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“Little Shop of Horrors” Invades UGA Theatre for Season Musical

Little Shop_PromoImage

Athens, GA – UGA Theatre presents “Little Shop of Horrors.” Book and Lyrics by Howard Ashman. Music by Alan Menken. Directed by Daniel Ellis. Performances will be held in the Fine Arts Theatre on April 12-13, 17-20 at 8 p.m and April 21 at 2 p.m. The April 18 and 19 performances will feature ASL (American Sign Language) interpretation. A ticketed preview performance will be held on April 11 at 8 p.m. Tickets are $18, $6 for UGA students, and can be purchased at, by phone at 706-542-4400, or in person at the Performing Arts Center or Tate Center box office.  

Audiences are undoubtedly familiar with Little Shop of Horrors. The Faustian tale of Seymour Krelborn originated in 1960 as “The Little Shop of Horrors,” a B-movie directed by schlock icon Roger Corman. It was later adapted into an off-Broadway stage musical in 1982 by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. This led to what is arguably considered the story’s most renowned iteration, the 1986 Frank Oz film adaptation starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, and Steve Martin. For stage director Daniel Ellis, breathing fresh life into such a widely recognized property was no small feat. 

Ellis, however, is no stranger to reinvention of familiar material. In 2021, he and his creative team were awarded the prestigious Robert L.B. Tobin prize for their reimagining of the Gaetano Donizetti opera “The Elixir of Love,” which transposed the story from 18th century Spain to 1916 California. Examining the B-movie roots of “Little Shop,” Ellis chose to mine the various “invasion” plotlines that characterized those films, which often served as not-so-subtle allegories for the “Red Scare” of communism throughout the era. Applying this allegorical lens to “Little Shop” in the present day, Ellis set his sights on the tensions surrounding a topic at the center of America’s never-ending culture wars – drag performance.  

“Drag culture is about revealing truth through an unexpected exaggeration or reversal of gender expectation to challenge the limits of those traditional roles,” said Ellis. “The past twenty years of more ‘mainstream drag’ has also facilitated a broader, adjacent conversation of gender identity that has been liberating for some and infuriating for others.”  

Ellis hopes that incorporating drag in this context, mirroring the “Red Scare” films of the 50s, will disarm the misplaced fear of the art form by contextualizing it in within something familiar. “It’ll also just be a great time at the theatre for all audiences,” said Ellis.   

“This production has given us a wonderful opportunity to partner with other Franklin College units,” said department head Julie Ray. “The department of plant biology plans to redecorate the Fine Arts Theatre lobby on opening weekend so audiences will get see the arts and sciences collaborating in a wholly unique way.”  

Two tie-in events will take place surrounding the show’s opening. On March 25, film studies professor Christopher Sieving will introduce a screening of the 1956 B-Movie classic “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” in room 400 of the Fine Arts Building at 6:30 p.m. Prior to the April 19 performance, a panel entitled “Thinking Green: Botany, B-Movies, and Body-ody-ody" featuring faculty from plant sciences, film studies, and women’s studies will take place in room 400 of the Fine Arts Building at 6:30 pm. This panel will be moderated by “Little Shop” dramaturg Sloan Elle Garner. 


Seymour Krelborn – Alex Bass 
Audrey – Brie Hayes 
Orin – Garrett McCord 
Audrey II - Tristen Sledge & Elliot Smith 
Mushnik, U/S Seymour – Noah Walker 
Urchin, U/S Audrey II – Kennedi Nichols 
Urchin – Taya Tenacity Taylor 
Urchin – Bella Smith 
Audrey II Puppeteer – Sidney Phillips 
Urchin U/S – Ariel Ford 
U/S Urchin, U/S Audrey – Reagan Simmons 


Academic Professional (Opera/Musical Theatre)

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