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Theatre Geeks vs Zombie Cheerleaders

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Recently, I had the pleasure of seeing a comedy by Kathryn Walat, Theatre Geeks vs. Zombie Cheerleaders performed at Troy High School in Troy, Ohio. The performance space is a typical high school auditorium that has a large stage and abundant seating. This short-play takes place in a high school with focus on the drama club and cheerleaders. The plot starts out with the Drama Geeks having a monthly meeting in their favorite coffee shop discussing the latest news in the wonderful world of a Thespian. Meanwhile, the cheerleaders are prepping for the upcoming homecoming game and dance. Suddenly, something odd has happened to the cheer squad, they have begun to smell as if they had died and have grown an acquired taste for human flesh. Head zombie cheerleader, Peaches has risen from her vengeful grave to organize a zombie apocalypse upon the whole school. It is up to the Drama geeks to use their theatrical strategies to slay Peaches and her zombie cheer squad.

The simple set, created by in-house designer Jeremy Imboden, was created completely out of recycled materials that were previously used in other productions. The four panels that hung as a back drop was made out of wood paneling and cardboard. There were several movable pieces; tables, chairs, coffee bar, and tombstones due to the cast potentially performing the show at an area conference. The minimal set design was truly made up by the lighting design of Travis Denton. The combinations of the colored gels and strategically placed spotlights really set the mood of each scene.

The costume and makeup design was done by students of the high school, which may be the reason why this category was nothing extravagant. The Drama Geeks where dressed in bright and fun street clothing, which most likely came from the actor’s personal closets. The cheerleaders on the other hand really lacked in costumes, they did not wear cheerleading uniforms. Instead, they wore t-shirts, shorts, and had bows in their hair. This made them not look like cheerleaders, but just a group of girls going to the gym with bows in their hair. Peaches, the head zombie cheerleader costume was very creative. Her dress was ripped and torn in multiple places with dirt and blood stains. In her hair, there were pieces of vegetation giving off the idea that she had risen from the grave. The most impressive costuming was the zombie makeup. It looked like open wounds revealing flesh on the body. A grey tint was given to the skin to truly make the actors look as if they were dead. Overall, the costuming lacked in some areas, but had some really impressive take a ways.

The cast is worth applauding; they worked well together and had a special bond that gleamed on the stage. There were two actresses that stood out among the rest of the cast; Kailey Pour as Savannah and Isha Tyagi as Peaches. The charisma that gleamed from both of the actresses when they were on the stage was truly notable. The presence of these young actresses really gave the show an extra pizzazz. It is obvious why they were cast as leads in this production. The actress, Taylor Walker whom was casted as Tessa, a drama geek seemed to lack that special quality. She knew her lines, but she didn’t seek to go past them. By this I mean she was very drawn back and lacked her stage voice as well as stage presence. I found it hard to believe that she was a named character at all. Overall, I feel the cast truly pulled together as one and really portrayed the story well.

Director, Irene Imboden has put together a comical show with a fun loving cast that really made the show worth watching. With its fun thespian jokes, brain hungry zombie cheerleaders, and of course a dance number. I encourage theatre goers of all ages to attend this show. This short-play will surely leave a smile on your face and definitely leave your stomach sore from laughter. Theatre Geeks vs. Zombie Cheerleaders is no longer being shown at Troy High School, but I am sure it will be performed at some point in a nearby theatre.

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