Contact: University Theater Center at 575.562.2711
PORTALES—Eastern New Mexico University will host the original “Zombie Circus Extravaganza” in the Studio Theater of the University Theatre Center on the Portales campus during ENMU’s Homecoming week with the theme of “It’s a Thriller.” Showings are Wednesday and Thursday, Sept. 22 -23, at 7 p.m., Friday and Saturday, Sept 24-25, at 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 26, at 2 p.m.
The show is directed by Bryan Hahn, resource dance faculty. It is scripted by Janeice Scarbrough, professor of theatre, Hahn, and Joseph Sanders, department secretary for psychology, as well as choreographed by Hahn and Sanders.
“We began conceptualizing the show in the spring when the Homecoming theme was announced,” says Hahn. “We were thinking of doing a showcase, but eventually decided to create an actual production--not a dance piece here and a film there.”
The creative vision matured into the “Zombie Circus Extravaganza” and has been in rehearsal seven days a week for the three weeks before the inaugural show. “The students have given so much to this show. They’ve really taken on the characters and it’s exciting to see them when they’re truly in the moment,” says Hahn.
The “Zombie Circus Extravaganza” centers around the ringmaster of the show, Scarlet, who is also the only remaining human in the production. Even though her troupe consists of the undead, “She has total control of her performers and they fear her,” says Hahn. The story explains what happened to the circus as they find a new home in Portales after leaving Commerce, Texas, the home of ENMU’s opponent for this year’s homecoming. “We take a lot of humorous jabs at them; it’s all in the good spirit of Homecoming."
Performers take on the roles of the Bearded Lady, the Strong Man, tightrope walkers and various other acts in a traditional circus show. In the performance of the circus, “Everything that can go wrong, does go wrong,” says Hahn.
For those leery about attending a show with the word “Zombie” in the title, Hahn assures the patrons, “Do not expect something you’d see in a zombie movie. There is no blood, guts, gore or ripping body parts. We have truly created a new spin on the zombie concept.”
“Zombie Circus Extravaganza” is an effort to contribute more choices for alumni and current students for Homecoming. “We want people to leave Homecoming saying we have wonderful things and collaboration going on and they can’t wait for next year,” says Hahn.
The show has something for everyone, according to Hahn, “The script has a lot of high-brow humor that older audiences will enjoy and the colors, the movement and the performance itself will appeal to the youth in the audience.”
The show is in the Studio Theatre with the performers interacting with the audience. “If you want to sit back and just watch a show, this won’t be the case,” says Hahn. Cast members will sit next to the audience, talk to them and ask them to participate.
Hahn is impressed with the caliber of performers who auditioned. Over 60 people from a diverse group of majors auditioned and 23 were selected. “We were going to have a smaller cast but we decided to take on more because they were just so good!” says Hahn.
Tickets are $4, or season tickets for all productions are $30.
For more information, call the University Theater Center box office at 575.562.2711.