The off-Broadway musical produced by the Molalla HIgh School Theatre group opens March 9 at MHS

MHS - One of four posters created by MHS art students to publicize the upcoming MHS musical presentation of 'Little Shop of Horrors'The Molalla High School Thespian Association is preparing for its last mainstage show of the season, the musical, "Little Shop of Horrors."

The show will run March 9, 10, 11 at 7 p.m. nightly and a Saturday matinee at 2 p.m. at MHS Auditorum.

This musical will feature elaborate scenery, a student orchestra, puppetry and lots of buy-in from various departments in the school.

"Little Shop of Horrors" began as a 1960 Horror Comedy film directed by Roger Corman. He was challenged by a friend to produce a full movie in two days, which Corman was able to do by using leftover sets from another recent film before they were torn down. The story, about a nerdy florist shop assistant, is an adaptation of the Faustian genre. In order to win the love of the girl he admires, Seymour agrees to feed blood to an evil plant. As the plant grows and Seymour becomes more rich and successful, the plant's demands get larger, leading to a dark conclusion.

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken adapted the story into a very successful Off-Broadway musical, the success of which on both the stage and the 1980j's film adaptation led them to work on Disney films, beginning with Oliver and Company, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin.

Logistically, this musical is a huge undertaking, incorporating seven plant puppets of various sizes, several series of quick-change costumes (30 seconds or less), as well as the normal challenges of producing a play. We lost two weeks of rehearsal time because of the snow, which means we have to get the same amount of work done, with 1/4th less of the production time.

As always, the Molalla Theatre Association likes to put students in positions of leadership whenever possible. Freshman Emma Baton is in charge of creating the gory special effects, as well as the 1950's make-up design, which includes an old-age make up. Junior London Chaffin, is a student costume designer tasked with creating half of the costumes. In a partnership with our CTE department, Mr. Keechle's Intro to Fabrication and Construction students, Zach Brisendine, Kolby Maben, Berkeley Olsen, Casey Brant, and Casey McGuire, are re-engineering several puppets and building a fire escape for the set.

Calvin Golden designed and built several set elements; Isach Shipman serves as the lighting designer and sound board operator. Sammy Hester, Jonathan Paulsen, Gabbrielle Moist, and Tiffany Guillen make up the stage management team. Taylor Shapland is the properties master. The show stars Dominic Baurer as Seymour, Diana Sanchez as Audrey, Calvin Golden as Mushnik, Anthony Ash as Orin, Sophia Cortes as Crystal, Casey McGuire as Ronnette, Jennifer Chavez as Chiffon, and Analiz Wickham/Marshal MacDonald as Audrey II.

There were four outstanding graphic design student projects, resulting in four posters being used in promotion for the show. Jessica Coy's winning students are Mason Wood, Madison Taylor, Amanda Seward, and Vince Brown.

Several teachers have stepped forward to assist in the production. Avon Fischer and Jackie Sawyer are building several costumes from scratch. Art teacher Alissa Transpent more than 40 hours building a replacement puppet. Tim Friesen is the vocal director, and Matt Farris will conduct a student orchestra.

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