BWW Interview: Jake Zinke of ZOM-BRIDE at St. Dunstan's Theatre says Join in on the Laughs, Voodoo Magic, & Zombies!
St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook is helping everyone get in the Halloween spirit with their latest show, ZOM-BRIDE, an original comedy Spooktacular! A parody of the 1943 film, I Walked with a Zombie, which was loosely based on Jane Eyre, is an original play wrote by Jake Zinke that he describes as "campy, melodramatic, raucous, and racy fun." The cast of characters is played by a troupe of four actors (Molly Dorset, Paul Dorset, Jeff Foust, and Zinke,) most of whom play several different roles, often moments after one another. This is a fast-paced, madcap comedy with quick changes, mystery, and fake blood. And an important detail if you weren't sold already, St. Dunstan's is presenting the show as a fundraiser to help give the theatre a facelift. BroadwayWorld Detroit had a moment to speak with writer and actor, Jake Zinke, about ZOM-BRIDE, his creative process, and why this show so is so much fun.
BroadwayWorld Detroit: Hi Jake! Can you give our readers a brief background of yourself and your theatre career as an introduction?
Jake Zinke: I'm a speech-language pathologist by day. My love for teaching language to kids combined with my passion for writing, lead me to start writing stage plays for kids using the language-teaching strategies that I use in my career. After writing and producing four children's plays at St. Dunstan's Theatre, I decided to try my hand at an adult stage play. Part of this dream came after I played a role in Alfred Hitchcock's The 39 Steps, also produced at St. Dunstan's, and it is a madcap, four person show in which the actors play multiple characters. It was such a great experience, that I decided I wanted to write a play in a similar style. Zom-Bride is exactly that!
Where did the idea for ZOM-BRIDE come from? And how do you describe the show?
It's a parody of 1940s melodramatic romance-horror movies, specifically the 1943 film, I Walked with a Zombie, which was loosely based on the novel Jane Eyre. It's an actor's piece, in which the actors get to play a bunch of goofy characters and basically just have fun on stage. We hope the audience laughs and enjoys themselves as much as we have been.
What was the writing process like?
The hardest part for me is always coming up with the idea. Once I knew that I wanted to do a parody of a horror movie and then I found the movie that I liked, I just started writing and envisioning what the audience would see portrayed on the stage. The actual writing is always so much fun for me and I just sit and type away for hours. When I finally get to the last word of the last page, I go back and read the whole thing again and add jokes and humor wherever I can fit them.
Besides being the writer, what is your role in the show?
As a parent and a husband, it's always a little bit tricky to balance family life with hobbies, such as writing and theatre. Since the rehearsal schedule for the show has been more of a workshop style, and all of us have been working as a team to create the final product, I have been acting a little bit in the role of director and I am also playing the role of the zombie. I decided to play the role of the zombie, so that I would get to be on stage with my husband, which is something we have not been able to do since our son was born. He's six now and he is actually participating in a musical theater program at his elementary school!
Do you have a favorite moment or line in the show?
Well, I love the whole script because I took out all the parts that I did not like. (Laughs.) But it is always really fun to see characters that you envisioned in your head while you were writing become embodied by actors. So, the way that some of the lines are said makes me laugh every time.
What makes ZOM-BRIDE different from another Halloween or zombie shows?
It almost feels more like stand-up comedy with the ways the actors get to portray so many different characters through the use of silly accents and mannerisms to differentiate the characters. And, of course, there's the voodoo.
Why should people come see St. D's production of ZOM-BRIDE?
I think it's a gem. A little-known show, but you take a chance and go see it. When you're done, you leave smiling and know that your evening was well spent. Come join in the laughs with this original Zombie-Comedy. Full of physical comedy, quick changes, voodoo magic, and of course... zombies.
ZOM-BRIDE is a fundraiser for St. Dunstan's Theatre. The funds raised will be used to help give St. D's a facelift. Facelift details include installing a personal amplification system for our patrons and members with hearing difficulty, updating the look of the lobby kiosk, replacing the curtains under the proscenium, and other exciting updates.
ZOM-BRIDE runs for one weekend only this coming weekend on October 25th and October 26th at 8pm and 10:30pm at St. Dunstan's Theatre Guild of Cranbrook in Bloomfield Hills. Shows are 90 minutes with no intermission. Tickets are $12 with a $2 service fee. For more information and tickets, call 1-844-DUNSTAN or visit www.StDunstansTheatre.com.