Burbank High Drama Department Presents “Night of the Living Dead”


Horrifying happenings will be taking center stage as Burbank High School’s award winning drama department unleashes ‘Night of the Living Dead’ in all its gory glory. This recently written stage adaptation is extremely faithful to George A. Romero’s 1968 cult classic film of the same name which is credited with creating the whole zombie genre.

This killer production is directed by Brooks Gardner who begins his 8th wildly successful year as the head of BHS’s theater arts. Last years fall play, ‘Flowers for Algernon’, was nominated for awards in 5 categories by the National Youth Arts Organization winning both outstanding actor and outstanding supporting actress for 2010. He is assisted by his wife, Ann Gardner who is both costume and set designer. She has brought to life an eerie tri-level farmhouse complete with basement.

Mr. Gardner looks forward to introducing a whole new generation to theatrical terror through a play that is “basically human tragedy along the lines of the horror genre that examines human nature of how ordinary people would realistically act in times of extreme crisis.” He has strived to develop sustained intensity along the lines of ‘War of the Worlds’ reality and believability without being campy.

What also makes this staging unique is the customized atmospheric enhancement created by the Living Dead Trio. The trio is comprised of two talented BHS instrumental students headed up by Jose Vasquez, ROP technical theater instructor, who have composed their own music and will be performing in the background during the show. Bone chilling special effects have been designed by Brandon Lee Knight-Warren, Christopher Warren and their Oscar award winning company, Fantasy II.

Parents are being advised that due to the highly charged atmosphere of terrifying moments, graphic violence, relentless pursuits and lots of death, ‘Night of the Living Dead’ is recommended for audience members ages 11+ only. Joni Rudesill, professional hair and make-up artist with the Colony Theater, will be lending her skills and mentoring students, Sarkis Gregorian, Adam Torvinen and Dylan Howie-Richardson, to create frightful facial features and physical trauma that will leave you with haunting memories. This will be quite an undertaking given the size of the cast which numbers 35 dead or alive actors.

Dramatic lighting has been designed by the very skilled Kaylyn Goldman with the help of her adviser, Robert Kyle, technical director of the Colony Theater. There will also be an outdoor pre-show featuring the BHS upper level dance team inspired with horror related choreography and characters under the direction of dance instructor, Estee Carrizosa.

It has been Mr. Gardner’s passion to provide a wide variety of theatrical experiences that run the gamut from well known classics to the completely unexpected resulting in extraordinary entertainment that exceeds well beyond the typical expectations of high school play productions. This year’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’ is sure to be something you can really sink your teeth into for a very satisfying bite of terrifying terrestrials that are positively zombielicious!

Come feast on this kick-off to the Halloween season with performances beginning at 7PM sharp, October 20-22, and at 3PM on October 23. There will be no intermission and early arrival of up to thirty minutes is highly encouraged with latecomers seated only at management’s discretion. Tickets are $10.00 for adults, $8.00 for students and $5.00 for students w/ASB cards or non BHS id’s. Will call tickets are available by calling 818-478-9119.

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