BEACON FALLS — Woodland Regional High School’s theatre company hopes to scare up some laughs with its latest production.
The theatre is putting on three performances of “Little Shop of Horrors,” by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman, next weekend.
The play is a dark comedy about a florist’s assistant that helps grow a carnivorous plant. Woodland fine arts teacher Sean Lewis, who is directing the play, said there were a lot of plays that he had thought about doing this year but wanted to challenge the students.
“I wanted to do something that would give a lot of performers the chance to take on challenging characters,” Lewis said.
Lewis said although “Little Shop of Horrors” does have scary aspects, it is a fun play with B-movie camp. As the theatre has been rehearsing for the show, Lewis felt the performers have not only had fun with the play, they’ve grown with it.
“They’ve risen to the challenge of their different characters,” Lewis said
Senior Eric Gomez is playing the part of Seymour, the florist’s assistant.
“I really love playing him,” Gomez said of Seymour. “You can really see yourself in him, no matter who you are.”
The role of Audrey, an employee at the flower shop and Seymour’s love interest, is being played by junior Karlee Vogel. It’s a role Vogel has embraced.
“I think she’s hilarious,” Vogel said of Audrey. “She’s kind of dumb. She is fun to play.”
Junior Catherine Pelkey’s role maybe the most challenging, it’s one that is heard, but never seen.
She’s playing the voice of Audrey 2. Vogel said the challenge in the part lies in emoting everything in her voice rather than physical movements.
“It’s a challenge playing a character you never see,” Pelkey said. “You have to be very expressive with your voice.”
Although the actors have worked very hard, not everything has gone smoothly as the theatre prepares for opening night April 5.
Lewis said the main problem has been the weather. There were times when school was either cancelled or, if school was in session, all after-school activities were cancelled.
“When we have been able to rehearse, we have been very productive,” Lewis said.
Gomez, Vogel and Pelkey each described rehearsals as “chaotic.” However, they all felt the show has come together.
“We’re making a lot of progress now,” Gomez said. “We’ll be ready.”
They feel the production is definitely one that people should not miss.
“It’s great material. The music is exciting, and it’s hilarious,” Gomez said. “It’s just a great show. Everyone will love it.”
Vogel said that people will laugh so hard they will cry.
Lewis said anyone who comes to the show will be entertained by the incredible performances and absurdity of the script.
“It is worth it to come out, laugh and enjoy the antics on stage,” Lewis said.
“Little Shop of Horrors” opens April 5 at 7:30 p.m. with two shows April 6, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at Woodland Regional High School. Tickets are $10 and $5 for children under 12 years old. To reserve tickets, call (203) 906-3584.