A fiendish musical creature feature.
— The New York Times
Put a little horror in your holiday season this year! Everybody’s favorite carnivorous plant is ready to devour San Francisco’s Chinatown in a reimagined production that lends this uproarious cult-classic musical a delicious local flavor. Follow meek florist Seymour Krelborn as he makes a Faustian bargain with the world’s most vicious vegetation and learns that fame and fortune can come with a grisly price. From the iconic team behind Beauty and the Beast and The Little Mermaid, it’s sure to be a bloody good time!
NAIMA ALAKHAM (Crystal) is a New York native, and is thrilled to be making her West Coast debut at TheatreWorks! She was most recently seen as Effie Melody White in Dreamgirls at the Paramount Theatre in Aurora, Illinois. She cannot wait to share this amazing show and would like to express her utmost gratitude to the entire creative team, her Mom, and Dad. This one’s for you, Grandma. Por siempre y para siempre. Training: NYU Tisch New Studio on Broadway. Instagram: @naima.andreana
LAWRENCE-MICHAEL C. ARIAS (Mushnik) is overjoyed to return to Theatreworks where he performed in M. Butterfly (Kurogo), Red (Red Guard), Batboy: The Musical (Roy/Mrs. Taylor, etc. at select performances), Jane Eyre The Musical (Robert u/s), and Pacific Overtures  (British Admiral/Merchant). He originated the role of ‘Wong’ in Utah Shakespeare Festival’s world premiere of Gold Mountain. Other regional credits: National Asian Artists Project/Prospect Theater’s staged concert of Gold Mountain (Wong). Other Bay Area credits: at Hillbarn Theatre: Noises Off (Selsdon), The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Mitch Mahoney), and Spamalot (Sir Bedevere/Dennis’ Mother); Los Altos Stage Company: Yellow Face (HYH); Pintello Comedy Theater: A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (Miles Gloriosus); Western Stage: Man of La Mancha (Sancho). Film: Protection Detail (Sonny).
ALIA HODGE (Chiffon, Dance Captain) was born and raised in San Jose, and is thrilled to be back performing in the Bay Area after all these years! She was most recently on the First National Tour of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical, as well as the 20th Anniversary International Tour of RENT. Regional credits include: Little Shop of Horrors (Chiffon) at the Berkshire Theatre Festival, Waitress (Jenna) at Barnstormers Theatre, and Dreamgirls at North Shore Music Theatre. TV appearances include Saturday Night Live and America’s Got Talent. BFA in Musical Theatre from The Boston Conservatory at Berklee. Thank you to my friends and family for their never-ending support!
BRANDON LELAND (Audrey II (Manipulation) and Derelict, he/him) is incredibly grateful to be making his Theatreworks mainstage debut in Little Shop of Horrors, since last working with the company in 2015 in their “Oscar” educational program. Other Bay Area credits include The Three Penny Opera, Rainmaker, Death of a Salesman, and Proud to Present with San Jose Stage Company, Colossal with San Francisco Playhouse, and two Summer Seasons as a vocalist with California’s Great America. Also a songwriter and musician, Brandon spent 2016–2020 writing, releasing music, and touring the country with the Alternative Punk band Till I Fall.
