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ESU Theatre Presents ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ for Homecoming Musical

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Emporia State University Theatre presents “Little Shop of Horrors” by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. Performances are scheduled for Oct. 26, 27, and 28 at 7:30 p.m. and Oct. 29 at 2:00 p.m. in the Karl C. Bruder Theatre, in King Hall.

The story follows Seymour, a down-and-out floral assistant who discovers a peculiar plant with a craving for human flesh. As the plant, Audrey II, grows increasingly demanding and dangerous, Seymour must navigate a web of moral dilemmas, all while trying to win the heart of his co-worker and love interest, Audrey. “Little Shop of Horrors” is a unique blend of comedy and horror with dark humor, outrageous characters and an electrifying 1960s pop/rock score.

“As I’ve told my cast and crew, I have a soft spot for this dark, comedic musical,” said Jim Harris, director of the production. “I was fortunate to play Seymour in my final high school production. Hearing the music and watching the scenes naturally brings back a flood of memories for me. It’s such a well-known musical and there’s a reason why it remains so popular.

“The characters, which can easily slip into stereotypes or caricatures, are more complex when we look deeper. Everyone can relate to feelings of worthlessness, dreams of betterment, and seemingly pointless struggle at times. We root for Seymour and Audrey and empathize with their challenges. I encourage everyone to see this production full of great performances, terrific spectacle, and wonderful music.”

Visit and scroll down to the “Little Shop of Horrors” event for additional information and to order tickets or call the box office at (620) 341-5256 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. on weekdays with any questions.

The show runs approximately two hours with a 15-minute intermission. Tickets will also be available at the Karl C. Bruder Theatre Box Office one hour before the show.

The cast consists of Jarrett Davis (Rossville) as Seymour Krelbourn, JoyAnne Boutz (Topeka) as Audrey, Logan Trask (Spring Hill) as Mr. Mushnik, Lucas DeJesus (Emporia) as Orin, Mrs. Luce and Wino #2, Rachel Shaffer (Moran) as the Voice of Audrey II, Austin Michaelis (Overbrook) as Audrey II Puppeteer, Kaitlyn Bartlett (Topeka) as Chiffon, Lexie Vega (Iola) as Crystal, Hannah Johnson (Potwin) as Ronnette, and Benjamin Ziek (Emporia) as Wino #1, Bernstein and Skip-Snip.

The production team includes Jim Harris (Director), Allie Thomas (Choreographer), Penny Speedie (Music Director), Production Stage Manager Evie Johnson (Canton), Assistant Stage Manager and Fly Operator Nicholas Thomas (Emporia), Assistant Stage Manager and Shift Crew Head Maya Lee (Wichita), Chris Lohkamp (Scenic Designer, Technical Director, Scene Shop Manager) Nic Wilson (Lighting Designer), Assistant Lighting Designer Ashley Hill (Olathe) Isabelle Nelson (Costume Designer), Matt Dempsey (Costume Shop Manager), Wardrobe Crew Head Vaughn Lolley (Topeka), Crafts Head Audrey Beebe (Olathe), Properties Coordinator Chloe Eubanks (Emporia), and Hank Osterhout (Sound Engineer).

The Scene Shop consists of Lewis Trotter (Abilene), Elizabeth Lowery (Reading), Carly Welter (Olathe), Jyck Green (Lenexa), Colin Newland (Wichita), Chloe Eubanks (Emporia), Kaitlin Werth (Wichita), Abby Tyler (Lawrence), and Eva Girard (Overland Park). The Costume Shop consists of Kaitlynn Tarrant (Crescent, Oklahoma), Audrey Beebe (Olathe), Elizabeth Clapp (Independence), Libby Hitchcock (Olathe), Luke Johnson (Emporia), and Ariam Mersera (Emporia). Front of House Crew consists of Ray Keady (Emporia), Krais Baker (Yates Center), Blake Hess (Garnett), Brooke Weiss (Andover), Emma Laskarzewiski (Emporia), and Atticus Grauer (Seneca).

About Emporia State Theatre

Emporia State University has one of the oldest and strongest theatre programs in the country, with well over 1,000 graduates. Many are working across the country in professional and academic theatre. At ESU, students can earn a BFA or BA in theatre, or gain certification to become a secondary teacher in the BSE program in speech and theatre. We are proud to be a part of the School of Visual and Performing Arts. ESU Theatre is an active participant of the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.