This play made many people jump out of their skin…and turn into a zombie.

Amanda Heston, Staff Reporter

Seminole High’s own theater company put on its own performance of the famous 1968 film Night of the Living Dead this past weekend.  From October 12-14, the cast and crew put on two evening and one matinee performances of the production which featured moaning zombies, mindless women, and arguing men.

The play began with brother Johnny, Zach Lowie, and sister Barbara, Leah Truckenbrod, bringing a wreath to place on their father’s grave.  After muttering his blood chilling line, “He’s coming to get you, Barbara,” Johnny was promptly devoured by zombies and Barbara ran off to find refuge in a nearby abandoned house with male lead Ben, played by Logan Schulman.

The graveyard scene in the beginning was made to be eerie and foreboding as the first zombie quietly inched down the aisle past frightened audience members towards its victims.  Set director and zombie senior Alanna Fagan “helped [the] director, Mrs. Ortiz, with the design concept” and commented on how she and her crew had to make the graveyard pit “sturdy enough for a couple of zombie[s] to crawl out of.”

As the story progressed, more zombies encircled the house, and Ben and Barbara discovered that they were not alone.  Tom, Travis Tanner, and his wife Judy, Taylor Simonds, were in the cellar with husband Harry, wife Helen, and injured daughter Karen Cooper.  Harry, Connor Wesson, and Ben had an initial run in that sent Harry storming back into the cellar with his wife, Malaika Woody, and daughter, Rachel Paige.

The intricate set was composed of a main room with windows that looked out back towards all the zombies milling about it the yard.  A staircase led up to an imaginary second floor and another led down to the cellar below the house.  The set went well with the effects used such as the explosion of Molotov Cocktails and gun shots.

The costumes were fashioned to imitate traditional 1960s attire.  The men wore long pants, button down shirts, and ties; the women wore either knee-length dresses or shorter pants with button down shirts.  The costumes, particularly Barbara’s long coat, were great renditions of those in the original film.

It is necessary to mention the fantastically gruesome ending of the play that involved not only the consumption of all living characters, but also the unique twist SHS decided to put at the end of the show: zombies dancing to “Thriller!”  They swarmed the stage and danced their way right into the showcase at curtain call.

Another unique attribute of the play were the zombies strewn about both the auditorium and the entrance to KWC.  Audience member senior John Li thought the zombies, especially during intermission, presented “a creative twist in the drama department” and enjoyed how they made the experience “interactive.”

This interactivity arose from the actors strewn about the floors of both the auditorium and the entrance to KWC.  Zombies endured much poking and prodding to set the scene, and passerbys had to be wary of hands grasping at their ankles as they walked by.

During the performance, zombie sophomore Alex Koohyar said that he liked that he “got to scare people” but from a more serious angle, “seeing these wonderful actors everyday and being with them.”

The cast and crew definitely spent its fair share of time together.  Through countless afterschool gatherings and even some late night lock-ins, the performance group found lots of time to form  bonds and friendships.

Zombie freshman Eric Topolewski expressed similar feelings about his theater family and said that his favorite part about being involved in the production was “best part was getting to go out after the show and scare people.”

Overall, whether attending just for extra credit or because of love for theater, this fall’s performance was fantastic.  It was the perfect mix between Halloween horror, blast from the past, and ghoulish fun. Great job on another well done production, Theater-‘Noles!