KATRINA LAUREN MCGRAW (Audrey II (Voice) is so excited to be making her *official* TheatreWorks mainstage debut! You may have seen her in a Gala or two, or a New Works Festival or two (Gravity, Iron John). Past credits include San Francisco Playhouse in Songs For A New World (Woman 2), Mary Poppins (Ms. Andrew/Bird Woman), and A Christmas Story (Mrs. Shields); Center REP in Freaky Friday (Alexandra/ Mrs. Myers) and The Devil’s Music: The Life and Blues of Bessie Smith (Bessie Smith); Hillbarn Theatre in Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Nell Carter); 42nd Street Moon in A Little Night Music (Charlotte), Fiorello! (Marie), and Ain’t Misbehavin’ (Armelia); Berkeley Playhouse in Mamma Mia! (Donna); Throckmorton Theatre in The Sound of Music (Maria). Follow her on Instagram @bigbrownlead
NICK NAKASHIMA (Orin, and others) is honored to take part in this production with such a talented and loving cast. Mr. Nakashima recently appeared on TheatreWorks’ stage as John Dashwood/Mr. Harris in Sense and Sensibility, and for a brief moment in Ragtime as Grandfather/Henry Ford. Some of the many productions in which he had important parts include, The Pajama Game, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Irma La Duce, The Golden Apple (42nd Street Moon), Sense and Sensibility, Emma, The Learned Ladies of Park Avenue, A Little Night Music (TheatreWorks). Other regional include: Next to Normal, Suds, Me and My Girl (Jewel Theatre), Children of Eden, Beauty and the Beast (American Musical Theatre of San Jose), Jesus Christ Superstar, The Producers, La Cage aux Folles (Woodminster Summer Musicals).
LUCCA TROUTMAN (Ronette) is an electro-acoustic composer, director, and performer originally from Hartford, Connecticut. She holds a BA in Psychology and Music from Smith College and an MA in Music Composition from Mills College in Oakland. Although this is her first time working with TheatreWorks, she regularly performs throughout the Bay Area and was previously featured in Little Shop of Horrors at Berkeley Playhouse and Celso with the Driven Arts Collective. Outside of performing, Lucca teaches and creates multi-disciplinary work while spending quality time with her affable hound dog, Ama.
PHIL WONG (Seymour, he/him) was last seen at TheatreWorks in It’s A Wonderful Life (Freddie Fillmore), and The Four Immigrants (Frank). Recent regional credits include Revenge Song (Louis) and The Tempest (u/s Stephano) at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and as a guest artist with the Tony-award winning National Tour of Freestyle Love Supreme. Local credits include work with American Conservatory Theater, California Shakespeare Theater, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Z Space & Word for Word, Shotgun Players, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, The EXIT, Lamplighters Music Theatre, Killing My Lobster, Hillbarn Theatre, Los Altos Stage Co,, and Ray of Light Theatre. Phil is a graduate of Oberlin College and received his physical theatre training at the Accademia dell’ Arte in Arezzo, Italy. He is also the co-founder (along with Dan Wolf) of Bay Area Theatre Cypher, a collective of local hip hop theatre artists.
SUMI YU (Audrey) is so excited to be playing her dream role in this iconic production! Off-Broadway: Greater Clements at Lincoln Center Theater, Call Me Madam at Encores! New York City Center. Regional: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Marcy) at Bucks County Playhouse and ACT of Connecticut, Freaky Friday (Hannah) at La Jolla Playhouse, Cleveland Playhouse, and Alley Theatre, Oklahoma! (Laurey) at Theatreworks Colorado Springs, House of Joy (Hamida) at The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis. TV: Heels (Nozomi) on STARZ, Rise on NBC. Education: BFA in Music Theatre from Elon University. Representation: SAKS& and The Mine. Sumi sends her love to her family, Gabe, and Kona. “It’s an honor just to be Asian” –Sandra Oh.
HOWARD ASHMAN (Book and Lyrics) Best known as a pivotal creative mind behind the renaissance of Disney animation and his work on The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and Beauty and The Beast (which is dedicated to, “Our friend, Howard Ashman, who gave a Mermaid her voice and a Beast his soul...”), Ashman’s first love was theater. Ashman was a founder of off off Broadway’s renowned WPA Theater, where he conceived, wrote and directed God Bless You, Mr. Rosewater, as well as the classic musical, Little Shop of Horrors (both music by Alan Menken). In 1986, he wrote and directed the Broadway musical Smile (music by Marvin Hamlisch). Lamented as a lost treasure of the 1980’s theater scene, Smile remains popular on High School and College campuses throughout the country. Howard Ashman died in 1991 from complications of AIDS. For more information, please visit howardashman.com.
