Cast and Creatives Set for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Ford's Theatre

Performances will run March 15-May 18, 2024.

By: Feb. 08, 2024
Cast and Creatives Set for LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS at Ford's Theatre

Ford’s Theatre has revealed the cast and creative team of its production of Little Shop of Horrors. This beloved American musical is being brought to life by an all local cast and creative team, including director Kevin S. McAllister, choreographer Ashleigh King and music director William Yanesh. Derrick D. Truby, Jr. takes on the role of hapless florist Seymour Krelborn and Chani Wereley plays his co-worker and love interest Audrey. 

Little Shop of Horrors is a nonstop blast, sci-fi horror comedy, love story and rock musical that has become one of the most treasured pieces of American musical theatre. While paying homage to doo-wop and Motown recordings, the story follows a luckless florist shop worker, Seymour, who raises a wisecracking carnivorous plant that develops a craving for human blood. He delights in the fame and fortune that his leafy, ever-growing friend attracts, while trying to show his co-worker Audrey that she is the girl of his dreams. As Seymour discovers his plant’s out-of-this-world origins and intent toward world domination, he learns the lesson: “Don’t feed the plants!” 

“In reviving Little Shop of Horrors, we are creating a global Little Shop that reflects the diversity of today’s world, with a sense that we can truly see the people onstage,” says director Kevin S. McAllister. “To do this with treasured friends and collaborators, and direct at a theater where I got my start as a professional artist, is fulfilling.” 

Creative Team

Kevin S. McAllister (Director) is a director, actor, singer, former professor and Artistic Director/Co-Founder of ArtsCentric. He has directed over 50 productions for ArtsCentric. Outside of the DMV, he serves as the Assistant Director Fellow for the national tour and recently closed Broadway production of Come from Away. He has won two Helen Hayes Awards for acting (including Ford’s Ragtime) and has been nominated for eight. He can also be heard on the recent Broadway revival cast recording of Caroline, or Change, where he portrayed The Dryer and The Bus. When not on stage, he works regularly with young minds around the country as a clinician. 

Ashleigh King (Choreographer) Ford’s: Grace (Associate Choreographer). Regional: Northern Stage: ‘Bov Water; Spring Awakening; Spamalot. Signature: Hair (upcoming); Ragtime; Which Way to the Stage (Helen Hayes nom.). Studio: Fun Home. D.C.-Area: Kennedy Center: Finn (upcoming); Fovea. Woolly Mammoth: Fairview; Teenage Dick; The Sensational Sea Mink-ettes. Keegan: Seussical; Legally Blonde (Helen Hayes Award). Imagination: Nate the Great; A Year with Frog and Toad. Adventure: Alexander and the Terrible…; Big River; Make Way for Ducklings; You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown; Junie B. Jones. Virginia Rep: Mamma Mia (RTCC Award). 

William Yanesh (Music Director) Ford’s: Guys and Dolls, Into the Woods (Helen Hayes Award, Music Direction). Regional: Signature: Jesus Christ Superstar, The Last Five Years; Arena: Snow Child; Round House: Ordinary Days. D.C.-Area: Labor Heritage Foundation: Working in DC; 1st Stage: Floyd Collins. Music and Lyrics: Flying V: Vanishing Girl; Adventure Theatre: Make Way for Ducklings, Blueberries for Sal, Caps for Sale. Training: Carnegie Mellon University. Socials: @barbershopraga. williamyanesh.squarespace.com

The Cast and Musicians

Making their Ford’s debuts are DMV-local actors Derrick D. Truby, Jr. (ArtsCentric Company Member, Folger: Merry Wives of Windsor) as Seymour Krelborn and Chani Wereley (Signature: Into the Woods, Sweeney Todd, Pacific Overtures) as Audrey. With thrilling takes on the roles and powerhouse vocals, you won’t want to miss their performances. 

Additional cast members include Jay Frisby (Ford’s: SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!, Grace) as Audrey II (Manipulation)/Derelict, Kaiyla Gross (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol) as Ronnette, Joe Mallon (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol, One Destiny, SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!) as Orin/Bernstein/Snip/Luce/Everyone Else, Lawrence Redmond (Ford’s: Twelve Angry Men) as Mr. Mushnik, Nia Savoy-Dock (Ford’s: SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!) as Chiffon, Ryan Sellers (Round House: The Tempest; Theater J: The Chameleon) as Audrey II (Manipulation)/Derelict, Tobias A. Young (Ford’s: Ragtime, The Wiz; Signature: Passing Strange) as Audrey II (Voice) and Kanysha Williams (Arena: American Prophet: Frederick Douglass In His Own Words; ArtsCentric: Little Shop of Horrors) as Crystal. Understudies include Scott Ward Abernethy (Mosaic: Till Trilogy; Ford’s Oratory Teaching Artist), Tori Gomez (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol), Christopher Mueller (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol, Ragtime) and Theodore Sapp (Signature: Ragtime). 

