In a break from tradition, director Marc Robin has cast a woman to play Audrey II in The Fulton Opera House production of Little Shop of Horrors this fall. The plant, which is typically a puppet voiced by a male actor, will be played by The Color Purple’s Patrice Covington.
“I have never heard of such a thing! A woman playing the plant! It was a quick ‘Yes!‘ for me, when Marc asked me to do this,“ Covington told Playbill. “I'm here for all the changes, openness to receive them, and diversity.“
Last summer, a Berkshire Theatre Group production of Little Shop of Horrors featured Prince of Broadway star Bryonha Parham as the voice of Audrey II, with lip-syncing Drag Queen, Taurean Everett, performing onstage as the actual plant.
A 2014 production at the Hangar Theatre also starred a woman as Audrey II, played by Isabel Santiago, with direction by Jen Waldman.
Based on the 1960s cult horror film, Little Shop of Horrors follows a down-on-his-luck plant-shop worker who buys and nourishes a Venus fly trap-like plant, named after his beloved co-worker Audrey. The plant ultimately grows big enough to devour everything in its path.
For more information on the Fulton Opera House production, visit Thefulton.org.