ALAN MENKEN (Music) Theater: God Bless You Mr Rosewater, Little Shop Of Horrors, Real Life Funnies, Atina: Evil Queen Of The Galaxy, Kicks, The Apprenticeship Of Duddy Kravitz, Beauty And The Beast, A Christmas Carol, Weird Romance, King David, Der Glöckner Von Notre Dame, The Little Mermaid, Sister Act, Leap Of Faith, Aladdin and Newsies. Film: Little Shop Of Horrors, The Little Mermaid, Beauty And The Beast, Newsies, Aladdin, Pocahontas, The Hunchback Of Notre Dame, Hercules, Life With Mikey, Lincoln, Home On The Range, Noel, Enchanted, Shaggy Dog, Tangled and Mirror Mirror. Songs: Rocky V, Home Alone 2 and Captain America. Awards: 8 Oscars (19 nominations), 11 Grammys (including Song of the Year), 7 Golden Globes, Tony® (plus 4 nominations), Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, New York Drama Critics, Olivier and London’s Evening Standard Award, Drama League. Honors: Songwriter’s Hall of Fame, Doctorates from New York University and University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
JEFFREY LO (Director) is TheatreWorks’ Casting Director and Literary Manager, and has previously directed TheatreWorks’ productions of The Language Archive and The Santaland Diaries. A Filipino-American director and playwright, his additional directing credits include Vietgone and The Great Leap at Capital Stage, The Paper Dreams of Harry Chin and Hold These Truths at San Francisco Playhouse, and Between Riverside and Crazy at San Jose Stage Company. He is the recipient of the Leigh Weimers Emerging Artist Award, the Arts Council Silicon Valley Emerging Artist Laureate, and Theatre Bay Area Director’s TITAN Award. In addition to his work on stage, Mr. Lo does work nationally promoting equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in the arts. He is a graduate of the Multicultural Arts Leadership Institute and a proud alumnus of the UC Irvine Drama Department. JeffreyWritesAPlay.com
FUMIKO BIELEFELDT (Costume Design) has designed over 60 productions (garnering over 25 awards) for TheatreWorks, including Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Archduke, Tuck Everlasting, The Bridges of Madison County, Rags, Daddy Long Legs, Cyrano, Fallen Angels, Sweeney Todd, Silent Sky, Little Women, 33 Variations, Sense and Sensibility, The Light in the Piazza, Caroline, or Change, M. Butterfly, and Emma, among others. She has designed extensively throughout the Bay Area and regionally. She holds a BA in Economics from Waseda University (Tokyo) and studied costume design at Stanford. Design awards include: 2004 Barbara Bladen Porter Special Award, Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards, Dean Goodman Choice Awards, and Back Stage West Garland Award.
PATRICK CHEW (Cultural Consultant / Chinatown Historian) is delighted to be working with TheatreWorks Silicon Valley for the first time on their innovative take on Little Shop of Horrors. He has previously dialect-coached San Francisco Playhouse’s Paper Dreams of Harry Chin, as well as Palo Alto Players’ Allegiance (Spring 2022) and The Flower Drum Song (May 2019); Contra Costa Civic Theatre’s production of Allegiance (Sep–Oct 2018); and Jay Kuo Productions’ Allegiance (2010), Homeland (2006), and Insignificant Others (2005). He has family roots in San Francisco’s Chinatown, has degrees in Linguistics and East Asian Languages (Chinese, Altaic Languages) from UC Berkeley, and has been written up for his hyperpolyglossia by Michael Erard, the author of Babel No More. Patrick’s day-job is in tech, focusing on internationalization and localization.
CHRISTOPHER FITZER (Scenic Design) is currently TheatreWorks’ Properties Director and an award-winning freelance scenic designer in the Bay Area. He previously designed It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play, They Promised Her the Moon, The Santaland Diaries, and Marie and Rosetta for TheatreWorks. His other design credits include productions at San Francisco Playhouse, Aspen Opera Theater Center, World Literature Today’s Puterbaugh Festival, Capital Stage, San Jose Stage Company, Hillbarn Theatre, Woodminster Summer Musicals, Oklahoma City Theatre Company, Flat Rock Playhouse, Los Altos Stage Company, Douglas Morrisson Theatre, Palo Alto Players, and Foothill Music Theatre. He has held production and artistic positions at Aspen Music Festival, Curtis Opera Theatre, and Dallas Summer Musicals. He holds a BFA in theatrical design from the University of Oklahoma.
