This fall, the Northwestern Theatre department will be producing the horror black comedy musical, “Little Shop of Horrors.” Some might recall the 1986 film musical directed by Frank Oz, or the less popular 1960s film. In all versions, an impoverished, disesteemed florist associate discovers a new genus of plant life which turns his life around at a grievous cost. This musical production will be NW’s second time bringing forth this story.
NW Alumni, Megan Weidner, will be directing “Little Shop of Horrors.”
“It was definitely strange to be back in the theater at first,” Weidner said, “but it feels like coming home. As a student, I spent a lot of my time in the theater and loved working on all the shows. Ultimately it has been lovely working with NWC students again, and the department still has an amazingly strong community of support that is incredibly welcoming.”
NW develops a musical every other year, with the last musical being “Bright Star.” With musicals, there are unique challenges that arise.
Sierra Tumbleson, the stage manager for “Little Shop of Horrors”, expressed her joy in the rehearsal process. “These past two weeks (tech week and then opening weekend) have been my favorite part. It has been the most stress I have experienced working on a show at college so far, but it has been the most rewarding,” said Tumbleson. “Our designers are outstanding for this show, and I cry every single night when I watch it from the booth because of how beautiful it is and how proud I am of my friends.”
Jett Skrien, light designer, experienced some challenges as well. “I was challenged in those new design elements to ensure they would work perfectly and create the right vision,” Skrien said. “It was difficult to implement something brand new, but I’m extremely proud of the look that was created and how well it integrates with the show.” For some students, this is their first production at NW.
“My first show on campus has been a lot more rigorous than what I ever thought it would be,” stated freshman Jack MacGregor. “It takes an abundance of passion to have multiple long rehearsals while also attempting to keep up on homework. It’s been exhausting, but the entire process helped me remember why I love theatre and want to keep pursuing it. It’s also been fun getting to work with and learn from such talented upperclassmen!”
For other students, this show will be their last.
Grace Spencer reminisced about her time at NW, “The shows I’ve done throughout college these past five years have been, truly, quite large, significant parts of my life. It is both sad and rewarding to know that this show and this role – one that has become very dear to me – will be my last here at Northwestern. It forces me to look forward and think about how I want to perform to be a part of my life after graduation, which gives me lots of excitement and expectancy for the future.”
“Little Shop of Horrors” is a double-casted show. These casts are colloquially named Jack Parr and Hedy Lamarr. You can catch the Jack Parr cast on Saturday, November 6 at 2 p.m., and the Hedy Lamarr cast on the same day at 7:30 p.m.
Tickets are on sale at nwciowa.edu/tickets.
“Anyone coming to see the show needs to look forward to the simple fun of the show,” said MacGregor. “A man-eating plant, romance, a psychotic dentist and rockin’ music? Who wouldn’t want to see that! It should be a time to relax and experience an out-of-this-world story.”