Upon their arrival in school, students were surprised to see posters of a staff musical around high school. Before the end of last year, Broadway’s sci-fi classic Little Shop of Horrors was set to be performed in Parker Hall after the break. Students were excited to celebrate an evening with loud laughter and enthusiastic applause. But little were they aware that the actors were yet to memorize their cheesy punchlines and songs.
“On Monday this week, I still didn’t know all my lines,” Mr. Ed Beavan, Social Studies teacher, who played the role of Mr. Mushnick, said.
While pulling off the grumpy character was not too hard for Mr. Beavan, he did emphasize on needing help from his wife, who was also a part of the production, in connecting the song lyrics to the performance on stage.
“You have to do two things at the same time. You have to move around and do things. You really need to know your lines well,” Mr. Beavan said while commenting on how one had to multitask on stage.
Audrey, played by Ms. Swati Shrestha, Head of College and Career Counseling, was the lead love interest of the show. “I really liked how Audrey lived in her own world and wanted a better life for herself,” Ms. Shrestha said. However, she too did not have her lines memorized until a “week [before the play].”
But none of this was reflected in the actual performance as the staff managed to put it all together with their daily after school run-throughs in Parker Hall.
After working on the show, many staff members, who were a part of the musical, also empathized with students who often take part in drama productions, acknowledging the amount of rigor that goes in performing during the final week of rehearsals.
The musical was put together in merely three weeks. But in order to balance out the pressure of classes and the musical, most teachers had planned their schedule far ahead and tried to focus more on student-driven assignments, so they could find more time after school and devote it to the play.
While recognizing all the hard work that went into putting the show together, Ms. Leaf Elhai, English Teacher and Director of the play said, “seeing the progression [and] going from the very beginning when nobody knew any of the songs, to the end when it just looked really polished and actors were having fun on stage and AV made everything look phenomenal and sound really good,” was the best part about organizing the production.
Moreover, the quirky plot was actually not the secret behind the roaring cheers from the crowd, but the roles that the staff played marvelously. While Mr. Robin Carter, Head of Science Department, played the role of an evil dentist and Audrey’s remorseless partner, sang himself to death with nitrous oxide, the audience burst into laughter at the sight of their science teacher’s condition.
The plot was nowhere close to what many expected, and it managed to stress on some painful and perplexing issues such as being in an abusive relationship and losing loved ones.
The most rewarding aspect of the play for everyone involved was the relationships that they built while working together.
“I got to know people I have never talked to before,” Ms. Shrestha said, pointing out how difficult it is to get to know dorm parents or other faculty members as they barely have any interaction, if not for drama productions.
Archita Aggarwal is the co-Editor-in-Chief of The Woodstocker
Edited by Janvi Poddar
Featured image by Keya Sanghavi