William Yanesh will conduct a band that includes Nathan Beary Blustein, DeAnte Haggerty-Willis, Eliot Seppa and Carroll “CV” Dashiell III.

The Designers

Paige Hathaway (Round House: The Mountaintop; Arena: The High Ground) will be the scenic designer. The set is inspired by the artwork of Gerd Winner and the 1990 Dick Tracy film (particularly the matte paintings by Michael Lloyd) and their “graphic, colorful grittiness,” according to Hathaway. “We use a very bold yellow, green and red pulp-y color scheme that makes the world feel slightly surreal and heightened,” she said. 

Alejo Vietti (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol, SHOUT SISTER SHOUT!, Meet John Doe) will be the costume designer. Max Doolittle (Ford’s: My Lord, What a Night; Olney: Kinky Boots) serves as the lighting designer. David Budries (Ford’s Associate Artist: Into the Woods, The Wiz, Ragtime, Little Shop of Horrors – 2010) will be the sound designer. Danna Rosedahl (Ford’s: The Trip to Bountiful, My Lord, What a Night, Fences) will be the hair and make-up designer. Rachel Hirshorn-Johnston (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol) will serve as dialects and vocal director. 

Craig A. Horness (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol, Into the Woods, The Wiz) will be the production stage manager, with Taryn Friend (Ford’s: A Christmas Carol, One Destiny) serving as assistant stage manager. Monkey Boys Productions will be providing the puppets for Audrey II.

Accessibility and Special Performances

At Ford’s Theatre, we are committed to ensuring visitors of all abilities can experience the performances, exhibits, history and programs our site has to offer. Audio-described performances of Little Shop of Horrors are scheduled for April 9 at 7:30 p.m. and April 27 at 2 p.m. An ASL sign-interpreted performance is scheduled for April 11 at 7:30 p.m. A Sensory-Friendly performance is scheduled for Saturday, May 4 at 2 p.m. This sensory-friendly performance will be open to the general public, and we welcome anyone who may benefit from an adjusted theatrical environment. 

Beginning March 15, 2024, all performances will be captioned via the GalaPro Free Closed Captioning Mobile App. GalaPro is available from the App Store or Google Play and allows patrons to access captioning on demand through their phone or tablet device. Patrons can set their phones to airplane mode and connect to the local GalaPro WiFi network before the performance begins. More information at https://fords.org/visit-us/plan-your-visit/accessibility/galapro-captioning

Ford’s Theatre accessibility programs are supported by the Liberty Mutual Foundation. 

Free First Preview: 

March 15, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. 
Ford's Theatre Partners with TodayTix to give out free tickets for the first performance of each mainstage production in our theatrical season. Tickets are available via the TodayTix app, beginning 10 a.m. ET on March 8 for the March 15, 7:30 p.m. performance of Little Shop of Horrors. Visit www.fords.org/free for lottery entry details. 

Ford’s Education Events

The Teacher Preview Workshop for Little Shop of Horrors will be on Wednesday, March 19 at 5:30 p.m. Learn more and apply here. 

Student matinees for Little Shop of Horrors are Friday, April 5 and 11 and May 10 at 12 p.m. Learn more on the Ford’s Theatre website. 

Generation Abe Events

Save the date: May 2, 2024 
Generation Abe events for history and theatre lovers ages 21-40 are BACK for Little Shop of Horrors. More information is forthcoming. Save the date for discounted $25 tickets to performances and opportunities to mingle with artists, staff and peers after performances in partnership with District Fray/On Tap. Learn more about #GenABE here.

Ford’s Theatre Society

One of the most visited sites in the nation’s capital, Ford’s Theatre reopened its doors in 1968, more than a hundred years after the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Operated through a partnership between Ford’s Theatre Society and the National Park Service, Ford’s Theatre is the premier destination in the nation’s capital to explore and celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s life and legacy.

Photo credit: Scott Suchman




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