Albion student was unseen star of Little Shop

Posted 18 November 2015 at 12:00 am

By Abigale Wells, Albion High School student correspondent

Photos by Abigale Wells – Audrey II gets ready to eat Nick Arieno, who plays Mr. Mushnik. Connor Zicari is inside the plant, making it move. Elijah Van Epps, who plays Seymour (left), also starred in “Little Shop of Horrors.”

ALBION – The Albion High School Drama Department performed its fall play, Little Shop of Horrors, on Nov. 6-7 to a large crowd in the Middle School Auditorium, and many in the audience were in awe of how the plant – Audrey II – came to life.

They wondered who played the plant and how the student made it seem so lifelike.

The student responsible for bringing Audrey II to life on stage was Connor Zicari. He had to play Audrey II at various stages of her development. Zach Shaffer was the voice of Audrey II. Somehow Connor and Zach made it all seem effortless.

“It takes lots and lots of practice,” Connor said. “The six weeks that we practiced, each second was spent trying to sync my movements with Zach’s voice.”

Connor Zicari uses a hand puppet to play Audrey II when it’s in a small stage.

All that hard work showed during the performance. The plant truly brought life to the stage.

There were many layers of material used in order to hide the actors that were devoured by Audrey II. The numerous layers caused excess heat inside the plant.

“One of the biggest challenges of this role is dealing with the heat and sitting still inside the plant for so long,” Connor said.

The plant would grow throughout the show in five stages of development.

Audrey II, in many ways, was the star of the show. Yet Connor was never seen by the audience, and that was fine by him.

“That doesn’t matter to me,” he said about public acknowledgement. “It’s fun being in the plant so I will take that over being seen.”