Students bring the “Evil Dead” to life
Published: Friday, October 25, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 25, 2013 23:10
This Halloween season, The Shadowbox Theatre will host a local production of “Evil Dead: The Musical” that features two current Loyola theatre students and an alumnus.
“Evil Dead: The Musical” is a campy horror musical based on the horror film trilogy by Sam Raimi. The musical takes elements from “The Evil Dead,” “Evil Dead 2” and “Army of Darkness” to create a unique theatrical experience.
The Shadowbox Theatre’s production is the first to be produced by new local company “See’Em On Stage: A Production Company.”
Adam Randall, A’12, said that he is excited to be a part of the creative process of this new company.
“This is their first show ever,” Randall said. “It’s a brand new company starting with pretty much no budget, and yet we have all kinds of insane things happening.”
Randall is not only involved in the production as an actor, filling the various roles throughout the performance, but he is also the production’s lighting designer.
Randall attributes his success in the “real world” of theatre and the arts to the knowledge he received from his years working under the faculty and staff of the Loyola theatre department.
“Before Loyola, I had never touched a light board and actually done a design, but they gave me the tools and pushed me to get out of my comfort zone,” Randall said. “Learning how to work with a director’s vision while still creating something of your own was a huge part of what they taught me and why I have been successful since graduating.”
Loyola’s theatre department is further represented in this production by two current students — Kali Russell, theatre arts sophomore, and Charlotte Voelkel, theatre arts senior.
Voelkel said that she has enjoyed the transition into her character in “Evil Dead: The Musical.”
“Our characters are all such stereotypes,” Voelkel said. “For example, my character Shelly is the epitome of the dumb blonde, but a few days ago we started to add a little more dimension to her as a character. We took it from, ‘She just says things and isn’t really aware’ to a place where she is very in tune with what she is saying.”
Russell said that her character is the antithesis of Voelkel’s in nearly every way. Russell plays Linda, a “standard girl-next-door” type.
“For this production, the director and I took a somewhat different approach to this character,” Russell said. “She says things funny, or she will just say words wrong. She thinks she is so smart, but she doesn’t even realize what is happening around her.”
When it comes to taking on new roles, Russell and Voelkel both draw from their previous experiences in various Loyola productions.
After taking the stage in multiple shows around the New Orleans area, one main difference that Randall, Russell and Voelkel have noted between school productions versus local community shows is the audience.
“I think that more actors from around the city come to community theatre, and so you know that companies will be coming to see your show,” Voelkel said.
Russell said that the process of casting and working in community theatre has changed. Theatre companies tend to privately recruit actors that they know from other productions instead of holding auditions.
“It’s to the point where if you want to work in New Orleans theatre, you have to start getting your name out there years before you actually start getting major roles,” Russell said.
Voeklel and Russell said that while community theater does test their time management skills, they wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I love this show so much,” Russell said. “What I think the audience is going to be really excited to see is the balance between hilarity and horror.”
Lauren Patton can be contacted at email@example.com
What: "Evil Dead: The Musical," a production from "See 'Em Dead: A Production Company"
When: Oct. 25, 26, 27, 30, 31, and Nov. 1 at 8 p.m.
Where: The Shadowbox Theatre, 2400 St. Claude Ave., New Orleans, LA 70117