Show Will Go On in Memory of Drama Student Killed at Connecticut High School

By Adam Hetrick
30 Apr 2014

The students of the Jonathan Law High School in Milford, CT, will proceed with performances of their spring musical, Little Shop of Horrors, in memory of classmate and fellow cast member Maren Sanchez, who was fatally stabbed on school grounds April 25.



The high school junior was active within the school community and joined the Drama Club for the first time this year, according to Jonathan Law High School drama advisor Michael Mele, who described the young performer as "an immediate success" in the program.

"She was in the ensemble and played some small roles in our fall community-wide production of A Christmas Carol and played Conrade in our recent production of Much Ado About Nothing," Mele told Playbill.com via email.

Sanchez had been cast in the ensemble of Little Shop of Horrors and was to play the ensemble role of "Skip Snip," as well as serve as the main puppeteer for the Audrey II plant.

In addition to final rehearsals for Little Shop, the young performer was also preparing for her junior prom, which was to take place April 25. Sanchez was fatally stabbed in a stairwell of the school by a fellow student that morning. Students returned to class April 29 under heightened security, following the arraignment of 16-year-old student Christopher Plaskon, who has been charged with Sanchez's murder.

In Sanchez's honor, the Drama Club will continue with its production of Little Shop of Horrors, which will take place May 2-3. The musical is written by Alan Menken and the late Howard Ashman.

"It is a tragic time for our drama club, losing such a wonderful person," Mele said in a statement released by the Jonathan Law High School Drama Club. "We feel this is the best way we can honor her memory, by going on FOR her. She would want her fellow students to get up on that stage and do the best they can and that’s exactly what we plan to do. We know Maren will be watching us from above and we just hope we can make her proud."

Mele also spoke to Playbill.com about Sanchez's passion for the arts and life. "She was an avid performer and would sing and play guitar in all our talent shows. She also had a great knack for photography," he said. "She had an infectious energy that carried over to the rehearsal process. She was a great kid who got along with everyone. I would describe her as the epitome of a good student. Well mannered, intelligent, vibrant, respectful. She also had a wonderful smile and this natural energy that would fill a room. She would always give her all and would do whatever it took to get a job done."

Performances of Little Shop of Horrors take place May 2 at 7 PM and May 3 at 2 PM and 7 PM. Tickets are $10 for general admission and $5 for students. To reserve tickets, phone (914) 439-6405.