‘Little Shop of Horrors’ to Bring Laughs, Shrieks to Southeast


Image of the Little Shop of Horrors poster.

For more information about the play, please visit the production page on the River Campus Web site. Buy tickets online atImage of the Metrotix Logo


Sept. 16, 2009 – Southeast Missouri State University’s Department of Theatre and Dance is scheduled to perform “Little Shop of Horrors” Sept. 30- Oct. 4 at the River Campus.  Performances take place in the Donald C. Bedell Performance Hall at 7:30 p.m. on Sept. 30- Oct. 3 and at 2 p.m. on Oct. 4.

The hit Off-Broadway musical is one of the longest running shows of all time.  “Little Shop of Horrors” is surprising, funny and mildly scary.  The show premiered on July 27, 1982.  The book and lyrics were written by Howard Ashman and the music composed by Alan Menken.   This production contains some adult language.

The musical features a failing flower shop, Mushnik’s Skid Row Florists, which gets turned upside down when a florist shop employee buys an unusual plant.  The plant attracts more customers to the flower shop, but it needs fresh human blood to survive.  It keeps growing until it becomes dangerous to everyone.  The employee soon discovers it’s from outer space, and it wants world domination.  Composer Alan Menken’s music includes “Skid Row,” “Somewhere That’s Green” and “Suddenly Seymour.”  The unique story line interlaced with comedy and catchy songs is sure to entertain audiences.

To complement the production, Southeast’s Horticulture Club will be selling plants in the lobby prior to the show and during intermission.

Southeast’s faculty and staff worked on this rendition of “Little Shop of Horrors.” It is directed by Dr. Kenneth Stilson, professor of theatre and dance at Southeast. Judith Farris, artist-in residence for musical theatre, is the vocal director. Joseph Mason, musical theatre instructor/accompanist, is the music director.  After having worked for eight years with the famed Northshore Theatre Festival in Massachusetts, “Little Shop of Horrors” represents Mason’s first show at Southeast.

“He will be the rehearsal accompanist, arrange the members of the band/orchestra, work with Judith (Farris) on tempos, conduct and play the piano for the show,” said Rhonda Weller-Stilson, chair of the Department of Theatre and Dance. She says the Department of Theatre and Dance, in the past, has partnered with Southeast’s Department of Music in filling this role.

“We have always had a great collaboration with the music department, and they have fulfilled this role for us many times,” she said. “However, with the growth of both programs and the increased demands in the areas of musical theatre and opera, we really needed this permanent position in our department. We are thrilled to have him on board, and we believe he will become a part of an already strong collaborative team.”

Hilary Peterson, instructor of theatre and dance, is the choreographer of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Jeff Luetkenhaus, assistant professor, is the scenic designer and technical director, and Dr. Phillip Nacy, assistant professor of theatre and dance, is the lighting designer.  Christina Vitale, a student, is the costume designer. 


Tickets may be purchased at the River Campus Box Office, located in the Cultural Arts Center, 518 S. Fountain St., weekdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., or by calling (573) 651-2265. Tickets also may be purchased at any MetroTix outlet, online at http://www.MetroTix.com, keyword “Little Shop,” or by calling toll-free: (800) 293-5949.

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