By Justin Seward
Twenty-seven Irvine School students are preparing to perform the musical “Zombie Night” by Pioneer Drama on Thursday in front of a dinner theatre audience.
“Zombie Night” is about a group of students Howie, Louise, Gary and Phoebe who overtake a haunted house and want to run a fun night for the annual senior class party but as it turns out there might be zombies in the building.
The haunted house was once owned by a creepy, crawly Dr. Thanatos who tried to bring corpses back to life.
Two students, Vivian and Anne, show up and are determined to destroy the party because they wanted a sock hop.
Both the students used tactics that required the help of zombies, said Laura Kennedy, performance director.
“A group of students are surprised by zombies in a haunted house,” said Kennedy.
“They’re attacked by the zombies and learn a lesson about cooperation.”
Kennedy says she chose the musical because of its music and because of student interest.
“We kind of look at the era of the play and what we’ve done before and then we listen to the music and see if there is some potential for some dancing and singing that interests the kids,” she said.
“We form a cast and do some practicing and come up with something that is very close to what we purchase in the first place. Kids always have a say in it. The play always morphs into something that is really their own because they like to add lines or add lip.”
Kennedy says there was one student this year who had asked to change the ending to the play.
“We took a part of the plot out that didn’t really fit for us and we reworked it. It number one ended up being a better comedy and number two it fit with our cast,” she said.
Practices began back in September for six hours a week and leading up to play, rehearsals commence after school and daily practices at noon, she added.
“It ends up being quite a dedication on the part of the kids,” she said.
“They’re invested in it for at least six months.”
Zombie Night will play on Jan. 23 at 6 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium. Attendees will also receive a nice roast beef dinner with their ticket.