Musical cushions seniors’ swansong
Couches brought to De Soto High School as part of last year's senior prank have turned into a monster.
"I kept all the couch cushions because I thought it would come in useful somehow," said theater instructor Ben Bartlett. "And lo and behold..."
The couch cushions are starring in this spring's play, "Little Shop of Horrors." They've been taped together and made to look like the dangerous, man-eating plant in the famous comedy play. Senior Neal Brooks provides the movements for the creature and senior Lucas Walker gives "Audrey II" a voice.
The play will show at 7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday at De Soto High School, 35000 W. 91st St. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.
This year's spring play is a little smaller than an all-out musical. Bartlett said that gave students a chance to showcase their talents.
"It puts a lot of emphasis for the students to learn the music and carry the show," he said.
The play also features several seniors who are working on their final De Soto High School theater production.
Stage manager Lindsay Koehler and Ross Stone, who plays Seymour, said they've been in almost every play in their four years of high school. Like many of their fellow students, the two are highly involved in school. They're in student council, thespians and yearbook. Koehler has also been involved with the moonbuggy team.
Koehler said she planned to attend King's College in the Empire State Building next year with a major in politics, philosophy and economics with an emphasis in education. Stone plans to attend Pittsburg State University and major in theater and advertising.
Walker also starred as the lead role in "Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat" last fall. He plans to attend Kansas University and major in theater voice. Walker was chosen to participate in the American Choral Directors Association's honor choir.
Heather Kline, playing the female lead of Audrey, is also planning to continue her theater career at Oklahoma City University next year with a major in music theater and minor in opera performance.
"De Soto High School has definitely helped me choose a career," she said. "Mr. B, especially, has created a wonderful environment for us to be in without fear of failure. It's great to be able to perform and learn at the same time."
Senior Sheridan Thompson will play Mr. Mushnik, the flower shop owner. Thompson has also been active in school plays, thespians and madrigals. He plans to attend Fort Hays State and get a degree in English to become a teacher.
Senior Kasey Willnauer is the sound tech. He plans to attend Baker University and pursue a job in federal government private practices.
Instead of a pit band with the assistance of choral and band directors, the students have taught themselves the music.
Sophomore Ji Eun Kim will play piano and Jesse Schuler will play drums. Junior Riley Day will play guitar and senior Josh Adkins will play bass guitar. Adkins plans to continue performing as a musician after high school.