Sowing the Seeds – Geva’s Stage Door Project

One of the highlights of the Rochester theatre season will be Geva’s production of Little Shop of Horrors. To accompany this production, Geva, Rochester’s leading professional theatre has invited Rush-Henrietta Senior High School to participate in “The Stage Door Project: Little Shop of Horrors.” A mainstay of the high school musical canon for many years, Little Shop of Horrors is a delightfully demented, charming and tuneful family musical about a hapless skid row floral assistant who becomes an overnight sensation when he discovers an exotic man-eating plant.

Geva’s mission has always placed its work at the crossroads of artistic excellence and community engagement. One of the most unique education programs the theatre offers for emerging young artists in the Rochester area is the Stage Door Project. This program gives area high schools students the rare opportunity to explore the entire process of theatrical production with a nationally recognized, regional theatre. It offers an unparalleled professional experience fostering a deeper understanding of dramatic literature, the theatre industry and the process of bringing literature to life on the stage.

Geva has a long-standing relationship with Rush-Henrietta Senior High School, and they have been involved in the theatre’s educational programming for nearly two decades. For this year’s Stage Door Project, Geva approached Rush-Henrietta with the idea of a partnership around Little Shop of Horrors. For their production of Little Shop of Horrors, Spotlight Theatre at Rush-Henrietta High School cast 10 young actors and recruited an equal number of students interested in design, technical theatre and marketing to join a creative team that mirrors Geva’s. The director of the Rush-Henrietta production, Michael Pincelli, is acting as the Assistant Director for Geva’s production. The design and production students from Rush-Henrietta have had several opportunities to meet with and shadow Geva’s professional designers and in-house production staff and a student marketing team has worked with Geva’s in house graphic designer, Director of Marketing and Communications Manager. The cast and creative team from Rush-Henrietta have had the unique opportunity to sit in on Geva’s rehearsals and to work with Geva’s acting company of professional actors. In a nutshell, students are following the entire process of putting on a show at Geva Theatre Center.

The Stage Door Project: Little Shop of Horrors culminates in a unique and rare opportunity. After rehearsing the show independently at their school, the students from Rush-Henrietta will perform their own version of Little Shop of Horrors in the Mainstage on the set of Geva’s production of Little Shop of Horrors for a special one-night performance on Tuesday, February 10 at 7:30pm.

For Geva Theatre Center and its professionals, it is an opportunity to share the wonder and creativity of students. The theatre acknowledges their roles as theatre stewards by interacting with this younger company and thanks them for the privilege of learning with them and from them.

The Stage Door Project: Little Shop of Horrors is supported in part by the Guido and Ellen Palma Foundation, the Max and Marian Farash Foundation and Time Warner Cable. Audrey II’s appearance in Little Shop of Horrors is supported in part by The Hildebrandt Family Artistic Fund, an Endowed Fund of Geva Theatre Center.

Tickets for the February 10th performance of Little Shop of Horrors are $14 and can be purchased online at http://www.gevatheatre.org or through the Geva Box Office: (585) 232-4382.

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