Saturday, May 7, 2011

In the Wings: Little Shop of Horrors. Meet Aaron Strand.

Aaron Strand plays Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors, the fifth and final production of the 2010-2011 MainStage season at Civic Theatre of Greater Lafayette. The book and lyrics are by Howard Ashman and the music is by Alan Menken.

Question: Why did you want to be involved with Little Shop of Horrors?
Aaron Strand: Seymour probably is one of the greatest roles that I could ever play: he is a short, insecure little dude. I came into auditions knowing that I really wanted to play the role. I thought it would be so much fun because I knew it would fit me so well.

Q: What is Seymour like?
A.S.: Seymour is not a bumbling idiot; he's just an insecure guy who has little self-confidence. He's never been a success at anything – he's been either mediocre or poor at everything. He doesn't have the confidence to tell the woman that he loves that he loves her. By the end of the show he is confident, he makes decisions and follows through on them.

Q: What leads to this growth?
A.S.: He sees the woman he loves, Audrey – played by Jessa Dodds – being abused by her boyfriend. That takes him over the top. And then he's also influenced by an alien plant that tells him, "Grow up. Get some guts." And so takes things into his own hands.

Q: What is it like rehearsing a musical?
A.S.: It's different for me with this show because now that I've graduated college, I'm a working professional. During the day, I work and at night I've got rehearsals. I have to find time to study lines and listen to the music. But Laurie Russell, the director, is a very patient person. She motivates us to work really, really hard at rehearsals to get stuff done.

Q: What will an audience most remember about this show?
A.S.: Every single person plays their role amazingly well. Everyone fits their role 100 percent. The audience will say, "That show was cast so well – everyone was terrific!"

Little Shop of Horrors will open Friday, May 13 and run three consecutive weekends through Sunday, May 29 at the historic Monon Depot Theatre at the corner of 5th Street and North Street in downtown Lafayette. Friday and Saturday evening performances will begin at 7:30 p.m.; the Sunday afternoon performances will begin at 2:30 p.m.

For more information about the show or to order tickets, call Civic Theatre's office at 765-423-7529 or visit Civic Theatre's website.

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