The cast and crew for “Little Shop of Horrors” include New Mexico Tech students and staff members and Socorro community members.
Russell Huffman | El Defensor Chieftain photos

If you’re looking for a horribly good time this weekend, check out the musical “Little Shop of Horrors” featuring New Mexico Tech students, staff, and Socorro thespians.

The New Mexico Tech CLASS (Communication, Liberal Arts, and Social Sciences) Department and Socorro Community Theater present a musical project together annually.

“This is the off-Broadway version, which has a rock band. And we’re going to lower them down in the pit. So, we can see what that all sounds like,” Professor Steve Simpson, dean of Arts and Sciences, said.

Apodaca watches as cast members set up the man-eating plant.

The entire cast and crew were on hand on April 10 in preparation for the show’s opening, and together they represent the flavor of the Socorro and N.M. Tech community. Various issues were at hand, including the arrival of the production’s man-eating stage prop.

Who doesn’t want to see their physics professor (Minnie Mao) gobbled up by a plant or know how the college rugby coach (Chris Hathaway) fairs in the tale?

“When considering a possible production, we look at what hits the tech culture well. A lot of people in the community are already familiar with these musicals. It hits folks, and techies love their sci-fi, they love their fantasy, they love their horror,” Simpson said. “I think, in some cases, it’s playing to our base. I think that next year’s musical, I don’t want to announce what we’re talking about, but we’re looking at doing some different things.”

Simpson is also the production manager for this Theresa Apodaca-directed musical that has fallen in line with other community theater projects, including the group’s 2019 production of Young Frankenstein.

Apodaca is a mainstay in Socorro’s theater productions and teaches education courses and theater at NMT.

“Theresa is the president of the board of the community theater, and she is a professor in the classroom. She teaches education, and she teaches theater,” Simpson said. “We like to have that academic connection so that there’s an opportunity for students to do something fun in their free time and also to learn a little about the ins and outs of theatre.”

In the background, the director gave her seal of approval to the newly arrived mainstage prop – the show’s man-eating flower.

“Little House of Horror’s” director Theresa Apodaca smiles in delight at how the musical’s main prop consumes one of the cast members.

“It’s wonderful,” Apodaca said. The amazement on her face as the prop flawlessly consumes its first “victim” will indeed be matched by theatergoers at the Macy Center.

Casting for the production started in December, and rehearsals have slowly been picking up each week and have now reached a fever pitch in preparation for this weekend’s run.

Friday night (April 21) marks the first performance with a 7 p.m. start. A second performance will be at 7 p.m. on Saturday, April 22. A Sunday afternoon show is set for 2 p.m.

Tickets are $16 for adults, $12 for seniors 65 and older, $8 for youth aged 17 and under, and free for NMT students. Tickets are available online at:

Cast of “Little Shop of Horrors”

Danny Tallon, Seymour Krelborn; Emma Nourse, Audrey; Santiago Montoya, Mushnik; Minnie Mao, Dr. Orin Scrivello, D.D.S.; Deven Raman, Audrey II (voice offstage); Jalethzie Peña, Audrey II (Puppeteer); Ekaterina Makhnina, Mrs. Luce/Ensemble; Genna Crom, Ronnette; Katie Teems Norris, Crystal; Ngoc Bui, Snip; Christopher Hathaway, Interviewer/Ensemble; Jay Blanchard, Customer 1/Bernstein; Cameron Caruso, Chiffon; Suzanne Eisenberg, Patrick Martin; Warren       Marts, Ensemble/Wino; Clint Richardson, Ensemble/Wino; Greg Miller, Ensemble/Singing Wino; Haley Cordova, Ensemble; Estevan Ortega, Ensemble; Shane Collins, Ensemble; Ella Hooks, Ensemble; Betsy Long, Ensemble; Lloyd Tozier, Voice; Fita Apodaca, Ensemble/pushing a cart.

Production Crew

Theresa Apodaca, Director; Kristal Kent, Music Director; Eileen Comstock, Set Design & Construction; Steve Simpson, Production Manager; Heather Sanchez, Accompanist/Vocal Coach; Sophie Bauer, Prop Master / Backstage Crew; Haley Hanson, Costume Master / Backstage Crew; Vanessa Cordova, Stage Manager; Val Thomas, Makeup Guru.


Heather Sanchez, pianist; Tom Fenton, guitar; Jim Ruff, bass; Rob Long, drums.