July 11, 2002
In "Attack of the Cafeteria Zombies," silly aliens try to take over a school, and brave elementary-school students stop them. That's the premise of the upcoming play being presented by Chantilly High's Children's Theatre.
Written by Chantilly Drama Director Ed Monk, it will take the stage Friday-Saturday, July 19-20, at 3 and 7:30 p.m., both days, in the school auditorium. Tickets are $3 at the door.
"The aliens attack the earth," explained Stephen Lewia, 15 1/2, who plays one of the children, Hunter. "They give people corndogs and, when they eat them, they turn into zombies so the aliens can take over the earth."
As Hunter, Lewia is the leader of the kids. "He likes to ramble on and is a fun character," he said. "He has lots of energy, and I love to be in front of the kids [in the audience] and make everybody smile."
Playing another child, Autumn, is Stephanie Morrison, 15 1/2. She described the students as nerds who like doing homework. Autumn is into science and technology, and the other children look up to her.
"She's a challenging character because she's the brainiac of everything and tries to come up with plans," said Morrison. "I like the fact that she's down-to-earth and always thinking. I like being a leader, too, so it's like playing myself." She says both parents and children will like the play and, since it takes place in a school, children "will relate to it."
Featuring a 32-member cast and crew, "Zombies" is double-cast. Monk said he did so because "I had so many good kids try out." Kim Marker, 16, also plays Hunter. She says Hunter is enthusiastic about everything, "has a million stories to tell" and wants to be the center of attention.
"It's fun — I get to jump around and act like a little kid again," she said. "I like acting to kids because they think it's real and are an enthusiastic audience. You've got to keep their interest but, when you see them smile, you keep going."
Playing one of the three aliens — Tagamet, Zantec and the commander, Exxon — is Mike Deveney, 15. As Zantec, he says life is cool on his planet, but lots of people are trying to rule the universe. By feeding corndogs to earthlings, he explained, they'll do whatever the aliens want them to do "so we can have total power."
He said it's part of the aliens' "Plan 54" to take over, but the school children try to stop them. He also likes his costume: Silver leotards, a cape, a shirt with a "Z" on it and "maybe a helmet with an antenna."
As head alien, Chris Miller, 16, portrays Exxon. "I boss people around," he said. "It's my first big role, so it's fun. I come from planet Nimrod in another galaxy, and I'm gonna have antennas and a cape."
Deveney said the aliens hope to succeed on earth so they can "impress the people on our planet and be big Nimrods." He also thinks it's neat that he gets to "speak in an alien voice and kind of waddle when I walk."
A rising junior at Chantilly, Kristina Pouy, 16, plays Tyler, another one of the children. "He's a geek — a dork that always gets made fun of," she said. "He gets picked on by one of the big kids, a bully named Fish Face."
But she likes her role because it's "really different from what I've ever done before. I love being up on stage, entertaining people and having them enjoy what I'm doing."