MHS production of 'Little Shop of Horrors' opens this week
When drama/ELA teacher Clyde Berry and the rest of the Molalla Thespian Association decided to put on a production of the classic musical 'Little Shop of Horrors,' they knew it would be a challenge.
Much of that challenge came in the way of delays due to weather and Share the Love events, but they also had to spend a significant amount of time searching for old props, puppets, and building the set itself. The cast and crew spent much of last weekend at the high school building, painting, and rehearsing to get ready in time for the show that opens Thursday, March 9.
"We started off three weeks behind schedule because of all the snow," said stage manager Sammy Hester, a senior at MHS. "So not only were we behind, but when we did get in, it was right in the heart of Share the Love so we lost about four rehearsals, and we love to support it, but it made it so rehearsal time was even more limited."
This production is unique because it involves all aspects of the arts department at MHS; the skillful and committed band is performing all of the music, the choir lends their amazing voices, the arts classes helped paint sets, design posters, and built some of the smaller puppets, and the school's Intro to Fabrication and Construction class helped build a number of the set pieces, including a handmade fire escape.
"It really gives that vibe and that life," Hester said. "It's crazy awesome to be able to say how truly student-run this is; it's also been a little bit of a stressful situation because every department runs their own way, and it's been a little interesting watching things come together."
Hester said she's looking forward to seeing the energy and life come to fruition once the play is fully under way.
The play is very fast-paced, which calls for numerous quick turnarounds by performers: many times, performers must change entire costumes in less than 30 seconds multiple times per song.
Sophomore Tiffany Guillen's job is to make sure the wardrobe changes go smoothly, a task that is no easy feat.
"First of all it takes a lot of practice, we usually do it after we do the runs and sometimes we stay as late as 9 p.m.," Guillen said. "We practice changing out of outfits into the next ones, and at first it will take like three minutes, and we're like 'There's no way we can do this in 30 seconds,' and then after ten times, it'll be like 'Bam,' we've got it."
Guillen said she's looking forward to seeing everything come together and seeing everyone run in costumes. She said her favorite scene involves the pain-inducing dentist Orin, played by Anthony Ash.
Audience members are in for a surprise, however, as the play will use the original ending from the off-Broadway show instead of following the popular 1986 film adaptation.
The play begins March 9 and runs through March 11 every night at 7 p.m. There will also be a matinee at 2 p.m. on March 11. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students, and can be purchased at the high school's office or at the door.