Playhouse 395 gears up for ‘Little Shop of Horrors’

Kristina Blüm Justice
Staff Writer

Coinciding workshop will teach ins and outs of theatre

As Playhouse 395 prepares to hold auditions for its upcoming spring production of “Little Shop of Horrors,” Inyo County’s theatrical performance company will concurrently have a free Orientation to Theatrical Production workshop for those who would like to delve deeper into the magical world of theatre.
“This is a free internship for how to direct a play and put one on,” said Martha Reynolds, a lifetime actress and veteran Playhouse 395 director. “We will put the participants with people who can show them how to do the work so they understand why we do things and how it all connects.”
The first class will coincide with the first audition workshop for “Little Shop of Horrors,” which will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 22, at the Bishop Union High School theater.
From there the participants will rotate through each aspect of the production, attending one rehearsal per week and attending each performance.
Some of the topics that will be covered in the workshop will include how to pick a play, holding auditions, how to cast a play, conducting drills on warm ups, basic acting, giving stage directions, ways and means of telling a coherent, enhanced story using creative staging, imaginative use of space, creating interest with lights and sounds, and staging essentials such as set design, use of props, costume acquisition and leadership.
Reynolds recently traveled to Chicago, where she attended a class on how to teach people how to put on a community theatre performance. The class was led by people who adapt full musicals and plays to be junior plays.
Playhouse 395 has been going strong since it was resurrected in 2006 with its first production, “The Sound of Music.” Riding on the smashing success of last spring’s production “Mamma Mia,” Reynolds said the theatre group is incredibly excited for “Little Shop of Horrors.” Though it will have a small cast, the volunteers already are scheming about bringing the cult-classic musical – and its man-eating alien plant – to life in Bishop.
Over the years, Playhouse 395 has attracted some incredibly talented people who help behind the scenes with the musicals, Reynolds said, but they always need volunteers to help put on the production, from costume seamstresses, to stagehands, to lighting and sound, props, makeup and musicians.
Anyone who is interested in auditioning for “Little Shop of Horrors” is encouraged to come to the audition workshop on Jan. 22.
Those who would like to participate in the Orientation to Theatrical Production workshop, contact Reynolds at (760) 873-8695.