Don’t Feed the Plants


Karissa Rocha- Atamas, Maggie Wiliams, and Gwyn Prothero play the plant, Aubrey 2, on Wednesday night adjacent to a desperate Seymour. The plant promises him anything he might desire if he feeds her.

Troupe 1096 is presenting Little Shop Of Horrors from Wednesday April 26th to Saturday, May 6th. The show will be the last of the school year, and for seniors, their last at DHS. By many counts, it is also the best of the year.
The show is a point of pride for the cast and crew. They have put sweat into it basically since Clue closed earlier in the year. “Something I don’t think people are aware of is the amount of time that goes into a show. It takes a really long time to get every detail perfect in a smooth running show,” Elyza Baumchen, who was a member of the ensemble, explained over email.

Ayana Glass, another senior and the stage manager and technical director, elaborated on this, “There are a lot of moving pieces that go into putting a show on and creating a fully realized production. The dedication from each individual student is imperative to the success of a show. Maggie Williams who is the plant and created the plant put in countless hours to put together the flytrap and the leaves for the plant. She designed her costume and the leaves’ costumes. I’m sure she could speak more into that process. William Reynolds was our props head and took charge with creating all of the smaller set pieces you see sprinkled around and creating all of our flower arrangements for the shop. Cruz Colvig, our scenic designer, put many hours into coming up with the concepts for the set design and executing the world that she wanted to create. Sheri Reeves, our trusty paint head, worked hard to bring Cruz’s vision to life by painting all of the specific patterns on the set. Sora Pearson our costume designer created all of the costumes from hand stitching to reheming. She can do it all. Alice Costa and Riley Sharpe designed all of the sound cues that you hear. Myself, Otto Casselberry and Quincy Terrill worked together to create a lighting concept that I would implement in the designs that you see on stage. There is a lot that goes into a show running smoothly and successfully every night. There are assistant stage managers backstage making sure actors are where they need to be and props are in their proper places. If I explained it all it would take forever, but that’s a little sneak peek into the inner workings of the show behind the scenes.”

“It’s my favorite show we’ve done so far because the music is so good and the set’s amazing, the lighting’s amazing, the acting is amazing. It’s really great.” Pride bubbled in Evie Powell’s, an assistant technical director, assistant carpenter, and assistant stage manager, voice when she explained it to me. “Cruize Colvig, who is our scenic designer, designed the set for Little Shop and she actually took it to ThesCon and it won best set design in the state or something.”
Elyza wrote, “My favorite part of the show is the finale, because it’s so much fun. I think the cast really comes to life in the last scene.” As an audience member, the meaning of the show really clicked for me during the finale.

Gwyn Prothero and Ginger Ashurst sing in the aisles during the finale of the opening night show on April 26th. The actors decked out in their plant costumes filled the aisles and stage during the last song to emphasize the spread of the plant.

In the final song, the plant has spread all across America and across the stage. From coast to coast, the events of the play repeat themselves as clueless Americans are tricked into feeding the plant. This, I believe, is the lesson of the play: Don’t feed the plants.

The first character to be eaten by the plant was the sadistic boyfriend of Aubrey, played by Ginger Auhurst. In my favorite part of the play, Aubrey’s boyfriend, Orin, is revealed to be a dentist by profession, which I found hilariously fitting. However, Orin took things way too far, he worked on his patients without anesthesia and was frequently strung up on laughing gas.

Calvin Marshall, Gracie White-Sandlin, Katelyn Bowie, Sora Pearson, and Lyric Rodriguez are featured in the song Dentist! In Wednesday night’s show. The song was comically appropriate.

The second character to be fed to the plant was Mushnik, who never held much love for Seymour. This sentiment took a drastic turn after Seymour became famous for growing the plant, he abruptly decided to adopt Seymour as his son for fear that Seymour would walk away and take the plant with him.

The third character to be fed to the plant was Aubrey, who wanted to secure her future by becoming a housewife. This life plan obviously requires a man, but she doesn’t believe herself worthy of one who could treat her right. This is clearly illustrated through dialogue before and after her relationship with Orin ends.

The fourth and final character to be fed to the plant on-stage was Seymour himself. He feeds the plant in hopes of attaining the things the plant promises to him, magazine covers, lecture halls, and a romantic relationship with Aubrey.

In all cases, the characters feed the plant literally or figuratively in order to chase their dreams and pleasures. Mushnik clearly loved Seymour only for the financial benefits he could reap from their relationship. Orin abused his patients and his girlfriend for his own psychotic pleasure. Seymour fed the plant all the other named characters before he was eventually consumed himself. And Aubrey was unable to see a future in which she is treated decently, the most she thinks to hope for is 50’s housewife status. She lets herself remain in the sacrificial circle long after opportunities open for her to save herself. In the end, allows herself to be eaten by the plant in hopes that after she is consumed and digested Seymour will take care of her.

As the plant disperses across the country and to trick others into feeding it by its false promises of satisfying her desires, it becomes clear that any dream that involves a final and complete sacrifice of self, whether of you or the people who surround you, is really a nightmare.