I've heard Prom Night of the Living Dead described as George Romero meets John Hughes. So working that theme, in The Breakfast Club, which character did you most identify with?
Though I would like to say the Molly Ringwald princess, I think I most identify with Ally Sheedy's freak in that group. Our director/writer, Kris would probably say I am the mean old principal.
This is an interactive play, where the audience mixes and mingles with the cast as prom attendees themselves. What made you decide to present it in this format?
We wanted the audience to feel like they are part of the action in a three-dimensional way. By having them start the evening by attending a "regular" prom they get lost in the event of partying and playing games and then all of a sudden the zombies attack -- the doors are locked and the groaning and moaning starts to come from all sides. The audience starts to feel like they are in a horror movie, not just watching a play.
Any challenges so far in this type of staging?
|Photo by Mia Moy|
What has been the best thing for you about this show?
Seeing the reactions from the audience as the zombies start to flood the stage. People are scared and/or shouting along with the main characters to "hit them in the head!" It's fun to watch everyone get scared and have a great time as well. I also enjoy watching the whole room do the hokey pokey!
Tell me a little about your cast and crew.
Many of our cast are from the original staging of the one-act version from last year's festival. It's great to have the old gang back because it made the rehearsal process go much more smoothly with all the stage combat we had to learn. As for the crew I truly believe we have a fantastically talented team! Our director/writer, Kris Chung, is the ultimate zombie expert and fan. He always has an answer for the cast on what to do in any given zombie situation and he always manages to find a balance between the intimacy and urgency of the play without compromising the fun party atmosphere of the interactive event. Our fight choreographer, Stanley Brode, has put together a beautiful and more importantly, believable zombie battle. And our dance choreographer, Dustin Cross has efficiently taught our cast nearly every '60s dance from the Stroll to the Mashed Potato. We've got some amazing talent in this young, non-union cast of 18 and I am so proud of each and every one of them!
What is next for you?
We are working on finding a permanent home for the Prom on Off-Broadway. After this successful run, we plan to re-open around Halloween to initiate a long-running show. If any dance hall/school gyms are interested in hosting us, please contact me asap! I'm also writing a couple new musicals based on my life in China. I hope to get those started in readings and workshops by the end of the year.
And finally, if you found yourself stuck in The Walking Dead or Night of the Living Dead, what would be your survival strategy?
First of all, I would try to get as far away as possible from NYC or any city for that matter. I would prepare as much food and water as I could carry and learn to use a shotgun with or without bullets for maximum head damage. Honestly, I don't think I would last too long in a real zombie apocalypse, I can barely make it through a scary zombie movie without my hands over my eyes!
Prom Night of the Living Dead