Lim designs ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ set for Indiana Repertory Theatre

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A scene depicting Plant Puppet, from “Little Shop of Horrors.”

A scene depicting Plant Puppet, from “Little Shop of Horrors.”
 

Associate Professor of Theatre and Dance Czerton Lim, assisted by 2022 graduate Donald “Donnie” Woodard, a frequent collaborator of his, designed the set for the Indiana Repertory Theatre production of "Little Shop of Horrors."

The musical, about a hapless florist shop worker who raises a plant that feeds on human blood and flesh, had a five-year Off-Broadway run in the early 1980s. Its almost five-week run at the Indiana Repertoire Theatre concludes May 19.

Mr. Lim has never seen the musical performed as an audience member, but he did design a production of it nearly 16 years ago, so he welcomed the opportunity to revisit “Little Shop of Horrors” and see what has changed and what hasn’t.

The character Plant Puppet, a moving animated set piece, represents a design challenge because it requires that the Flower Shop architecture allows for it to start small as a potted plant and then grow dramatically to a height of 7 feet and width of 9 feet.

“We also had to figure out a way to make the Plant look like it is essentially taking over the shop so extra vines and roots were created by IRT and mechanisms to attach it to the wall that were efficient enough for the crew to do during a scene,” Lim explained.

There’s only one set, but it moves, with the exterior wall of the shop sliding out to reveal the interior of the shop, and then the whole shop itself moves downstage. A fully functioning fire escape for the Audrey character to come out of, and a train platform on the other side with an elevated train track unit above to make it feel like the shop is under the tracks.

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