Lancaster – The spring and summer is going to be full of humor, music and fun on the Ohio University Lancaster Campus. That's because Theatre Director Victor Jones has announced the spring and summer theatre seasons and theatre-goers will likely leave these shows laughing or humming a tune.
Both of the shows are musicals. Little Shop of Horrors is scheduled for six performances the last two weeks of April.Over the summer, The Producers will be performed on the Wagner Theatre stage. It's currently scheduled for late July and early August.
"Little Shop of Horrors I have always loved, loved, loved.I loved the music, the 50's style music, which runs throughout the whole show," said Jones. "It was always a musical I wanted to do."
The show is about a florist who sees the opportunity to have success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who wants to be fed. Auditions for Little Shop of Horrors will be held Monday December 10 and Tuesday, December 11. Auditions are only open to Ohio University Lancaster students, faculty and staff.
But, those in the community that want to take part in a play are welcome to audition for the summer production of The Producers.Auditions will be held March 29 and 30 and are open to anyone at OUL and anyone in central Ohio who wants to take part.Last summer's community theatre production was Chicago: The Musical and it was a big success.
"Everyone said 'How are you going to top Chicago?' Well, you have to have a big name and I decided we should do The Producers," said Jones. "Last year, the show I selected (Chicago) was a female-driven show and this year I wanted to pick a male-driven show, so there would be opportunity for everyone."
The Producers is a Mel Brooks's musical about a down-on-his-luck theatre director who works with a timid accountant in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world's worst show. However, the plan backfires.The show is a sentimental and personal pick for Jones.
“My mother loved musicals. I was a caregiver for both of my parents for more than 10 years full-time and after my father passed away, The Producers came out,” said Jones. “My mom loved just sitting and watching musicals all day long. It came on and that’s one of my fondest memories is her and I sitting there watching it and it would just make her smile and giggle because Mel Brook’s humor was so over the top.”
But Jones still has the fall season to finish up before he can look ahead to Little Shop and The Producers. The OUL Theatre just finished its run of Almost, Maine.
“It was a magical experience, very very good,” said Jones. “It was the most attended play that we have done since I have been here.”
The theatre’s holiday show is yet to come. An encore performance of It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play is scheduled for December 5 – 9. Nearly all the actors who performed in the show last December are returning and Jones said the show is a family-friendly, holiday treat.
"The show was such as success last year.I said we have to do it again," said Jones."It really gets you in the holiday spirit."