Seymour, played by Luis Rivera, appears to be excited as Audrey II starts to come to life in the upcoming Seward County Community College production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Performances of the musical are scheduled to run Thursday, Friday and Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. in the Showcase Theater. Doors will open nightly at 7 p.m. for the show. Courtesy photo

ROBERT PIERCE

 • Leader & Times

 

This Thursday, Friday and Saturday, students in the Seward County Community College Drama Department, along with some local actors, will bring to life the story of a hapless floral shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh.

“Little Shop of Horrors” is a rock comedy horror musical Director Jamie Francis describes as super fun. The musical has been performed in Liberal in the past, and it was actually the first musical Francis was involved in during her time in theater. This is just part of why she thought it would be great for this year’s spring musical at SCCC.

“I thought it was really fun to bring it back for my first musical directing experience,” she said. “It’s a musical that’s really versatile when you don’t know the actors you’re going to have coming in.”

Recent spring productions at SCCC have included last year’s “The 57th National Mathlete Sum-It – The Almost All-Girl Math Musical” and 2022’s “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.” Francis said while these were great, she wanted to feature some of the school’s newer students.

“All of the ones who usually do it have gone elsewhere,” she said. “It’s a musical that really lends itself to new performers, where you can fill a lot of different roles with different people.”

With “Little Shop of Horrors” being her first experience in theater, Francis said the musical holds a special place in her heart.

“It’s been fun seeing things that are similar but different from when I did it in high school to watching other people bring what they have to the different characters,” she said.

This is Francis’ second time in the director’s chair, as she headed up the fall SCC production of “I Hate Shakespeare.” She said while that play was fun, it is more of a comedy, and “Little Shop of Horrors” is a much bigger project.

“This is taking more time than that did,” she said. “I’m not only the director. I’m the choreographer and set designer for this. I am tired, but it’s been a really fun experience.”

Despite the fatigue from taking on so many tasks with the spring production, Francis said it is still a fun experience.

“It’s something I can put my creative mind into,” she said. “I really like having an outlet.”

Francis said the SCCC Drama Department is small at this time, but she is hoping after this year, it will start to grow again. She added the spring musical, like many at the college, has several community members, as well as some high school students amongst its cast.

“We have a few where this is their first show,” she said. “We have a couple who have done several other shows, but a lot of them haven’t done a lot of shows here on this stage. They’ve done it with high school or other things, but they haven’t done here. It’s really fun seeing the new talent coming to the stage.”

Francis said the mix of actors has worked quite well for the upcoming production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”

“Some of them have taken the younger ones under their wing and helped them with the character development, but all of them have been excellent,” she said. “Even if they’ve had no experience, I feel they’ve buckled in and learned who their character is.”

Francis said practices have gone well thus far.

“I’d say we’re about 85, 90 percent there,” she said. “After this week, I think we’ll be ready for an audience. It’s taking time as shows do. We’re running the show now, and we’re getting to where they’re starting to see the flow of the show, how it’s supposed to go and how their character development happens.”

With less than a week before opening night, Francis said the cast will definitely be ready when the curtain opens on Thursday night in the Showcase Theater.

“I definitely think so, especially when we start adding the microphones and the band,” she said. “We just have our piano player. Those effects are really helping as they start getting more costume pieces, and they’re going to start doing makeup and hair. As more things are coming in, it’s helping them gained that energy and feel they’re actually in the performance instead of just going through the motions on stage.”

Though every production has its challenges, Francis said for this year, the challenge has primarily been scheduling.

“Everybody’s really busy,” she said. “It seems everybody is really involved with church or the community choir, or they work or they’re students. Mixing all of that together to make sure people can be here when they need to, that’s been a fun thing.”

Francis said she could not be more excited for this year’s SCCC spring musical.

“There’s some funny moments,” she said. “Even though I’ve seen it over and over again, I laugh every single time. I find myself, instead of reading along with the script and seeing what they’re missing, just enjoying the show.”

Performances of “Little Shop of Horrors” will take place Thursday, Friday and Saturday night starting at 7:30 p.m., with doors opening at 7 p.m., in the Showcase Theater at SCCC.

Tickets for the show are $10 and can be purchased by contacting Jenn Player at 620-417-1451, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or in Office No. H116 at SCCC. Students can get in free with their student ID.

For more information, call Francis at 620-417-1103, Player at 620-417-1451 or Dr. Magda Silva at 620-417-1462. Francis said more information will be posted online prior to the production as well.

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