Little Shop of Horrors

Welcome to The Rep’s Little Shop of Horrors Study Guide!

This is a user-friendly study guide with two purposes:

  1. to help you prepare your students to attend The Rep’s production of Little Shop of Horrors; and
  2. to help you process the experience with them after the play.

Each lesson should last no more than 30 minutes and provide a grab bag of activities you can use to enrich your students’ experience. We hope you enjoy these activities!

Pre-show Lesson Plan

Option 1: Five Song Plot Synopsis
Option 2: Carnivorous Plants

Post-show Lesson Plan

Option 1: The Ethics of Little Shop of Horrors
Option 2: Little Shop News
Options 3: Make Your Own “Audrey II”

Before Seeing the Show

Option 1: Five Song Plot Synopsis


In this activity, small groups will develop a one-minute presentation of one of five songs from Little Shop of Horrors to help the class understand the basic plot of the musical.



  • RE.7 Students will perceive and analyze artistic work.
  • PR.5 Students will develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.


Teacher says: “Hey Everyone! We’re going to use five songs from Little Shop of Horrors to prepare us to see The Rep’s production. I’m going to divide you into five groups. Each group will be in charge of presenting a different song.” (Divide groups and assign each group one of the five songs.)

The Songs

“Skid Row (Downtown)”
“Grow For Me”
“Be a Dentist”
“Suddenly, Seymour”
“The Meek Shall Inherit”

(You can find the songs on your favorite streaming service.)

Goal 1

Understand the meaning and purpose of one of five songs in Little Shop of Horrors.


Teacher says: “First, you need to listen to the song.” While listening, think to yourself silently: What’s happening here? Who are these people? What do they want?” (Have groups listen to their assigned song.) Now that you’ve listened to the song and considered the questions: What’s happening here? Who are these people? What do they want?,” discuss your thoughts as a group. I will come around to ensure your inferences are on the right track.” (Walk around the groups and help guide discussions as necessary.) “If you listen well, you learn a lot of the story. Songs in a well-written musical aren’t just ear candy. Well-written songs in a musical forward the plot.”

Goal 2

Each small group will create a presentation of their song to the class.

Now that you have an idea of what your song is about, try to find a one-minute segment within your song to present to the rest of the class.” (Allow time for them to find the one-minute segment.) “Now, in your group, create a frozen picture to show what’s happening in your one–minute cutting of the song.” (Allow time.) “Now that you’ve created a frozen picture, determine whether that frozen picture is the beginning, middle, or end of the story in the song.” (Allow time for group to decide.) “Now create the other two frozen pictures. So, for instance, if you decided the picture you already have is the end, you need to create the beginning and middle.” (Allow time.) “All groups should have three frozen pictures now. Let’s go through them altogether. As I say, beginning, middle, and end, I will give you a countdown from three to get to that picture like this: Beginning 3, 2, 1. You have that amount of time to get into your frozen picture. Let’s do it. Beginning 3, 2, 1. Middle 3, 2, 1. End 3, 2, 1. Great work, everyone! Now that we have created the story within our song in frozen pictures. Let’s put the frozen pictures to our one-minute song. Go through your one-minute cutting and decide the best places to change into your beginning, middle, and end frozen pictures.” (Allow time.) “Now that you’ve got your frozen pictures in place, let’s activate them. Let’s figure out some cool ways to move from one frozen picture to another. Think of what’s happening in the scene and determine a way to stay within the world and meaning of the song to transition from one frozen picture to another. Use the rhythm and sound of the music to help you.” (Allow time and move through groups helping them to think through transitions.) “Great work, everyone. Let’s share our presentations now.”

Goal 3

Understand the basic plot of Little Shop of Horrors.

As students share their presentations, you can add in additional information as “The Narrator.” Suggestions include:

Narrator says: Little Shop of Horrors begins like many musicals–with a big opening number that gives you a sense of the setting. Little Shop of Horrors is set on “Skid Row”. Listen to what this song tells us about life on Skid Row.


