Last month, the Fairfield Prep Players theatre group put on its first live production since the fall of 2019. The theatre group performed Little Shop of Horrors in the Pelletier Quad — the outdoor performance also being a first — to a live audience from May 13-15. Below is a reflection about the experience by Theatre Director Megan Hoover as well as a photo gallery and a link to the video of the performance.
Unexpected Gifts: Reflecting on Little Shop of Horrors
By Megan Hoover
We spent a lot of time this year talking about the unexpected gifts of the pandemic — how the adapting and reimagining we had to do often brought new life to our work. For Prep Players, being forced to find new ways to make theatre certainly did just that.
Moving a full musical production out of doors was no easy feat. We knew it would be a special challenge to bring the technical elements to life; our approach to lights, sound, and set had to be fundamentally different from what it would have been indoors, and we adjusted accordingly.
The unexpected gifts in mounting our spring production of Little Shop of Horrors came in the less obvious ways it forced us to be creative. Outside in the Quad, we had none of the familiar amenities of our indoor theatre spaces. There was no red curtain to hide behind; there were no walls to enclose us in a true blackout. How, then, could we get our actors onto the stage, carry out a basic scene change, or roll out an eight-foot, man-eating-plant puppet without spoiling the sight gag
The Prep Players, always willing to take a leap, explored and experimented together, and their inventiveness led to some of my favorite simple moments. The world we created encompassed more than the skid row flower shop tucked into the corner between Arrupe and Berchmans. It extended beyond to include the way these characters moved within their world, wheeled in a chair, or brought on a telephone. As much as we invested in resources to bring this production outdoors, the students invested just as much in resourcefulness to bring it all to life.
When it all came together on opening night, the energy in the Quad was yet another unexpected gift. We were reminded of how vital it is to participate in a shared experience; to hear Mr. Cashman or Mrs. Clark laugh and laugh louder as a result; to join one another on our feet for an ovation; to have an actor look right in our direction and acknowledge it. We had been hungrier for it than we perhaps had even realized. So many people came up to me that week to thank me for the first live theatre they had seen in over a year. What an honor and a gift for us to have been a part of its return.
View the full show on our YouTube page.
Visit the Fairfield Prep Flickr page to download high resolution images from the musical.
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