Audrey II: How an Inanimate Object Can Steal the Show


It is always exciting when new forms of entertainment show up on campus, and one that never lets us down is the Casady Theatre Department. From serious and complicated plays to witty and energetic musicals, there is always something fun in store for the whole family in the fall and spring. This year is no exception, bringing the Broadway show stopper Little Shop of Horrors to the Casady stage. To learn more about the show overall and its special technical features, I interviewed our technical director, Mrs. Kourtney McQuade.

Something that really sets this show apart is the implement of puppet props. When asked about this series of puppets, she described how four puppets would be in use, ranging from a small one the size of “a coffee can” operated from under a table on stage, to one operated by the lead Seymour, Noah Youmans(‘20), on his arm, to the third controlled by Sophia Armoudian(’21) while seated, all the way to one which will take up almost the entire stage that is “larger than life” controlled by Caitrin Coppinger (‘20).

McQuade further revealed that in order to facilitate physical motion, “there will be a lot of head bobbing as well as these roots on their legs so it will be able to look like Audrey II has some arms.” She also gave us the spoiler that the final puppeteer will even be able to walk towards the audience, noting that “the puppeteers will have to find a lot of sass in this musical!” An interesting part of the show is that in addition to the puppets on stage, the actual voice of Audrey II will be behind the scenes. Newcomer to Casady Theatre Samuel Jun (‘20) will be featured only by his voice during the show. This takes away the ability to use the act-react approach, but gives us new insight into how actors’ reactions will come.

This show uses much more “saturated colors” (like purples and dark greens) than past productions, allowing for the light to add a certain creepy glow not seen on the Casady stage before.  McQuade spoke of how “we get to pop all of the reds, greens and colors like that, so it will be a little darker than some of our other musicals. A lot more of a horror comic look.”

Finally, McQuade remarked on the great of amount of student involvement in this particular production, and its requirement for a big crew to operate all the advancements being used. “There will be a lot of things for our crew to do, [including] moving scenery, a drop off, and a projection screen.”

McQuade is excited to have the opportunity to involve so many students in an area like tech, which is often so hidden. No experience is needed, and it is a fun way to get involved in a new extracurricular activity. As we get closer to the actual date of the musical, it is super exciting to get to discuss the technological features of this amazing show, and get information about what is truly at the heart of a production. It seems Little Shop of Horrors is only scratching the surface of Casady Theatre’s tech innovation potential!