“Little Shop of Horrors” will see both live and livestreamed audiences

Matthew Boccella, Staff writer

This spring, the Archbishop Carroll Theatre Society will perform ¨Little Shop of Horrors,¨ its first musical of the 2020-2021 school year. 

The opening day for the play is April 24 and the final show will be May 2. The shows will be held in the auditorium, the usual venue until the COVID-19 pandemic forced the school to pause business as usual.

The shows will be performed at 7 p.m. on April 24, April 29, April 30, and May 1. Matinees will be 2 p.m. April 25 and May 2.

A big change is that the musical will be performed in front of a live audience in the auditorium. Last year’s spring musical was cancelled because of fears that having people in the auditorium would cause the spread of COVID-19. ACTS did not stage a fall musical because of similar concerns. Instead, ACTS held a fall festival, which was a dramatic and musical talent showcase presented outside to thwart the virus’ spread.

Concerns about the virus remain, so only 325 people — or 25 percent of capacity — is allowed into the auditorium for each performance of the “Little Shop of Horrors,” according to Mrs. Allison Papantoniou, assistant principal for student affairs. The auditorium’s maximum capacity is 1,300. Tickets are free for students and faculty but students and faculty must sign up in the Office for Student Affairs (Room 219). Whatever seats remain after students and faculty sign up will be available for purchase at $15 per seat, Mrs. Papantoniou said.

The show will also be live streamed. The tickets for streaming will be sold on ShowTix4u.com. The link to buy tickets for the stream is: https://www.showtix4u.com/event-details/49790

ACTS member Sarah Hurd said she is thrilled to be performing a musical in front of an audience again.

¨We’re super excited because we will be able to have a live audience and it will also be live streamed,¨ Hurd said. ¨We have been rehearsing every week since February and we’re about to enter tech week. Tech week is the last week of rehearsals before the show opens. Where we have dress runs with music, lighting, and costumes and everything!¨

In addition to reducing the size of the live audience and offering the performance via streaming, ACTS has made some other changes because of the pandemic.

¨For this year, one of the biggest changes we made to accommodate COVID was to double-cast.¨ said ACTS Director Meghan McNamara. ¨All of our lead roles are double-casted in the event that a student has an exposure or becomes ill, there is a built-in backup for them.  We have the “Audrey 3” cast performing April 24, 25, and 29 and the “Audrey 4” cast performing April 30, May 1, and 2. We have not double-casted roles in the time I have been with ACTS and it has certainly been an adjustment.  However, double casting also allowed more students an opportunity to have a leading role after not having a traditional show in the fall.  Luckily, we are able to have 25 percent capacity in the auditorium as of April 4, so we are able to have 225 people live and in-person at each show. ¨

Whatever the accommodations, cast member Jessica Flores is just happy to be back on stage.

¨I love it!” Flores said. “I think it’s so much fun and it’s really nice to finally be back doing shows after COVID.”