Bring on the Sex, Drugs and Rock 'n' Roll --
CSU, Chico to Present "Green Day's American Idiot"

Publicity Photo

"Bring on the sex, drugs and rock ’n’ roll, please!” — New York Times

CSU, Chico’s Department of Music and Theatre will stage the two-time Tony Award-winning musical, American Idiot, a play crafted after Green Day’s punk-rock album that embodies the band’s high-octane persona.

American Idiot will be performed for the very first time in Chico Tuesday-Saturday, Oct. 10-14, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 15, at 2 p.m. in Harlen Adams Theatre.

Tickets are available at the University Box Office; call 530-898-6333.

Director Matthew Miller, Department of Music and Theatre faculty member, described the musical as, “suggestive, abstract, vibrant and full of anarchy.”

Having won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album in 2005, lyric writer Billie Joe Armstrong couldn’t resist a partnership with director, Michael Mayer, to turn the multi-platinum, punk-rock album, American Idiot, into a musical.

Originally written by Armstrong, American Idiot focuses on three lost souls — Johnny, Will and Tunny. Following the characters as they search for the meaning of life, the plot thickens as Will gets his girlfriend pregnant, Tunny joins the military and Johnny has a run with drugs and love.

After its debut at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009, American Idiot made its way to Broadway’s St. James Theatre. The musical opened April 20, 2010, and closed, 422 performances later, on April 24, 2011. 500,000 people viewed American Idiot on Broadway and it raked in a profit of nearly 40 million dollars.

American Idiot set designer and Department of Music and Theatre faculty member, Brian Redfern, is creating an eye-catching, industrial stage aimed at CSU, Chico students and community members. This “concept musical” will be framed by metal staircases, scaffolding, red brick and graffiti. According to Miller, “most of the color in the show will come from vibrant hair and over exaggerated makeup.”

The actors’ rugged, denim and leather-heavy costumes will come from an outfit “menu” created by costume designer and Department of Music and Theatre faculty member, Mallory Prucha. To keep a feel of authenticity, Prucha is allowing the actors to pick from a combination of different articles of clothing based on what they feel matches their personal style best.

To encourage the “rock concert” vibe of the set and costumes, music professor Dara Sholz will direct a student rock band performing on stage, alongside the actors. The band will play every song from the album American Idiot, a few songs from Green Day’s next release, Century 21, as well as one song composed specifically for this play, titled, When It’s Time.

American Idiot is not for the faint of heart or suitable for anyone under the age of 13.

Tickets, at $15 adults, $13 seniors, and $6 students and youth, are available at CSU, Chico’s University Box Office, 530-898-6333, online at, or at the door.

Harlen Adams Theatre is located in room 144 of the Performing Arts Center on Chico State’s campus. For those who need special seating accommodations, please call 530-898-6333. More information is available online at the School of the Arts' Facebook page,

Photos and more information


Story by Ellen Falltrick, School of the Arts Publicity Assistant
Poster by Victoria Barnes, School of the Arts Graphic Designer


American Idiot director Matthew Teague Miller is an assistant professor at CSU, Chico. He heads the Department of Music and Theater's Musical Theatre program. Since coming to Chico two years ago, Miller has directed all the fall and spring musical theatre productions, including The Addams Family, Into the Woods, and an extended run of Reefer Madness. Most recently he directed a successful production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying in Laxson Auditorium.

During the summer months Miller serves as producing artistic director of the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, a professional summer theatre in Clinton, Iowa. Professional directing credits include work at Clinton Area Showboat Theatre, Lincoln Theatre Napa Valley, Timberlake Playhouse, Triad Stage, and others.

As an actor, Miller spent three years touring the country with the original Broadway production of Les Miserables, where he worked under Tony Award-winning director Trevor Nunn and Tony Award-Nominated director Jason Moore.

Miller received his MFA in directing from University of North Carolina, Greensboro and his BFA in musical theatre from Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. He is a member of Actor's Equity Association.

In Spring, 2018, Miller will be featured in a concert with CSU, Chico's Low Brass Choir. He will also direct the 2018 Spring Musical in Laxson Auditorium, Avenue Q.

To learn more about CSU, Chico's musical theatre program, contact Miller by e-mail.