Right now puppetry is a big deal in the theatre world and Parkway Playouse is on-trend with this season’s selection of The Little Shop of Horrors.
“I can’t think of another time,” says director Jenny Martin, “and that goes way back to when I was in high school. No. I’m pretty sure this is the first time we’ve ever done puppetry like this.”
The level of collaboration is unprecedented, too. Penland School of Craft artists Kerstin Davis and Stacey Lane, plus props queen Haven Jenkins, several students and hoards of volunteers worked for months building the several different sizes of puppets that are used during the musical. And that was long before rehearsals ever started.
Martin enjoys working with small casts, such as the one in Little Shop of Horrors, but she notes, “The tech for this show is complicated!” There are different sizes of puppets, a rotating stage, quick changes, light cues… “and it all has to be finely tuned.”
“The cast is extremely talented,” she says.
Ask anyone who has seen the play and they’re likely to echo those same sentiments (if they can stop humming the catchy tunes). When talented artists collaborate, the results go beyond the sum of the parts–from the artistic puppet creation, to fine direction, to the complicated tech, to the vocal harmonies and choreography, and the heart and soul poured into the characters by each actor– Little Shop of Horrors is not to be missed.
Parkway Playhouse wants to thank, again, those artists and volunteers who devoted so much time to the creation of a truly spectacular plant monster!
Tickets available online or by calling the Box Office at (828) 682-5285