Student Musical Kicks Off Season

News Release Date: 

Five Nights on Campus announces its 2011-12 season beginning with Little Shop of Horrors

Five Nights on Campus, Ohio State Marion’s successful performing arts and entertainment series, kicks-off  its 17th season of quality family entertainment Thursday, October 13, and Friday, October 14, 7:30 p.m., in Morrill Hall Auditorium, with the first student-led musical production in campus history, Little Shop of Horrors.

Little Shop of Horrors is one of the longest-running off-Broadway shows of all time.  This affectionate spoof of 1950s sci-fi movies has become a house-hold name, thanks to a highly successful film version and a score by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken. 

With Halloween just around the corner Little Shop is a perfect fit for the season.  This show tells the story of a down-and-out skid row floral assistant, who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic plant with a mysterious craving for fresh blood.  Soon "Audrey II" grows into an ill-tempered, foul-mouthed, R&B-singing carnivore who offers him fame and fortune in exchange for feeding its growing appetite, finally revealing itself to be an alien creature poised for global domination.

The cast is primarily made up of current Ohio State Marion and Marion Technical College students.   Austin King plays the awkwardly lovable floral shop assistant Seymour Krelborn, and recent Ohio State graduate Kali Creasap plays his ditzy blond love interest Audrey.  Matt Meade is cast in the role of the floral-shop-owning curmudgeon Mr. Mushnik.  Theatre newcomer Jherek Cummings plays the comedic, yet dark, role of the dentist Orin Scrivello.  Students Emily Belle, Paige Denman, and Elizabeth Moore serve as the show’s smooth R&B vocal narrative guides, the Ronnettes, while Lisa Douglas, Timothy Lutz, and Julienne Wiley round out the chorus.

At the center of the action is a series of 4 different sized puppets representing the man eating plant and star of the show Audrey II.  Marion resident Pat Chitwood serves as puppeteer and manipulates the puppets’ physical movements on stage as the plant grows into a gargantuan green monster.   Seasoned vocalist and actor John Garnes brings the voice of the character to life.  Little Shop of Horrors is directed by community theatre veteran Scott Persinger, who teams up with music director Wm. Thomas Richards, III, and pit/practice pianist Nathan Haubert.  Ben Moore serves as stage manager, and Wayne Rowe serves as the show’s producer.  Rounding out the production team are Kathy Blakeslee, costume design; Tom Danner, sound design; and Doug Greashaber, light design.  Special thanks to sound production sponsor Gunder/Hall & Folk Funeral Directors.

Special thanks to our production sponsors, Marion Flower Shop for their sponsorship of Audrey II, Gunder/Hall & Folk Funeral for sponsoring the sound production, and the Star Theatre in Upper Sandusky for lending out costumes.

Based on the film by Roger Corman and screenplay by Charles Griffith, Little Shop of Horrors was originally produced by WPA Theatre (Kyle Renick, Producing Director).  It was originally staged at the Orpheum Theatre in New York and directed by Howard Ashman.  Little Shop of Horrors is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI), 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY, 10019.   

Tickets for Little Shop of Horrors are available in advance by contacting the Ohio State Marion Office of Community Relations, Maynard Hall, Room 240, or by calling 740-725-6341. Tickets are also available at the door while they last. Ticket prices are $15 general admission, $10 students and seniors (age 60 and up). Discounted tickets for Marion campus faculty and staff are not available for this production.

The remainder of Ohio State Marion’s Five Nights on Campus season lineup will also engage audience members in a musical journey through multiple genres, eras, and cultural styles.  The Rolling Hams will bring their popular blues, funk, and classic rock sound to Morrill Hall Auditorium in November.  Award-winning classical concert pianist Warren Mailley-Smith is the featured performer in March 2012.  Simple Gifts, a two-woman instrumental show that covers ethnic folk music, lively Irish jigs, down-home American reels, and haunting Gypsy melodies comes to campus in April.  The season ends with The Ohio State University Chorale & Symphonic Choir.

The mission of Five Nights on Campus is to provide exceptional and diverse cultural and educational opportunities and to encourage the community to be a part of campus life.  The series, which began in autumn 1995, offers an outstanding blend of talented local, national, and international performers. 

Season tickets are now on sale, and tickets for individual performances are available in advance or at the door.  Rates for season will remain unchanged for the 2011-2012 year.  Season ticket prices are:  $50 for scarlet and gray patrons; $35 for adults; $30 for seniors; $28 for Marion campus employees; and $15 for students. 

Five Nights offers a number of benefits to season ticket holders including:  recognition as a Five Nights on Campus benefactor in all performance programs; significant reduction in the price of tickets; and complimentary tickets to series extras.   

With the exception of Little Shop of Horrors, individual performance ticket prices are:  $10 for adults; $9 for seniors; and $4 for students.  Marion campus faculty and staff, which includes all Ohio State Marion and Marion Technical College personnel, are eligible for $8 discounted individual performance tickets. 

Five Nights on Campus is made possible through the generous support of the following community-minded businesses:  ArcelorMittal Marion; ClearChannel Radio; The Herald, Inc.; Frontier Communications; Marion General Hospital; Marion Technical College; Morral Companies, LLC; Sims Bros. Inc.; The Marion Star; The Ohio State Bank; Whirlpool Corporation, Marion Division; and Wyandot, Inc.

Five Nights on Campus 2011-2012 Performance Schedule
Little Shop of Horrors
Thursday, October 13, and Friday, October 14, 2011, 7:30 p.m., Morrill Hall Auditorium

The Rolling Hams
Thursday, November 10, 2011, 7:30 p.m., Morrill Hall Auditorium

Warren Mailley-Smith
Thursday, March 15, 2012, 7:30 p.m., Morrill Hall Auditorium

Simple Gifts
Thursday, April 12, 2012, 7:30 p.m., Morrill Hall Auditorium

OSU Chorale and Symphonic Choir
Thursday, May 10, 2012, 7:30 p.m., Morrill Hall Auditorium

For detailed information on upcoming Five Nights on Campus performances, visit or call 740-725-6340.