WILLIAM THOMAS HODGSON (Choreography) is returning to TheatreWorks this season after appearing as an actor in 2015’s production of Calligraphy (dir. Leslie Martinson, asst. dir. Jeffrey Lo). William is a creator and educator, and the Co-Artistic Director of Oakland Theater Project. Choreography / directing projects include: The Radicalization of Bradley Manning and This Land Was Made at Oakland Theater Project (formerly Ubuntu); brownsville song [b-side for tray] and Passing Strange at Shotgun Players; The Tempest at Oregon Shakespeare Festival; and Ragtime at Berkeley Playhouse (TBA Award). Forever grateful to my loving family and friends!
ROXIE JOHNSON (Wig and Hair Design) is proud to be collaborating with Theatreworks on Little Shop of Horrors. Her current projects include Wigs, Hair, and Makeup designer for Scrooge in Love for 6th Street Playhouse and Wig Master on Spoongebob the Musical for Santa Rosa Junior College. She is currently attending SFSU for theatre graduate studies, teaches the Theatrical Makeup & Special Effects, Makeup & Wig Styling Classes at SRJC, and owns a wig and hair dressing salon in Santa Rosa CA. She has also collaborated with West Edge Opera, 6th Street Playhouse, Sonoma Arts Live, Sonoma State University, and Santa Rosa Junior College designing Wigs, Hair, and Makeup for shows such as 9-5, Wedding Singer, Georgia McBride, Sunset Boulevard, and Pride and Prejudice (for TheatreWorks).
WEN-LING LIAO (Lighting Design) is making her Theaterworks stage debut with Little Shop of Horrors. Selected credits: A Christmas Carol with Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Ah, Wilderness! at Hartford Stage; Quixote Nuevo, House of Joy, and The Winter’s Tale with California Shakespeare Theater; 44th Humana Festival (Are you There?, Nicole Clark is Having a Baby, and Flex) with Actors Theatre of Louisville; Gloria and Vietgone with American Conservatory Theater; The Catastrophist and The Wickhams Christmas at Pemberley at Marin Theatre Company; Indecent, Dance Nation, Significant Other, King of the Yees and Barbecue with San Francisco Playhouse; The Chinese Lady, Oedipus El Rey, and The Resting Place with Magic Theatre; Native Gardens with Center REP. Education: She earned her MFA from University of California, San Diego.
WILLIAM LIBERATORE (Music Director) is TheatreWorks’ Resident Musical Director and has conducted 45 shows, including Ragtime, Sense and Sensibility, Tuck Everlasting, Fun Home, The Prince of Egypt, Rags, Sweeney Todd, Once on This Island (TBA Award), Little Women, Crowns, Ragtime, and Pacific Overtures. He was Musical Director at American Musical Theatre of San Jose, conducting over 30 shows including Flower Drum Song, Gypsy, A Chorus Line, 42nd Street, Follies, and Children of Eden. He has won Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle Awards for A Little Night Music, South Pacific, Damn Yankees (AMTSJ), and Bat Boy: The Musical; Into the Woods; Emma; Caroline, or Change; The Light in the Piazza, The Four Immigrants, and The Bridges of Madison County (TheatreWorks). He is also the director of the award-winning Gunn High School Choirs.
MATTHEW MCAVENE CREATIONS, INC (Puppetry Design) Brothers Matthew and Paul McAvene nursed the Audrey II puppets to life after decades of puppet building and character creation for the entertainment industry. They’ve grown five sets of Audrey II puppets that move around the country, with two more growing out of their ‘Little Shop’ in Santa Barbara, CA. For more information, visit matthewmcavene.com or
@mcavene on Instagram.
