13 February 2024 • Arts HWS Theatre Presents: “Zombie Cheerleaders, a Teenage Witch, & The Demonic Voice on the Other End of the Phone”

What happens when you combine camp, horror, mystery and the supernatural? An uproarious and over-the-top comedy, whose twists and turns will have you laughing in delight and gasping in surprise.

Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth (front left) and Playwright Brandon Monokian (back center) join students and cast members from Zombie Cheerleaders, a Teenage Witch, & the Demonic Voice On The Other End of the Phone.

The HWS Theatre 2023-2024 season continues with a developmental production of Zombie Cheerleaders, a Teenage Witch, & The Demonic Voice on the Other End of the Phone by Brandon Monokian. The show will run Thursday, Feb. 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 24 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. in the McDonald Theatre of the Gearan Center for the Performing Arts.

There’s a new student at Madame Daphne’s Academy for Strange Girls and she’s got a killer secret. Trinity, played by July Winters ’24, arrives at Madame Daphne’s and immediately meets a set of Zombie Cheerleaders, starring Kerby Gillis ’24, Jaylynn McCarthy ’26 and Christina Roc ’24, who want her to join their squad. Trinity has other plans, which the other students, played by Heidi Huffman ’26, Tyler Hutchison ’27 and Zoe Kuzyk ’27, and their teacher, played by Kevin “K.J” Johnson, learn all too soon. Teen angst takes a supernatural turn in this camp horror comedy.

View the trailer for Zombie Cheerleaders, a Teenage Witch, & the Demonic Voice on the Other End of the Phone here.

Professor of Theatre Chris Woodworth is excited to produce Monokian’s work. “From the first moment I read his writing, I knew he was an extraordinary voice in the American theatre. His plays can have you laughing so hard you cry or holding your breath in awe at the lyricism of his stage directions,” Woodworth says. “We were fortunate to bring him to campus in April 2022 for a staged reading of Zombie Cheerleaders and its companion piece, Quiche. The students and community artists that participated in the reading immediately fell in love with Brandon’s voice. I knew I wanted us to put Zombie Cheerleaders on stage as a full production when the students in my Playwriting Workshop last spring raved about the script.”

Zombie Cheerleaders features original music by the Geneva electronic duo Shrimps (Brady Leo and Joe Calabrese) and Fight Choreography by Associate Professor of Theatre Chris Hatch, assisted by Hope Guzman ’24 and Kalila Caringal ’27. Scenic and Lighting Design as well as Technical Direction is by Ed Hallborg. Sound and Projection Design is by Kelly Walker. Costume Design is by Katharine Tarkulich. Grace Amonette ’24 makes her debut as Makeup Designer.

Monokian wrote and starred in the film Happy Yummy Chicken which features cast members from Orange is the New BlackEncanto, and How Stella Got Her Groove Back and is available on NBC’s Peacock Network and more. He co-created the NEH Grant funded Page to Stage program for Princeton Public Library with Janie Hermann where they presented staged readings of plays adapted from literature. He was a 2019 Artist in Residence for EveryLibrary, for which he wrote the play amethyst. His plays have been performed everywhere from New York to Alaska and he has spent time workshopping plays at the Sewanee Writers Conference, Valdez Theater Conference, Luna Stage’s New Moon series and The Tank. His creative work is dedicated to Suzzanne Douglas.

Tickets are free (donations accepted) and should be reserved in advance here.

Tickets for all HWS Theatre productions are free (donations accepted) and should be reserved in advance through the HWS Box Office. Online reservations close two hours before each performance. Remaining tickets will be available at the Box Office, one hour before each performance. In the event of a “sold-out” performance, a waiting list will be created.

Please note: This production features adult content and language and is not recommended for young audiences.