The Little Shop of Horrors Is Coming!

Theatre Department Gears Up for Biggest Stage Production Yet

Stacy Esparza, Cactus Contributor

This fall, the Central Arizona College (CAC) theatre department will pull off one of the biggest stage productions in their the­atre history.

Under the direction of Pro­fessor John Owens and tech­nical manager and designer Jerry Deall, the student cast of the Little Shop of Horrors will be exciting audiences at the Pence Center the weekend of October 25th, 2014.

A musical based on the 1960 black comedy film by Roger Corman, features Seymour, a flower shop employee, who takes care of a plant who he names Audrey II, after the love of his life, but this plant isn’t like any other. This plant feeds off of a diet of fresh blood. The rest of the story, if you haven’t seen the movie, or the musical, will provide pure ex­citement and entertainment.

The stage version first ap­peared on Broadway in 1982 and the adapted screenplay made its theatre debut in 1986. According to Deall, the stage version will have a lot of similarities and differences from the film version.

Deall, a former CAC stu­dent back in the early 1980s, began his journey as a vocal music and acting major. As a student employed by the work study program, Deall learned a great deal about theatre and after switching to tech, even­tually landed a summer job in Iowa, which he feels launched his career. Deall went on to earn his Bachelors’ degree in Design Tech and Theatre in Missouri and returned to Ari­zona to obtain his Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Arizona, a degree he states al­lowed him to learn all aspects of running a production in­cluding costume, painting and makeup.

While attending the U of A, Deall continued his employ­ment with CAC working in the theatre department. After relocating many times, he re­turned to CAC 4 years ago to the position he has now.

All the productions performed at CAC are decided a year in advance.

Deall and Director Dr. John Owens, begin the process by sharing ideas and once ap­proved, Deall begins building it all from scratch, although some pieces will be modified. Originally CAC was going to perform Fiddler on the Roof, but was then changed to Little Shop of Horrors. Deall stated he was excited for this change and was ready to get to work.

For this production, a stage crew, under the direction of Deall, is in charge of building a set that Deall states is “mas­sive!” As the one in charge, he has trained all the crew and feels it’s valuable that he knows their abilities and strengths and that he runs his shop where everybody does ev­erything. Some of the crew is part of a work-study program and others are actual part-time employees. All are either students or former students of CAC. Deall states he has to work around their schedules and their personal lives, but most of the crew gets about 19 hours a week. One work study student I interviewed is Victor Flores. A CAC Biology major from Coolidge, Arizona, Vic­tor is enjoying his first semes­ter at school and his position as a theatre tech. “Learning new things and experiencing new things have been excit­ing.” He states he was equip­ment certified by Jerry and now he’s excited about seeing how the whole production pro­cess works. As a theatre tech, Victor will learn all aspects of theatre production including working the lights and build­ing the set from scratch. Jerry states “Victor started this se­mester on the work study pro­gram and he’s jumped right in with everyone else.” He contin­ues to praise him stating “he is doing a good job.”

As part of this production, Deall continues to add that there will be several Audreys and the last one featured in the show, will bring audiences to their feet. This production marks Deall’s fourth time cre­ating the show, but his first time at CAC. This production, from start to finish, takes Deall and his 9-man-crew six weeks, which is about average for a musical to be created.

Deall states “I’ve been doing this for a long, long time, over 20 years.” His excitement is overflowing with this pro­duction stating, “This time, I want to do this and this time I want to do all the little things I didn’t do in the other produc­tions.” He states he is ready to create an amazing Audrey II full of life and character.

Another exciting element of this production for Deall is his daughter, Laura, will be per­forming in her first production as a Doo Wop girl. We wish her all the best and I hope you all join me as we are enter­tained by Seymour, Audrey II and the rest of the wonderful characters. Deall promises there will be some special sur­prises in the show, as well as surprise cast members.