Little Shop of Horrors Opens March 17

  • 2023-03-09, 08:29 PM
  • Rachel Dahl
Little Shop of Horrors Opens March 17

I’m at play practice for the Churchill County High School production of  Little Shop of Horrors interviewing one of the directors, Summer Stanton, while student thespians practice their songs in the background. Sophia Basuto, who plays Ronette, sings under the direction of Dave Ernst, accompanied by Noreen Swenson, and she is really good. 

Jackson Moon, Kass Porretta, Kenny Coval, and Kelly Melancon flutter around the perimeter of the band room, waiting for their turn to pitch in and practice parts and songs. As we chat about the experience that is a high school theater production, Basuto sings on, and the Doo-Wop Girls doo-wop one of their songs across the room next to the band instruments. “T would argue,” said Stanton, “that their roles are the hardest vocally, and they are in almost every scene.” 

Play practice began in December so these kids, and the adults who are helping them produce the play, have spent the better part of three months together on an almost daily basis. “By the end, we’re all in each other’s lives,” said Moon, just like in the movies. 

Stanton, Ernst, and Swenson are members of the Performing Arts of Churchill County, a newly organized 501c3 non-profit serving Fallon and Churchill County. PACC values the skills and confidence that participating in performing arts brings to the individual, group, and community. They strive to educate and provide quality opportunities for members of all ages to participate in a variety of performance areas including acting, singing, instrumental music, and dancing. They are working to promote and grow the arts culture in the community and invite all community members to participate as a performer, volunteer, technician, or audience member.

In addition to the theater class led by drama teacher Ashley Adams, there is also a Tech Theater class that is working behind the scenes on the set, including building a giant plant. Adams is in her second year at CCHS and produced Freaky Friday last year. 

Stanton said that Ani Acosta is the choreographer for this production and is doing an amazing job. She comes to Fallon from Columbia and has a degree in musical theater and is also performing in the Western Nevada College production of “Newsies.”

The performance of “Little Shop” will feature a full orchestra as well as high school students. Ernst has chosen several proficient high school students along with inviting community members who play instruments to join the orchestra for the production. “It’s just real community effort,” said Stanton.

PACC is hoping to produce two community performances each year, along with producing theater in the park during the summer. Stanton said the hope is to get more people to audition for the productions and do bigger shows with the idea of the whole community participating. She said the plan is to do a fall musical, and anyone interested in getting involved with community theater can contact the group at [email protected]
For those who are new to the “Little Shop” play, Seymour Krelborn finds a strange and interesting new plant that saves his run-down, skid-row florist shop from bankruptcy. But the strangest thing about his new plant is that it eats blood and likes human blood the best. As it grows, so does Seymour’s success, until he can’t feed it with his own blood anymore and the plant encourages strange and interesting new paths for Seymour to keep feeding it until Seymour loses himself and the plant outgrows him.

The play runs Friday and Saturday, March 17 and 18, at 7 p.m., and the following week, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 23-25 at 4 p.m. on Thursday and 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 
Tickets can be purchased online at


Rachel Dahl



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