Group 1 Presents “Skid Row (Downtown)”

Narrator says: “So Skid Row is home for our characters. What kind of home is Skid Row?” (Allow answers.) “Right. It’s a place where people might be “on the skids” or down on their luck. After this, we meet the main character: Seymour. One day Seymour comes across an interesting plant in an old shop. He decides to buy it and bring it to Mr.Mushnik’s flower shop where he works. He names the cute little plant Audrey II after his coworker Audrey who he’s secretly in love with. He soon discovers, however, this is no ordinary plant. Let’s see why….


Group 2 Presents “Grow For Me”

Narrator says: “So what’s special about Audrey II?” (Allie answers.) “Yes! Audrey II has some unique dietary needs—blood. Turns out, Audrey II isn’t the only one with gory tastes. You see, there’s someone else in this play. He’s the reason Seymour is only secretly in love with Audrey. Audrey has a boyfriend named Orin, and he has his own strange appetite.”


Group 3 Presents “Be a Dentist”

Narrator says: “So what do we learn about Orin?” (Allow answers.) “Yes, he’s not very nice, and he’s the one thing in Seymour’s way to revealing his love for Audrey until…..”

Group 4 Presents “Suddenly, Seymour”

Narrator says: “What do we discover through this song? (Allow answers.) “What could have changed to make Audrey and Seymour feel safe enough to admit their feelings for each other?” (Allow answers but neither confirm or deny. Just allow them to wonder—we don’t want too many spoilers!) This leaves Seymour with some decisions.

Group 5 Presents “The Meek Shall Inherit”

Narrator says: “This song reveals Seymour’s choices. What are they?” (Allow answers.) What would you choose if you were Seymour?”

Before Seeing the Show

Option 2: Carnivorous Plants


In this activity, students will understand the basic structure and function of carnivorous plants.


Visual Art

  • CR.1 Students will generate and conceptualize artistic work.


Teacher says: “Hey Everyone! We’re going to explore carnivorous plants to prepare for our trip to see The Rep’s production of Little Shop of Horrors.”

Goal 1

Research carnivorous plants.


Teacher says: “In this activity, we’re going to do some quick research on carnivorous plants. First, you have two minutes to get online and find a definition of carnivorous plants. Raise your hand when you find a definition you like. Two minutes starts now.” (After everyone has found a definition, ask a few people to share.)

Goal 2

Sketch a carnivorous plant.

“Now that we have an idea of what carnivorous plants are. You need to find the ONE that most interests you. You have 2 minutes to search starting now.” (Allow time.) “Give me a thumbs up if you’ve found your plant. Now that you’ve found your plant, we’re going to do a super quick, super light sketch on a piece of paper. This should be light enough so that erasing is easy. Set the picture of your plant in front of you, and, without looking too much at your hand while drawing, take 3 minutes to make a basic line sketch.” (Allow up to 7 minutes as needed if they are all focused and engaged.)

Goal 3

Anthropomorphize the plant sketches.

Teacher says: “Now we need to gain a little distance from our sketches. Please pass your sketch to the person on your left.” (Allow each student to get a new sketch.) “Look at your new sketch. How might you anthropomorphize the plant, or make this plant human-like? Take a minute to look at it and think about it. Then start playing with it. What human characteristics might it have? What could you enlarge, make smaller, or make strange? Have fun. You have about 7 minutes.”

Goal 4

Share your sketch.

Teacher says: “Now we’re going to allow each row of desks to get in a small group and share sketches.” (Allow time for sharing. It doesn’t have to be by rows, but try to put the people who switched together in the same group so they can see how their original sketch morphed. Keep these sketches if you want to do the post-show plant activity.

This study guide was created in collaboration with the Arkansas Repertory Theatre and April Gentry-Sutterfield, Teaching Artist and Founder of Arts Integration Services.