Little Shop of Horrors
Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman
Music by Alan Menken
Nevada Conservatory Theatre- Judy Bayley Theatre; December 2021
Direction: Keenon Hooks
Lighting Design: Catherine M. Pratt
Associate Scenic Design/Puppet Design: Whitney Lehn Meltz
Costume Design: Brian Hollander II
Sound Design: Santiago J. Sanchez & Aldair Callegas
Photography: Ian LaFountain
"Seymour, a meek flower shop assistant who pines for his co-worker Audrey. Seymour is thrilled to discover a mysterious plant, but when that plant turns out to feed on blood and crave world domination, things (literally) get messy." In this production, the director Keenon Hooks wants to highlight the human connections each character has with one another.
The lighting design for this production focused on the atmosphere around these characters. We as the audience know that Audrey II is from another world and tries to overtake the human race, starting with manipulating Seymour. Through research, an image of a psychedelic eye of reds, light blues, and dark blues caught the atmosphere being created. It gives us the gut-wrenching sense that something is not right. Combined with lower angled lighting positions than the rest of the plot, it will highlight the different world Audrey II comes from.
Outside of when Audrey II comes to life, lighting brought reality to life around Mushnik’s floral shop. To start, lighting showed the decline of the shop and the location on Skid Row. The exterior sign did not fully function, and amber tones shifted paint colors to show the dirt and decline of the shop. As the plot progresses and Audrey II starts to bring money into the shop, lighting shifted to show the renovation and changes. Ambers colors shifted to light blues and lavenders to compliment the paint elevations. The Mushnik sign became fully functional and new lighting in installed in the refrigerator unit to highlight upgrades and changes in the shop.
Each musical number brought forth a sense of heightened reality. Inspiration was drawn from the 1960s. Working with the director, a color palette was chosen for each song that related to the relationship and connections the characters have with each other. For instance, “Somewhere that’s Green” used lavenders, light ambers, and pinks of the sunset in the mountains. As Audrey’s relationship with Seymour grew, these colors shifted in saturation to being a sunset over the ocean in “Suddenly Seymour”.
In the end, Audrey II takes over the shop and world. Lighting increased in reds, light blues, and dark blues as Audrey II continued to grow and take over Seymour’s life. These red tones eventually took over the stage, showing the power and spread of Audrey II as she takes over the world.