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Previews: SANTA'S ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz' Teco Theatre

Twenty-two Patel Conservatory students, ages 10 to 18, perform in this action-packed holiday play, assisted by eight apprentices.

Previews: SANTA'S ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz' Teco Theatre Bradley Walton's Santa's Zombie Apocalypse is coming to Straz Center's TECO Theatre on December 1-3.

A crate of zombies have invaded Santa's workshop at the North Pole, and it's up to two visiting reindeer to rescue Santa, the elves, and the lawyers going over Santa's quarterly financials.

Director Audrey Siegler explained, "Sadly, Santa's magic has been drained by all of the lawyers. There's no magic to stop the zombies, so, fortunately, the reindeer are up for the challenge."

Previews: SANTA'S ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz' Teco Theatre Twenty-two Patel Conservatory students, ages 10 to 18, perform in this action-packed holiday play, assisted by eight apprentices. The student apprentices design most of the show, from full costumes to the colorful video-game-influenced set.

"The apprentices are working closely with me for the vision, and they're really running with all the technical stuff and creating some cool things," she said. "In addition to the crazy storyline, there's also a video game element to the show. The reindeer are nervous about taking on this big task, so they pretend they're in a video game to help them be brave. Some fun elements, lighting, and some scorekeeping go on throughout the show. I could not be more excited about what our costume apprentice is doing. She's pulled inspiration for the costumes based upon cartoons like the Care Bears, Gravity Falls, and various things from pop culture to create different looks. The Zombie makeup is designed and applied by myself and the apprentices: red, white, and green for the holidays. This show is so silly, and we've had a great time creating and playing together."

Ava Shimmel, Student Director, said that seeing her blocking on stage and getting feedback from the cast and mentors has been her favorite part of being in this position.

Thirteen-year-old Angel Vasquez, who plays Edmonds, one of Santa's elves in Santa's Zombie Apocalypse, described the show as "stupidly funny."

Previews: SANTA'S ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz' Teco Theatre "Edmonds is obsessed with making his dolls. He wants each one to be perfect, and he's really obsessed with this one doll, Precious Patsy. He gets really heartbroken when a Zombie--"

"Spoiler alert," Audrey quickly halts Angel's big reveal.

Let's just say: there's a big event with Precious Patsy and a zombie that you must see to believe.

Audrey said this is a story unlike any she's ever directed or even heard of.

"It merges Halloween and Christmas and gets you set for the holiday season in a fun, kind of quirky way."

Ava agreed, "It works for Nightmare Before Christmas, and it works for us."

Santa's Zombie Apocalypse will be performed Dec. 1-3, Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m., and Saturday at 2 and 7 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by calling 813.229.7827 or 800.955.1045 outside Tampa Bay, in person at the Straz Center Ticket Sales Office or online at

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