A Venus Flytrap Thirsty for Human Blood Haunts a “Little Shop of Horrors”


Maria Lemos

Senior Grace Lowell as Audrey and sophomore Ben Terry as Seymour perform an emotional scene in front of the plant.

Maria Lemos, Staff Writer

The dark auditorium began to glow red, and the performers unveiled a humongous Venus flytrap. 

“Feed me! Feed me!” groaned the plant as it came to life.  

This past weekend, the theatre department brought the 1986 special, “A Little Shop of Horrors,” to the stage with the company of a six-foot-tall carnivorous plant.  

This flesh-eating beast of a prop was completely student-built and marked the theatre’s comeback after COVID-19.  

“This is the second time I’ve directed this show, but this one is most definitely on a larger scale,” said drama teacher Cory Kelly. “John really went above and beyond.”  

Senior John Jones was the artisan responsible for constructing the plant. He was also the puppeteer who brought it to life and left the audience speechless. 

The plant started off as a 24-inch plastic model, which then progressed into a bigger fabric model Jones made. The final model was the six-foot metal contraption.  

“When the last model of the plant came out, I thought ‘Wow, this is insane,’” said junior Sri Srinivasan, who saw the show opening night.  

Freshman Ugo Nwakanma was very impressed at how everything was made by fellow students. 

“The set and the plant was just so cool,” he said. 

Although the plant proved to be a showstopper, the construction deemed to be tedious.  

“It was a difficult process. It broke quite a few times,” said Jones. “We had to improve so much.” 

It was about four months of constant fabrication. Jones would pull everything apart and then put it back together again just to change it, he said. 

Jones started working on the plant around October and had been tinkering with it up until the day of the premiere.  

“It looks good now, but that’s after everything we did,” said Jones. 

The jaws of the beast open to the fullest extent. Sophomore Ben Terry as Seymour is inside, chopping away at its throat. (Maria Lemos)

This monster of a plant has not only sparked the attention of the assemblage, but it blew up on social media, too.  

“We’re famous on TikTok because of it. There’s like 1.7 million views of me just pulling the bar up and down from inside the plant,” said Jones. 

Now, this video has been watched over 2.2 million times. 

However, Jones is not the only one who should be held accountable for dropping the jaws of the audience.  

Sophomore Rayna Doniparthi was the voice actor of the plant. 

Doniparthi and Jones come out of the puppet at the end of the show. (Maria Lemos)

“The voice actor inside the plant was literally amazing. I don’t have any other words to describe how amazing,” said Srinivasan. 

Although Doniparthi had been in a production that allowed her to voice-act, this was the first time her skills were presented in the school’s theatre. 

“I feel like because I didn’t have to be on stage, I could be more free,” said Doniparthi. “It was fun getting to manipulate my voice.” 

The hours upon hours of construction to fabricate such an elaborate prop and Doniparthi’s powerhouse of a voice made for an impressionable experience for viewers. 

“We want this to be the ground level standard for whatever comes here after,” said Kelley.