|Taylor Alfano Debuts at the Barn as Audrey|
At auditions for Little Shop of Horrors, over 20 women stood nervously on stage, all awaiting their chance to sing for the lead role of Audrey. After director Rachael Rose expressed her vision for the role, she asked, “Who wants to be first?” Without hesitation, Taylor Alfano stepped forward. Later, she recalled, “this was the first audition I had gone to since I graduated from Central Michigan so it was pretty nerve-wracking for me, but so exciting at the same time.” She certainly hid her nerves well. As soon as Taylor started singing, I knew that she had set the bar high for all those who followed her. Taylor was soon cast as Audrey, her first role in her very first audition with the Farmington Players.
Ironically, the same sense of self-confidence that served her well at auditions created a challenge for her character development. As Taylor says, “Audrey is one of the most difficult characters I’ve had to play. Audrey is a very abused woman, and probably always has been, whether emotionally or physically. Obviously, this would be difficult for anyone to portray if they hadn’t experienced any kind of abuse, which I haven’t. However, I think it is even more difficult for me because I am a pretty confident person. Even though I am small, I have a big personality and voice to match, so having to play a character with little self-esteem is harder than I expected. It’s difficult for me to be in that vulnerable place for an extended period of time.”
Despite Audrey’s vulnerability, Taylor is definitely in tune with who she is: “She’s sweet, loyal and so supportive of those she loves. She’s never known what it feels like to be unconditionally loved; yet she still has the imagination and capacity to envision a place where she could have her happy ending. Because she never really had a family as a child, she creates one out of the group of people she meets on Skid Row, like Seymour, Mr. Mushnik, and Chiffon, Ronnette and Crystal.” Taylor sees the song “Somewhere That’s Green” as Audrey’s “landscape of her entire dream. She fantasizes about a life she wishes she could have and it all surrounds the idea of a beautiful green lawn. She lives on Skid Row, where there is absolutely no grass, nothing really grows, and it’s actually pretty depressing. So, for Audrey to be happy she really just wants growth and beauty and she sees that in the plants and flowers she works with in Mushnik’s flower shop.”
Taylor has wanted to be in Little Shop since she did the lighting for her high school’s performance of the show when she was a freshman. Taylor graduated from Central Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree of fine Arts in 2011. While there, she portrayed Cecile in Les Liaisons Dangereuses, the wicked stepmother in Into The Woods, and Sally in You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown! Although she is a newcomer to the Barn, Taylor calls her cast mates “the most welcoming and loving cast of people I have ever worked with, and I truly enjoy going to rehearsal everyday. Family and friends are very important to me personally, and the people I have met through the Barn have become like a family to me.”
Little Shop of Horrors opens Friday April 27 and runs through May 19. Get your tickets at www.farmingtonplayers.org or by calling the Farmington Players box office at 248-553-2955. Find us on Facebook under "Farmington Players".