Little Shop Director’s Note

Bryan Schroeder
I am very excited to be given the chance to
direct such a fun production for the Putnam
County Playhouse. Little Shop of Horrors is
a comedy horror rock musical about a hapless
florist shop worker who raises a plant that
feeds on human blood and flesh, with music
in the style of early 1960s rock and roll,
doo-wop, and early Motown. All of those
auditioning will be asked to sing at least
16 bars of a song reminiscent of one of
those styles. The song may be from the
musical itself or from a different selection.
Auditioners will also be asked to read
excerpts from the script, as well as learn a
short dance routine. Click HERE to find the
audition form, readings from the script that
will be used at the auditions, and a short
musical signature from the show. One of the
reasons I love this show so much is because
it is a little corny, but has this incredible
script and music that asks actors to both
blend as part of a team but also show off
their acting and vocal talents when it is
time to be in the spotlight. As any director
does, I am looking for the best people to
fill these roles. I am always excited to see
fresh talent out at the Playhouse. I am
looking forward to seeing familiar faces and
new faces at auditions – performers who are
ready to take on what is sure to be a
rewarding challenge. Here’s to an excellent
journey “down on Skid Row.”

I particularly ask that everyone interested
in being in the show or working on it, read
the Author’s Note from the script:
LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS satirizes many things:
science fiction, ‘B’ movies, musical comedy
itself, and even the Faust legend. There will,
therefore, be a temptation to play it for camp 
and low-comedy. This is a great and potentially
fatal mistake. The script keeps its tongue
firmly in cheek, so the actors should not.
Instead, they should play with simplicity,
honesty, and sweetness-even when events are at
their most outlandish. The show’s individual
“style” will evolve naturally from the words
themselves and an approach to acting and
singing them that is almost child-like in its
sincerity and intensity….

Here are a few notes about what I am looking for at auditions:

Chiffon, Crystal, & Ronnette “Doo-Wop Girls” –
They must be strong, confident, and “soulful” in
everything they do, be it singing, conversing,
or dancing. These girls sing in 3 part harmony
throughout the entire show and also have various
solo parts throughout.

Audrey – Be careful with this read: think less
Lena Lamont and more Jersey Girl. (If you can
sing as Audrey at your audition that’s a plus as
well.) Audrey is the leading lady and she works
at Mushnik’s Florist Shop.

Seymour – He is pretty straight forward. I would
just recommend everyone take a cue from the
Authors Notes in the script. Seymour is the
leading male and he works at Mushnik’s Florist

Mr. Mushnick- The failed proprietor of Mushncik’s
Florist Shop. He is a (pseudo) father figure to
Seymour. May be done with or without a
stereotypical Jewish accent.

Orin – A dentist on Skid Row and Audrey’s sadistic
boyfriend. Orin is the most over the top character
in the play. He must be the man that everyone loves
to hate. There is a likelihood that Orin will play
several other “bit” parts in several other places
throughout the show including other males as well
as the editor’s wife.

The Plant/Audrey 2 – Audrey two is done from an
offstage microphone which means the actor must be
especially talented in communicating thoughts and
emotions through voice alone. The plant itself will
be manipulated by several puppeteers throughout the show.
He must have a strong, confident, “soulful” feel in
everything that he says and “sangs.” The voice of the
plant also plays a wino in the Skid Row number. 

Ensemble: Depending on the turn out at auditions and
willingness of auditioners, there is a possibility that
two ensemble numbers will be included; one at the
beginning and one at the end. 

Technical Assistance/Back Stage Help – This show requires
a great deal of technical work offstage. If you are
interested in helping, volunteers will be gladly accepted!
Optional for female auditioners: Because Audrey and the
Doo-Wop girls are so different in their vocal stylings, we
may ask you to sing a second song selection. This is not
required, but is highly recommended for those who are
interested in both parts to have a second song prepared.
Again, it would be at least 16 bars of a song in the style
that was not used in your original audition number.