MVHS musicals return with “Little Shop of Horrors”


Photo by Naina Srivastava

Derin Degerli, Business Manager, Social Media Coordinator

Little Shop of Horrors, MVHS’s first musical in four years, ran from March 9 to 11. 

The show tells the story of a flesh eating plant’s rise to world domination and had over 100 student participants, including actors, tech crew and a live orchestra.

Photo by Naina Srivastava.

Junior Alara Sweet, who played a street urchin, said getting to participate in the musical was an exciting experience. 

“I was a bit nervous for the first show, it’s a very new experience for most people and there’s a lot of people in the show, who have never done any acting before,” Sweet said.

Preparation for the musical began in December, with auditions, costume sketches, choreography, working on vocal tones, and experimenting with different stage setups. 

“It takes weeks and weeks, but eventually it ends up looking like this and it’s kind of amazing because you never really quite know what it’s gonna look like,” Director Pancho Morris said.

The musical used the combined skills of Morris, Choir teacher Jill Denny, stagecraft teacher Mike Gurnari, and dance teacher Lauren Kato, who worked together to direct the show.

“It’s one of the biggest collaborations and it’s a collaboration that happens over four different [performing arts] departments,” Morris said.

When casting for the musical, Morris said he looked for “triple threats”: individuals who excelled in acting, singing and dancing.

“With a show like Little Shop of Horrors, dancing is not essential, it’s more of a singing and acting show,” Morris said. “Singing is not the most important thing, but you have to at least be able to check off that box. We look for the kind of people who can communicate a message.”

Photo by Naina Srivastava.

Morris said that he felt proud to take on the challenge of a musical in his first year teaching at the school, and credited everyone involved in the process for the show’s success.

“I couldn’t have done it, we [directing staff] couldn’t have done it without supporting each other,” Morris said.

Senior Ella Rasmussen, who played Audrey, said it was her first time in a musical since the pandemic started, and that she was grateful to “help bring theater back” to the school. 

“We had an awesome directing team and Pancho Morris really brought the stage to life and he brought everyone to life and I think that that was an awesome touch,” Rasmussen said.