The Dancing Dead: Winchester Players debuts ‘Zombie Prom’

When a lovesick Jonny rises from the dead as a zombie after jumping into a nuclear reactor, he returns to Enrico Fermi High School to win Toffee back.

At the start of “Zombie Prom,” Toffee, Jonny’s good girl girlfriend played by Emily Hutchison, was forced to break up with the perceived bad boy, played by James Parks, setting up the slew of shenanigans the audience sees for the rest of the show.

“Jonny doesn’t know who his parents are,” Parks said. “He’s represented in the show by Mrs. Strict as troubled, but he’s never really done anything bad.”

Throughout “Zombie Prom,” the audience will experience a journey of forbidden love, battles with self-acceptance and a rollercoaster of teenage emotions in this comical production set in the 1950s, during which the threat of nuclear war seemed imminent.

“It’s very much a satire on that time period,” director Kelly Estes said. “It’s a classic love story of boy meets girl, boy falls into nuclear power plant, boy comes back as zombie, and will they make it to their prom?”

The Winchester Players production premieres today at 7:30 p.m. at Robert D. Campbell Junior High. Performances will continue all weekend with shows at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday as well as a matinee show at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.

There are about 30 cast members involved in the show, and the cast has been working on the production since mid-May.

Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children younger than 13. Proceeds go back into Winchester Players, an organization dedicated to providing community theater.

Hutchison said she encourages people to come check out the show as well as considering auditioning for future Winchester Players productions.

Estes said she hopes people come out to see all of the hard work that’s been put into “Zombie Prom.”

“The show is a lot of fun, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously, so it’s very much a comedy and satire,” Estes said.