High school senior is voice of Audrey II in area play

Caitlin Thompson takes to the stage tonight as Audrey II's voice in the Schultz Theatre production of “Little Shop of Horrors.” Courtesy photo

Caitlin Thompson always knew she wanted to be Audrey II from “Little Shop of Horrors” for as long as she can remember.

“She is determined to see this through; to see her dream come true,” said Joanne Thompson, Caitlin’s mother.

Caitlin takes the stage tonight in a role of a lifetime.

“I saw the production of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’ a few years ago at the old Schultz Theater location, and I knew as soon as I saw it I wanted to be the voice of the plant,” Caitlin explained. Six years later Caitlin is fulfilling her dreams.

Caitlin, a senior at Stonewall Jackson High School, is playing the voice of the plant, known as Audrey II, in the “Little Shop of Horrors” at Schultz Theater in Broadway.

“Little Shop of Horrors” is a horror comedy rock musical  written by Howard Ashman and composed by Alan Menken. It tells the tale of a florist shop worker, Seymour, who raises a plant that feeds on human flesh and blood.

For loyal “Little Shop” fans, they’ll immediately recognize why this is such a big role for Caitlin. Typically a male voices the role of Audrey II. This will be the first time the Schultz Theater uses a female voice for this notable role.

When asked about opening night, Caitlin admits to being both excited and nervous.

“I’m hoping once I start acting as Audrey II, they’ll realize I’m female and will accept it,” she explained. “I want it to make an impact. I want people to see it and believe it,” she added.

Cailin’s love of theater came from her mother. Like mother like daughter, Joanne Thompson has been in her share of  plays. She has shared her love of the theater since Caitlin was in preschool.

“I took her as soon as I knew she could sit through the whole show and not make a scene,” Joanne Thompson said,  laughing.

At age 9, Caitlin began taking theater classes with Jena Kerns at Schultz Theater and in middle school found an interest in tech. Today she loves musicals, her favorite being “Hamilton.”

“That’s only one of many,” Joanne Thompson added quickly.

“I’m really excited to play Audrey II. It’s such a cool character,” Caitlin said.

As she has developed over the years, Caitlin said she realized that she is sarcastic, “just like the plant.”

Her mom added, “She’s always been a very outgoing; love the world kind of child.”

Caitlin is a member of the marching band, and is taking both high school and college courses. She hopes to attend James Madison University. From there she wants to transfer to George Mason University to study animation.

Caitlin plans on taking a break from the stage through the fall to focus on college applications, but will be briefly participating in DarkWood Manor, a premiere theatrical and interactive haunted attraction in downtown Luray.

“She’s been waiting for this moment for as long as I can remember,” Joanne Thompson said of tonight’s show. “I couldn’t be more proud.”