‘Little Shop of Horrors’ Qualifies for IHSTF


Lauren McGarr

Audrey (senior Riley Stroehmer) feeds Audrey 2, a carnivorous plant.

Hannah Thompson, Staff Writer

Cheering erupted from the members of the EHS drama club at their annual “Friendsgiving” as they received the news that their musical “Little Shop of Horrors” qualified for the Illinois High School Theater Fest at ISU for the first time since 2015.

“The energy was through the roof,” drama club vice president senior Anna Bruss said.  “Hearing everyone cheer and celebrate was such a great feeling!”

EHS Drama Department Director Ashley Melton submitted this year’s fall musical comedy “Little Shop of Horrors” to the Illinois High School Theater Festival (IHSTF) adjudication process in the spring, according to Bruss.

“When showtime came in November, there were three judges that came and sat through our Sunday matinee show and took notes and wrote critiques on both the performance and the tech aspects of the show,” Bruss said.

The judges talked to the actors and tech crew members after the show to learn more about the production of the musical, according to Bruss.

“Based on the notes that were given on each performance in the state they choose a select few shows that get to attend the festival, and because of the critiques, the board decided that we would be allowed to attend,” Bruss said.

Tech crew member senior Myles Murphey said the cast and crew were unsure whether they were going to qualify.

“Our group was split on the idea of qualifying,” Murphey said.  “Half of us thought we had it in the bag, and the other half thought we didn’t have a chance.”

Despite the uncertainty from the cast and crew, the production directors took the competition into account when designing the set, according to Drama Club President senior River Johnson.

“The technical director purposely designed the set to be easily disassembled and assembled since we will only have three hours to get the set ready for the show,” Johnson said.

Senior Benjamin O’Boyle said the set design was more minimal for this reason as well as the transportation aspect of the festival.

Transporting the set and equipment to Illinois State University will take two semi-trucks, according O’Boyle.

Leading up to the state festival in January, the crew plans to practice assembling and disassembling the set while the cast will rehearse the show.

“We’re doing rehearsals all next week where we take apart and put together the set and where the actors will run the show,” Johnson said.

Murphey is looking forward to taking the show to ISU.

“I am excited since this is a new experience for us drama kids to have.”