Senior Julia DaSilva, playing Comic Sans, attacks sophomore Ian Madsen, playing Times New Roman, during a Font Club rehearsal (Rachel Alexander/Salem Reporter)
If you’re looking to surprise, confuse or engage in a strong debate about the much-maligned Comic Sans font with your Valentine’s Day date, the McNary High School Font Club has the event for you.
The club is screening their original musical production, “Font Club Musical,” Friday, Feb. 14 at 2:30 p.m. in McNary High School Room 236.
It’s the latest event for a group of roughly a dozen students who came together over a shared desire to write parody and puns about typefaces. Their current project is to remove Comic Sans from the sides of Salem-Keizer school buses, a task district officials say would cost $50,000 to $60,000.
The musical is pre-recorded, though club members are contemplating doing a live action version as the recording is screened, similar to live screenings of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, club president Julia DaSilva said.
Each student portrays a font in the musical. The plot centers around Wingdings, portrayed by freshman Aiden Wilson, who’s bullied by other fonts but eventually finds his place.
The production includes five musical numbers: “The Comic Sans Song,” “Windings’ Lament,” “The Times New Roman Have Changed,” “The Arial Rap” (a “diss track,” DaSilva said) and “I Shot Sans Serif.” Many are accompanied by kazoos.
Admission to the musical is free. Instead, patrons must pay $5 to leave the room following the screening, or $10 to leave early.
The runtime is about 22 minutes, DaSilva said.
Club members have publicized the event around McNary and DaSilva expects at least her mother to attend.
She said the club hasn’t yet heard back whether the district would actually change the school buses if the club raises the money, but she figures it can’t hurt.
“If we have a bunch of money when we go in to talk to them it’s more likely,” she said.
News tip? Contact reporter Rachel Alexander: [email protected] or 503-575-1241.