Gory, Enticing and Horrific


Leanna Willett

This past weekend, the “Night of the Living Dead” was presented to our school by Mrs. Simich and her students. “Night of the Living Dead” is Whitewater theatre production’s first show of the 2020-2021 school year. The play was based on a zombie apocalypse, as the show went through numerous relationships, grief, uncertainty and horror. Ultimately, as one might expect, the zombies took over and everyone ended up dying. Production was executed well and the audience didn’t notice set changes as the visuals were extremely captivating.

The play included lots of audience interaction

Many of the newcomers who joined theatre this year expressed that everyone on the show has been very welcoming and that this is a place where they feel like they can fit in. One of the extras also mentioned that “the overall experience was really fun, I enjoyed how much the crowd interacted with us, screaming and laughing all around.”

Mrs. Simich explained her inspiration for the play. 

(Left to right) Emma Becraft (11) and Emily White (12)

“Last year I saw a YouTube clip of the original zombie movie made in 1968, later I found out that someone had adapted it for stage which gave me the idea to make it into a play. The movie itself was terrible, but I took the chance to make it into something better. The movie also inspired me to bring the black and white aspect to life in our show.”

Some of the lead roles spoke about their parts. 

Garrett Arrington, a senior who played the role of Ben, said that he “connected to [his] character because [he] thought Ben kept everyone together and was like glue for the house. Ben was definitely the mediator in the play.” 

Kahlil Bullard (12th grade) played the role of Helen Cooper; Karen Cooper’s mom and Harry Cooper’s wife. She felt as though she relates to her role because Helen is “a very strong headed woman, who has a bit of a temper but can also keep her cool.” Which Kahlil says is how she personally rolls.  

Cast and crew of “Night of the Living Dead”

Henry Delfino, a senior who played the role of Harry Cooper, said that he “captured his role pretty well and that the whole experience did have its ups and downs, but in the end [they] put on a very good show.”

How was the overall experience of putting the show together? 

“I thought it was going to be a little easier than it was, but it was a huge challenge to do all the makeup and the costumes. Keeping a grey scale is definitely very challenging” said Mrs. Simich. 

Makeup and preparations prior to the show

Kaz, a senior on the makeup crew also expressed that “it’s been a little chaotic because we’ve had people constantly coming and going, plus things were getting changed about quite frequently. It was very much a learning experience with trying to figure out grey scale [the zombies skin tones]. Overall the play was a very fun experience.”

What do your plans for “Beauty and the Beast” look like?

“I am really looking forward to ‘Beauty and the Beast’ since we haven’t gotten to do a huge scale musical since before Covid when we did the ‘Adams Family,’ and ‘Beauty and the Beast’  is still bigger than that,” said Simich. 

Mrs. Simich took an older film and turned it into a fun and creative show in honor of the spooky season. Her last thoughts are that “It’s awesome to finally be back on our stage being able to do theatre the way we love to do it. Now that we’ve taken this one down it’s on to the next.” Whitewater is excited to see what theatre production has to offer us next semester with their musical “Beauty and the Beast.”