Inside Story: Audrey II



Don’t feed the plants! or you will wreck Cole Otto’s (12) back.  In this year’s musical Little Shop of Horrors, written by Howard Ashman and Composer Alan Menken, there is a giant, man-eating venus flytrap.  Four separate plants show the plants’ gradual growth through the show, and actors and a crew work to bring the plant to life.


Otto puppeteers the first, third, and fourth plant. The first plant is a hand puppet with a hole at the bottom. Otto thinks this human-head-sized it is the small but one of hardest plants, “since I’m below the [set], I can’t rely on sound, so I have to memorize the timing of the entire scene.”


The third puppet, which is about the size of a desk, is Otto’s favorite puppet.It rests on a large plant pot, which Otto to sits on when he performs.


“I feels like I can put the most character into it, just because my whole body can move it,” Otto said.


The fourth plant is the hardest because it is the biggest and heaviest; it’s as long as the benches in the cafeteria and has vines coming out of it.


“It is super hard to feel it and give it personality,” Otto said.


The second plant, handled by Adam Hamer (11), is about the size of a backpack.


“It has been quite the experience,” Hamer said. “I’ve had fun doing it.”


For this plant not look like someone’s hand, Hamer has a jacket with a hole on left side and a left arm filled with stuffing velcroed to a fake hand.


Dylan Cohen is the voice behind Audrey II, hidden from the audience by standing near the pit.


“I much prefer being hidden,” Cohen said. “Then we had the realization that I needed to see Cole,” Cohen said,“because we are like two parts of a whole.” Cohen likes that “it was so alive [in the pit].”
Overall, this was a new experience for the actors because it helps them learn to act in a new way, whether that be inside a plant puppet, dancing with the puppet or being the voice of the puppet.