The bad-boy of Enrico Fermi High School is less than welcome when he unexpectedly returns to school as a revenant zombie in Arkansas State University Theater’s production of Zombie Prom, which opens on Friday in the Drama Theatre at the Fowler Center. After all, Rule Number 7, Subsection 9 of the Handbook of Student Life clearly states “no zombies,” according to the school’s principal, Miss Strict.
Still, Zombie Jonny, who died three weeks earlier when he flung himself into the cooling tower of the Francis Gary Powers nuclear plant in a fit of teenage heartbreak, is determined to graduate and win back the heart of good-girl Toffee and take her to the prom.
“I have to go back behind stage and I have a whole amazing crew that helps me get the makeup on and prepare for that, and it all has to happen in less than 10 minutes, so it’s going to be awesome to see it on stage,” said theater major Zac Passmore, who plays Jonny. He was attracted to the role of the only actual zombie in the story because of its lead vocals — Zombie Prom is, of course, a musical — and the challenges of playing a larger-than-life character authentically.