TAYLOR MCQUESTEN (Stage Manager, she/her) works internationally as a stage and tour manager, electrician, and stuntwoman. Select credits include ten seasons at Tony Award-winning TheatreWorks Silicon Valley (Resident Stage Manager), Tour Manager for Evan Rachel Wood and Zane Carney’s band EVAN+ZANE, SF Sketchfest (Assistant Technical Director), California Shakespeare Theater (Production Electrician), Legion A/V (Head of Lighting), Playfaire Productions (Swordswoman), The Independent SF (Lighting Designer), Highlander Films (Production Assistant), American Conservatory Theater, Center REP, Cabrillo Stage, Hillbarn Theatre, and Magic Theatre. She also trains historic mêlée weapons at Davenriche European Martial Arts School under master swordsman, Sir Steáphen Fick. Recently returned from a U.K. tour with Lizard Boy (Production Stage Manager) which performed last at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. She’s excited to be back home at TheatreWorks!
JEFF MOCKUS (Sound Design) has designed TheatreWorks productions of Ragtime, Sense and Sensibility, Lizard Boy (BATCC Award), Mark Twain’s River of Song, Tuck Everlasting, Native Gardens, The Bridges of Madison County, The Four Immigrants, Rags, Crimes of the Heart, Daddy Long Legs, tokyo fish story, Jane Austen’s Emma (BATCC Nomination), Sweeney Todd, Once on This Island, Silent Sky, Little Women, Being Earnest, Big River, Of Mice and Men, The Secret Garden, Fly By Night, [title of show], and Superior Donuts. Recent work includes Anything Goes for Center REP (BATCC Nomination), The Children at Aurora Theatre Company (BATCC Nomination) and Love Goddess, The Rita Hayworth Cabaret for Blue Panther Productions. Mr. Mockus served in residence at San Jose Rep on over 70 productions, including Old Wicked Songs (BATCC award), By The Bog Of Cats (BATCC award), and Mary’s Wedding (Dean Goodman Choice award).
JUDITH NIHEI (Artist Counselor) is a San Francisco-based licensed psychotherapist in private practice. She has been a theatre director, dramaturg, writer, actor, and administrator. A founding member of Seattle’s Northwest Asian American Theatre, she returned home to work with San Francisco’s Asian American Theatre Company and began a long career in improv with The Committee. She consults for schools, nonprofits and community-based organizations, facilitating the incorporation of stress-reduction and cultural humility as an integral part of trauma-informed services. Clients have included Edgewood Center for Children and Families, Japanese Community Youth Council, and Theatre Communications Group, Inc. She continues her improv career as one of The Bad Aunties.
CARLA PANTOJA (Intimacy Coordinator / Fight Director) recently returned from working at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival as their first female fight director. This fall, her fight and/or intimacy direction was seen at Z Space, SFBATCO New Roots Festival, Golden Thread, Stanford University, and currently playing at American Conservatory Theater (A Christmas Carol). Carla has trained for the last six years in intimacy direction, first through Intimacy Directors International and then with Intimacy Directors and Coordinators. She is a certified stage combat instructor through Dueling Arts International. Carla is a Resident Artist with San Francisco Shakespeare Festival and proud member of MGT (Making Good Trouble), an anti-racist facilitator group focused on the Bay Area.
EMILY ANDERSON WOLF (Assistant Stage Manager) has been the Assistant Stage Manager for TheatreWorks’ Ragtime, Archduke, Frost/Nixon, Fun Home, Finks, The Prince of Egypt, Rags, Crimes of the Heart, Jane Austen’s Emma, Triangle, Fire on the Mountain, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweeney Todd, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Little Women, and Other Desert Cities. She was also the Assistant Stage Manager for threesixty Entertainment’s First National Tour of Peter Pan; Journey to the West at the New York Musical Theatre Festival, and with American Musical Theatre of San Jose. Ms. Wolf also works as a stagehand throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and is a proud member of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees. She holds a BA in Theatre, Cum Laude from Mount Holyoke College.