The Smyrna High School drama department is taking a departure from the classical musical and heading down skid row with "Little Shop of Horrors" this weekend.
The story follows Seymour Krelborn, who becomes an overnight sensation following the discovery of an exotic new plant. Lovingly named after the co-worker he's smitten with, Seymour soon discovers the plant, Audrey II, has an appetite for something other than Miracle-Gro as it develops into an R&B-singing, man-eating monster aiming to take over the world.
Science teacher and fill-in drama instructor Timothy Sneeringer said that the show is perfect for anyone looking for a laugh.
"It is most definitely not meant to be taken seriously," said Sneeringer. "And, I think everyone will be shocked by the ending."
The production, completely student-run, will debut Friday night and features the acting talents of more than 25 kids, including senior Nick Marthaler, who will bring the idiosyncrasies and insecurities of Seymour to the stage.
Marthaler took time in between classes, rehearsals and homework to discuss his favorite scenes, the challenges and rewards of participating in a big musical and what audiences can expect.
Q Why did you want to be in your school's production of "Little Shop of Horrors?"
A Over the past several years, I have been involved in the drama club working on the sound and light crew as well as the stage crew. Going into my senior year I was elected as club president and decided to give acting a shot. I felt like the personality of Seymour was similar to my own, so, I tried out for the lead thinking why not. Much to my surprise I got the part.
Q So, you can relate to Seymour, then?
A I actually do relate to my character a lot. Seymour is an awkward shy guy that seems to be trying to find his way out of his normal boring life. This is very much like me; I can be very shy and awkward at times. After reading through the script, I knew that I wanted to go out for this part just because I felt like he was very similar to me.
Q What's been the most challenging part of rehearsals?
A Since I have never acted before this show, it was really difficult for me to get a feel for what it was like. At first it felt weird to have everyone looking at me and to over-exaggerate my movements. But once I understood what it felt like and I became more comfortable on the stage, I started to have a great time.
Q Challenges often lead to rewards, though. So, what's been the most rewarding part of rehearsals?
Page 2 of 2 - A The feeling that I get when something finally comes together. We spend long hours together going through lines and preparing the scene so that it look like we want it. When it finally comes together and locks in, it is the greatest feeling of accomplishment.
Q What scenes have you enjoyed doing the most?
A My favorite scene would have to be the scene that I have with Alex Stubbolo, who plays the dentist. Working with him has been a lot of fun. As we've blocked and rehearsed the scene, I have come to think that it looks the best and it's definitely one of my favorite to perform. I also really enjoy singing the song "Feed Me" with the plant, who is played by Caleb Wolf. I've had the most fun working and adding little things of my own to the part.
Q Any surprises for the audience?
A I think the audience will like the twisted plot. It is so different from what is expected and has sudden changes that will keep people guessing what's next. The dark plot is different from any other musical and the energy is great to watch.
Q Finally, why should people buy tickets to the show?
A We have put a lot of work into the play. The musical this year has been almost entirely student-run from start to finish. All of the students involved are enthusiastic and we all feel like we are really ready for everyone to see an amazing show.