MAHOMET — “Theater is meant to be live ... to involve your audience,” says Ellen Ericson, producer of the Mahomet-Seymour Drama Club’s production of “Little Shop of Horrors.”
With the opportunity for live theater unavailable due to the pandemic, though, the high school will instead make its performances of the horror-comedy musical available via streaming.
“We’ve been fortunate we’ve been able to provide the experience we have for our students,” Ericson said.
A videographer will record the play on three different nights and will meld the best sections of each performance together.
Practices began in late February, and the cast is raring to get the show going.
“They’re ready for a performance,” Ericson said. “It’s been a unique experience for them. Because of COVID, we have a small cast this year to be able to abide by social distancing” and other regulations.
The cast, which normally would swell to 50 to 60, will feature only 18 students. Everyone will be using masks specially designed for singing.
“They’re a little different than a regular mask,” Ericson said. “It’s a little wider. There’s a little more air movement within the mask. It protects the singers from one another, but it’s better for the production of singing.”
The downside: You can’t see facial reactions.
There have also been fewer weeks to prepare, and with all the regulations, planning for the production has been trickier.
Despite that, Ericson said she believes “it’s a really strong show. The kids have done a great job.”
Heading the cast are Kyle Widener as Seymour, Miranda Morrissette as Audrey, Liam Henry portraying Muschnik and Kade Kinnamon as Orin the dentist.
“Little Shop of Horrors” is directed by Chris Taber. Nicole Kuglich is music director, and choreographer is Maggie Kinnamon.
The show will be streamed at 7 p.m. May 6-9 at showtix4u.com/events/mahometseymourdrama. Tickets are $12 per device for individuals, $40 for a family pass for four or more people, and $10 for students and staff.