It appears that Thomson High School chorus teacher Pam McCorkle has figured out how to deal with troublesome students. Mrs. McCorkle has brought a huge man-eating plant to the stage of the high school auditorium, and a few musical students are on the menu.
Named Audrey II, the plant is a life-sized puppet that stars in the musical Little Shop of Horrors, being put on by the students Thursday-Saturday, March 4-6.
"Little kids will be jumpy and it will be a great, fun, family time," said Charles Cox, a junior who plays the voice of the plant.
The story line is about a hapless floral shop worker, Seymour, who raises a plant that feeds on human blood. As the plant grows, business at the shop abounds, and Seymour suddenly finds his life full of unpredictable activity.
"It's a challenge because I had to come from being the cool kid that I am to being a nerd, complete with all the accessories," said senior Montavious Brinson, who has the lead part of Seymour.
Characters based on girl doo-wop groups from the 1960s comment on the action throughout the show and provide back up music and dance, according to a website about the musical.
"It's hard because we have to talk with a New York accent," said junior Jada Parker.
"And I murder it," senior Kellie Johnson added.
The musical is based on a low-budget 1960s comedy of the same name with music styles form the same era, including rock and roll, doo-wop and Motown.
Junior Brooke Barnhill, who plays one of the doo-wop girls, said singing harmony while keeping in time with the choreography is difficult for her. Mrs. McCorkle said the harmony is different for the students because it's three-part instead of the usual four-part harmony.
And Montavious soon learned that wearing nerdy glasses was the easier aspect of his lead part.
"It's for a true tenor, and I don't consider myself a true tenor," he said. "But Mrs. McCorkle helped me get out the notes I couldn't reach. She's definitely good at doing her job. She worked with me, and I'm speechless that she pulled it out of me."
Mrs. McCorkle said she feels blessed to have found so much talent in the students at Thomson High School. Not only was she pleased with those who auditioned for the musical parts, but Claudia Wells' art classes made the backdrops to the set.
"They made it come to life," Mrs. McCorkle said.
The stage will include "beautiful and realistic" puppets and props that were rented from a professional in Warner Robbins. Thomson Middle School's Kelly Bingnear is helping with lights and makeup, Thomson Bulldog Brigade's Emme Hines is leading the live music accompiment, Thomson High School's Beth Powers also is accompanying on the piano, and Christy Donovan is "helping with all the little details," Mrs. McCorkle said.
The performance will be at 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday, March 4-5. Saturday, March 6 will have two performances -- at 3 p.m. and at 7 p.m.
All shows are in the Thomson High School Auditorium. General admission is $7 and reserved seating is $10. Call the high school office at 706-986-4200.