The Show Must Go On


Matthew Petryshak, Production Editor

This year’s spring musical is ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, a musical by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. This musical was done at Lompoc High in 2003 when Mrs. Barthel was a new director here. She wasn’t going to redo the show this soon but this year came with a lot of restrictions.

During an interview with Mrs. Barthel she said, “The list of shows available for full remote production was pretty small, and several of the shows on that list were ones we have already produced in recent years (Annie, for example).” Other shows were able to be streamed but still needed in person production. So while trying to find shows it was difficult to find some that are fully remote and are able to be streamed. Another problem that she brought up was the shows being ones that LHS has done in recent years. As she said one of them was Annie that was done 5 years ago. So while scrolling she happened upon ‘Little Shop of Horrors’. It has a small cast which was great because the turn out for auditions this year was what it typically is. What also helped in her decision was the encouragement from students, specifically senior Jacob Hensley.

Jacob Hensly is a senior this year and plays the roles of ‘Mr. Mushnik’, ‘The Voice of Audrey Two’ and ‘The Voice Not Unlike God’s’. Previously said in the article, auditions weren’t the biggest turn out LHS Drama has ever had, so Mrs. Barthel had to have a few actors playing multiple roles. Jacob had been asking Mrs. Barthel for the past four years to do the show. He let me know that he had “wanted to do the show ever since [he’d] heard about it in third grade.” So when they found it on the list he was more than happy to advocate for it. After his pitch to do the show he was waiting for the confirmation that they were actually going to do it, and he said he was “beyond thrilled” when Mrs. Barthel confirmed it.

Not all involved in the production are veterans to Lompoc High’s Drama department. Amanda Anderson is new to not only LHS drama but also to LHS itself. She plays ‘Chiffon’, one of the Urchin Girls. When asked how she feels about the play she told me “I really like the show, I love the songs and the characters.” While everything is different this year, the enthusiasm and dedication have not changed. From experienced to LHS to inexperienced everyone is dedicated to make this year’s musical the best it can be.
When Mrs. Barthel chose this show she made sure that it could all be done virtually. No in person needed. So this year’s rehearsals have looked a little different than previous years. There are less rehearsals all together and more time practicing and perfecting things on actors’ own times. Mrs. Barthel makes sure to give them everything they could need, obviously the script and recordings of the songs to make sure everyone does the first session of learning it together. It’s pretty unanimous that this is the best way to do the show. Zoom fatigue does set in, but that is why Mrs. Barthel has decided to do fewer rehearsals so no one gets burnt out while doing it.

Even with school reopening, they still stay virtual. They are working hard and working through whatever obstacles may come their way. ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ will be streamed, the details of the streaming not yet known, but when they are Mrs.Barthel and the Drama department will make sure to announce it!