CSUB feeds Audrey II with ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ showcase

Courtney Park, Photographer

The cast of “Little Shop of Horrors” rehearses “Skid Row” on Thursday, Oct. 19, 2022. Photos by Courtney Park / The Runner

Congratulations are in order for the theater and music department at California State University, Bakersfield, for their phenomenal presentation of the off-Broadway hit: “Little Shop of Horrors.”

Gissela V. Zelaya, Maya Blackstone, and Gabriel Abboud in CSUB’s Fall 2022 performance, “Little Shop of Horrors”, on Oct. 19, 2022.

“Little Shop of Horrors” has been enjoyed by the masses for over 30 years. Originally written and directed by Howard Ashman, with music by Allen Menken, “Little Shop of Horrors” has continued to remain popular in the hearts of many since its release in 1982. It is no question why director Mandy Rees chose this classic for CSUB’s Fall 2022 showcase.

I had the pleasure of speaking with director Mandy Rees, who expressed that she has enjoyed working through not only the challenges that “Little Shop of Horrors” has provided for the actors and actresses this semester, but also the lessons it has taught them. Not only are the musical performances captivating and fun to watch, but the themes of comedy, sci-fi, horror, and romance provide something to enjoy for everyone in the audience. The students of the CSUB acting department each brought their own flair to beloved characters like Seymore and Audrey on the stage and have clearly put in the work it takes to create a worthwhile show. Not only did the actors nail their lines, but they also put hard work into the set.

Molly Jiron as Audrey, and Gabriel Abboud as the shopkeeper, Mr. Mushnik in Act I of “Little Shop of Horrors,” on Oct. 19, 2022.

Considering the show is centered around the bloodthirsty, ever-growing plant, Audrey II, it was vital to have great teamwork when puppeteering the large plant. Rees explained that the movement of the plant provided a challenge for the actors due to the size. However, with the help of four students, the timing and manipulation of the set provided a tricky, but valuable lesson for those performing. The play ran from Oct. 20-22 and Oct. 28-29 at 7:30 p.m. There was an additional showing at 2 p.m. on Oct. 30.