BY ANNISTON WEBER
The Hays Community Theatre has kicked off auditions for the production “Little Shop of Horrors.”
Artistic director, Jenni Rajewski, said this musical is fun for viewers and cast members alike.
“It’s a story about what happens when we get what we think we want and learning that what we think we want isn’t always what we need,” she said. “Think Cult B-Movie meets The Twilight Zone. It’s funny, entertaining, suitable for just about everyone.”
Max Befort, the music director for “Little Shop of Horrors,” said he encourages community members of all different backgrounds to audition or be a part of the production in any way they can.
“We are looking for the talent that you can bring to the show, and musical theatre background is not a required factor when casting,” he said.
Auditions are currently ongoing until April 15. Interested individuals are asked to create and submit a video of them performing the audition materials provided on the HCT website.
Even though auditions are virtual this year, both directors said they would be willing to accommodate individuals who are not able to virtually audition.
“In this exciting world of Covid, the production team thought this was the best and safest way to hold a large audition,” Rajewski said. “That said, we are more than willing to accommodate anyone who either isn’t able or isn’t comfortable doing video auditions. We are also holding live, in-person callbacks on April 18.”
As of now, the rehearsal schedule and format are not “set in stone.”
“We may be face-to-face, try a hybrid approach, or host rehearsals through Zoom,” Befort said. “The decisions regarding in-person rehearsals or Zoom will be decided by the production team. A scenario where this could occur would be if there were a surge of Covid cases in the county or town, or for convenience if there are cast members who are from out of town.”
Rajewski said she is excited to be a part of this production since performing arts has taken a major hit during the pandemic.
“These theatres have sat dark with their equity lights beckoning for us to come home and I am so ready to be back,” she said. “The arts have so much to give to a community, and the beauty of art is that it is fluid. If we can’t perform live, we find other ways. I am just excited to see people on the stage, to see an audience enjoy the show. The best part of doing ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ is that it is something everyone knows, but every time you put it on stage it’s new and different and fun. The music is upbeat, the storyline is ridiculously funny and the characters are all over-the-top amazing.”
Befort said he is “cautiously optimistic” about the possibility of doing an in-person show.
“When the pandemic struck, these places were no longer being used,” he said. “It’s a coming home experience. Music and theatre has been a place of comfort and returning to this is a blessing and gift. The arts have a wondrous power to give to the community, the strength and power of the arts is that everyone can find beauty within it. I’m excited to see the joy and laughter that the performers will bring to the stage, and my hope is that the audience will find joy and laughter from our cast members.”
Rajewski said that she hopes those who do not want to audition will consider getting involved with the show in other ways.
“Volunteer to help with the backstage production and come see the show,” she said. “However you chose to be a part of ‘Little Shop of Horrors,’ come support HCT and all the arts programs.”