Sussex Vo-Tech performs 'Little Shop of Horrors'

School brings back musical theatre program after three decades of absence

Make text smaller Make text larger


  • Photo by Viktoria-Leigh Wagner David Lisboa of Sussex appears for the first time on stage as Seymour feeding his man-eating plant.

  • Photo by Viktoria-Leigh Wagner Senior Daria Ferdine, 18, who played Audrey, is caressed by love interest Seymour, played by David Lisboa, 14, of Sussex.

  • Photo by Viktoria-Leigh Wagner Daria Ferdine, 18, of Hamburg sings as Audrey, Seymour's love interest.

  • Photo by Viktoria-Leigh Wagner David Lisoba, as Seymour, is seen arguing with his man-eating plant, Audrey II, named after his crush.

SPARTA — Amy Roberts has been directing drama for about eight years and musicals for about four.

However, for her and the ‘Little Shop’ cast of 20, this is the first time getting involved in a musical theatre program at the Sussex Technical School, since one has been absent since the 80s.

“I’m excited to see the kids start something new,” she said.

Roberts said as a new program with limited musical availability, but she said she wanted to do a show with a small group of demanding leads.

“We had auditions in December open to all Vo-Tech. students, rehearsed January and February four days a week, and then rehearsed in March every day,” Roberts said. “I really like how the kids have grown in the process. For many of them, this is their first theatrical production and some of them didn’t even know they could sing or act. I think the show itself is a great dark comedy with really quirky characters and catchy music.”

Senior Emily Houdershieldt, 17 ran the show.

“Being the first stage manager in a while was a little challenging, but Ms. Roberts is an excellent teacher and brought together something amazing," she said. "A lot of the cast members have never even been in a show before, and although going through the training with them is hard, there are those I never would have guessed that it was their first show.”

Her seventh production, Houdershieldt said she’s also worked with the Tri-State Actors Theatre in the past. She said "Little Shop of Horrors" was one of her favorites.

David Lisboa, 14 of Sussex is a freshman at Vo-Tech.

“My friend told me to audition, and I did,” he said.

His first musical production without any prior theatre experience, Lisboa landed the lead role of Seymour Krelborn, a sensitive, shy, nerdy assistant florist who discovers a man-eating plant—that can talk back.

“During the audition, I forgot part of my line — but happily, I still got the role,” he said.

Vo-Tech senior Daria Ferdine, 18, of Hamburg played Seymour’s love interest, Audrey.

“The audition process was intimidating because we didn’t know what to expect, but it was amazing how much talent came out,” Ferdine said. “I’ve done plenty of productions before, but I’m actually leaning more towards doing onscreen stuff, so I’m in New York City a lot. I’ve done off-Broadway stuff a few times, commercial and television work, things like that.”

She said her favorite part was getting eaten by the plant.

“Plot twist," she said. "Parents’ reactions are funny because no one expects it. I’ve also really enjoyed the connection David and I have had throughout the entire process.”

Ferdine plans to double-major in Cinematic Theory and Acting and Minor in Business Entertainment.

Hopatcong resident senior Anthony Terminello, 17 gave the man-eating plant, the Audrey II, its voice:

“I was the only one out of two people who auditioned for role, and I was chosen because of my deep voice," Terminello said. "I like playing the villain, or any role in general that is out of character for me. Suppertime is my favorite song in the show. It’s all about evil being smooth and cunning. I don’t know what it is about it, but it’s fun to sing.”

Bryan Deery, 15, of Hardyston also played an antagonist. His fifth production, Deery portrayed Audrey’s abusive boyfriend, a sadistic dentist named Orin Scrivello, D.D.S. “When I found out I got the part of the evil dentist," he said. "I was overjoyed.”

The show was choreographed by Assistant Director Colleen Cavanaugh.

Make text smaller Make text larger


Pool Rules


Council members not holding up sale of Faline building
It is unfortunate that I must write this letter to correct Mayor Shortway’s numerous and erroneous statements about the sale of the Faline building. Mayor Shortway is...
Image Vernon field hockey celebrates seniors
The Vernon field hockey team defeated Morris Hill, 6-0, on Monday, Oct. 16.
Image Administration partners with Heldrich Center to strenghten program
NEW BRUNSWICK — The New Jersey Departments of Labor and Workforce Development and Human Services today hosted a day-long conference to highlight and explore national best...
Image Pass It Along CEO going to Lakeland Bank
By Laurie Gordon
Diane Taylor, the renowned founder, president and CEO since 2001 of Pass It...


Sign up to get our newsletter emailed to you every week!

  • Enter your email address in the box below.
  • Select the newsletters you would like to subscribe to.
  • Click the 'SUBSCRIBE' button.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Community Newspapers


Godspell finishes run at Cornerstone
  • Oct 9, 2017
Michael J. Esposito
  • Oct 13, 2017
Stephen McGoonan
  • Oct 13, 2017
Local News
CLEAR introduced into Vernon
  • Oct 16, 2017
Local News
Vernon Valley Karate about families
  • Oct 9, 2017
Business & Real Estate
Get ready to fall in love with your new home
  • Oct 11, 2017
Local News
Scenic byway workshop set
  • Oct 11, 2017
Lorelai Autumn D'Auria
  • Oct 9, 2017


Find more about Weather in Lafayette, NJ