline ends up coming back in the second act.
  • Cruel Cheerleader: played-with. The Tigers are capable of being unkind to Reece and Farrah, but are also very capable of being vulnerable, intelligent, and brave.
    • Taken up to eleven with Riley in the end, who murders two of her fellow cheerleaders because she thought they were holding the team back.
  • Cute and Psycho: Riley, a peppy former-wallflower who murders two girls.
  • Dead Person Conversation: "Move On" is a musical version of this, where Farrah, Clark, and Chess ask Kate and Annleigh not to forget them.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Eva shows up in the first act despite not being important until the second.
  • Easily Forgiven: Mattie decides to rejoin the Tigers after they get her sent to Juvie by framing her for murder.
  • Foreshadowing:
    Countdown 'til someone gets hurt
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Farrah, which is even referenced after she dies. She's tolerated mostly for being Annleigh's stepsister.
    Reese: Cairo hated Farrah.
    Cairo: Farrah hated Farrah too!
  • Ghost Song: "Move On" is sung by the murder victims.
  • Never Speak Ill of the Dead: Averted after Farrah's death.
    Cairo: I think it's safe to say, and we can probably all agree
    That anyone who met Farrah could have killed her, easily
  • The One Guy: The entire cast is female, except for Annleigh's boyfriend, Clark
  • Only Sane Man: Eva is the only girl who doesn't have a dark secret or insecurity, beyond wanting to earn money to help her parents out and go to college. "Shut Up and Cheer" lampshades this, along with the fact that, for all her common sense, she still signed up to be here.
    In a room full of people
    who have clearly made bad choices
    I may be the stupidest one here.
    'Cause having heard the stories
    and knowing all the drama,
    I still said I'd join the Murder Squad this year.
  • Pom-Pom Girl
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "The Breakdown" The song starts with Riley trying to motivate the others to get back to practicing, getting more and more frantic until she pulls a knife on the other girls.
  • Stepford Smiler: All the girls hide a mess of insecurity and self-doubt underneath varying levels of smiling and cattiness. "Don't Even" and "Before the Breakdown" are all about this.
  • There Are No Adults: No adults are seen during the course of the show.
    Reese: Has anyone ever, like, seen Riley's parents?
  • Token Minority: Eva is mentioned by the others as being less privileged.