Bopping back in 'Pom-Pom Zombies'
Not all theater directors listen to ideas from actors, let alone incorporate them into a production. But that's just what director Maria White did while getting Cottage Grove Junior High School students ready to perform the musical "Pom-Pom Zombies."
The play was performed for students, friends and families in mid-March.
White said student-actors helped choreograph their own dances. "I get a lot of ideas from kids," she said.
Bethany Wozniak, who played Wendy "Weenie" Wienerman, said she hasn't participated in choir but got a lot of help from musical director Elizabeth Gullick with singing in her role as one of the "nerds."
"I've done all the plays here, but this is my first musical," she said.
Along with "the nerds," other groups in the effort to return the audience back to the 1960s included the No Name and the Hopeless High School Cheerleaders, surfers, beatnik poets and up-to-no-good Ivana Ratnik and her underlings Proton and Neutron who want Barnacle Betty's Surf Club property to expand to a nuclear power plant. Then, the cheerleaders are turned into zombies.
White said she chose the musical because it sends a message that there are many groups in society, or at a school, and that they can all get along. She also likes the zombie movies of the era.
When asked whether she enjoys performing, Kelly Yang, one of the Hopeless High School cheerleaders, just smiled. Her fellow actors said she liked being in the musical.
Playing Melvin, one of the nerds, Lucas Lindstrom had his first role on stage in fourth grade. He intends to try out for plays when he gets to Park High School.
Allura Lindquist played a cheerleader. Her interest in acting started when she put on plays with her friends when she was 6 years old.
She plans to continue acting at East Ridge High School and in college. Lindquist is not headed for Broadway, however.
"I think I'd like to be a television news anchor," she said.