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Feed me!

Ironic comedy is Pete Huch’s curtain call
Audrey (Maia Davidson) falls victim to Audrey II’s insatiable appetite as the CCA drama department presents the Howard Ashman classic musical Little Shop of Horrors in the CCA Performing Arts Center. The dark comedy ran from April 9 through April 11, and marked the end of CCA instructor Pete Huch’s 11 years of directing CCA high school theater. For more photos and information on the musical, see page A10. (photo by Chris Umscheid)

TIFFIN — For 11 years, Pete Huch has been the director of the Clear Creek Amana (CCA) high school drama department. On Saturday April 11, as the curtain came down on the third and final performance of Little Shop of Horrors, the show ended and Huch’s time as department director went dark.
“I wouldn’t say I’m giving it up,” Huch said, “but I’m allowing someone else to entertain the audiences.”
The show centers on a man-eating plant from outer space and a number of people trying to find better lives for themselves. For Huch it was a bit more.
“It is a dream come true to finally be doing Little Shop of Horrors,” he wrote in his director’s notes in the show’s program. “This is one of the shows that got me interested in theater 30 years ago.” Huch also wrote he had felt a strong connection with lead character Seymour Krelborn (played by senior Trevor Toy in CCA’s production), the hapless floral shop worker who finds and nurtures the homicidal plant, Audrey II. “I related to a character that was struggling to figure out exactly who he was and where he was supposed to be,” Huch noted.
Huch came to CCA after finishing student teaching and starting as a substitute teacher. “I applied because teaching acting and working in theater was what I always wanted to do,” he said. Throughout his run, Huch had Amana Elementary Principal Ben Macumber as his technical director and Kristie Yoder as artistic director. “I have always been blessed with working with talented individuals, and not just the students,” Huch said.
A little more than half of his directing career was spent on the stage in the former high school, now the middle school, auditorium. The new 800-seat auditorium with state-of-the-art technology was added to the high school in 2010. “I think one of the major highlights of my CCA career was first stepping foot into the new auditorium and just imagining all of the possibilities,” Huch said. Many of those possibilities were realized in such elaborate productions as The Wizard of Oz and Seussical the Musical.
The cast of Little Shop of Horrors included Toy, Maia Davidson (Audrey), Jenna Weih (Crystal), Mollie Sherman (Chiffon), Jenna Tackaberry (Ronnette), Eli Davidson (Mushnik the florist), Gabe Crozier (Orin the dentist) and 16 others in supporting roles. Sam Watts and Dawson Williams brought Audrey II to life, speaking and singing the character’s lines.
Little Shop of Horrors, written by Howard Ashman with music by Alan Menken, debuted off Broadway in 1982.