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Shotwell Studios
San Francisco, CA
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Presented by Ninjaz of Drama in association with Footloose.
Written and directed by Rey Carolino.

A hilarious and unique combination of the family classic and the popular Zombie genre!

While judging a costume contest in order to publicize his latest horror movie, famous show biz wiz and former royal Prince, Harry Chester and his assistant Betty are cursed and transformed into strange creatures by an irate Maleeva, a Gypsy Witch who hates royalty. To further humiliate him the Gypsy turns all the tenants of Harry's apartment tower into listless, shuffling Zombies! Harry and his assistant Betty now lead miserable lives as The Beast and Butoh! Meanwhile life is now very strange for the tenants not affected by the zombie curse who struggle with daily life filled with zombie family, friends, and neighbors; among them are a fan-girl group called the Zombie Killer Four. Bela, a member of the four, is an aspiring singer who seeks tutelage from the transformed Harry despite his horrendous condition. They become unlikely friends and she vows to help him become free of the Beast curse. Supporting the story is Bela's family and a weird neighbor called Boo. Spurred by dwindling window of time set upon by Maleeva, the Gypsy Witch, Bela struggles to cure the Beast before the curse becomes permanent and the Zombies becomes finally hungry.

With original songs and music by Irish Higgins, Rey Carolino, and Ted Speros

A cast of wonderful Bay Area stage talent brings this play to life.

Ashley O'Brien as Narrator
Hannah Travis as Bela (Beauty)
Stephen Randolph as The Beast
Myles Wynn as Harry Chester
Christy Spence as Betty/Butoh
Nicole Mitchell as Tamora/Maleevea/Mom/Hot Reporter
Rachael Heiman as Boo
Sami Missing as Moira, a friend to Tamora
Jeff Missing as Frank the Dad
Jaime Leung as Anna, sister to Bela
Alex Vickers as Ed, brother to Bela
Natasha Miranda as Grace, sister to Bela
Christian Emmanuel Sanchez as a Zombie, Ensemble

About the Ninjaz of Drama:
NINJAZ OF DRAMA, a proud Company member of Theatre Bay Area, is a San Francisco bound yet nomadic acting ensemble performing out of different venues throughout the City staging both classical and original works of theatre for both adult and family audiences. Created in 2007 by actors Mark Hidzick, Ted Speros, and Rey Carolino, this group is peopled by an ever changing company of actors, dancers, musicians, singers, designers, stage directors, producers, and technicians consisting of college and high school students, retirees, teachers, and impassioned people from all walks of life who band together to experience in the intense appreciation and performance of live theater.

An article about the Playwright Rey Carolino and a review of his 2011 family NINA AND THE MONSTERS.

"Nina and the Monsters"
Expect Hysteria and Hilarity.
By Nirmala Nataraj, Special to the Chronicle. Published 04:00 a.m., Thursday, November 24, 2011

Playwright and director Rey Carolino - along with his loosely knit acting group, Ninjaz of Drama - creates pieces that are both whimsical and heartfelt. His new play, "Nina and the Monsters," which he both wrote and is directing at the Phoenix Theatre, is an example.

A boisterous comedy with hints of the hysteria and hilarity of old monster movies, Carolino's plot centers on Nina, a girl in a remote European village who's nursing a spooky secret: She's turning into a werewolf. High jinks ensue when a Hollywood producer, a movie star, a couple of intrusive CIA agents, a pair of monster chasers and two very familiar monsters all drop in to get a piece of Nina.

Carolino says that he was influenced by the classic Universal monster movies of the 1930s and '40s, from Frankenstein's monster to the Wolfman to Dracula - as well as the actors who played them: luminaries like Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney Jr. and Boris Karloff.

"When you're 8 years old, stuff like that makes an impression on you," Carolino says.

In addition, the Hammer horror films of the '60s were a particularly potent visual influence. "Those were different," he says. "There was lots of blood and sex and color, but the movies still fueled my fanboy sense."

Carolino used those early influences to create comic books; early in his career, he was on the path to becoming a graphic artist. "That ambition fell to the wayside when I got into theater," he says, "especially when I came to understand that the characters I loved as a kid were actually great literary figures, which contributed to my desire to write about them."

He says the film "I Was a Teenage Werewolf" informed his decision to create "Nina and the Monsters." He began the piece a couple of years ago and workshopped it in 2009; it has since evolved into a "big, zany, over-the-top character comedy, full of the kind of campy moments Mel Brooks used to structure his stories."

With 17 characters, the play has the energy and structure of a sitcom, with rapid-fire scenes and set pieces. It also includes a handful of original songs by Ted Speros.

"I used a lot of the elements you might find in an old horror film, like the village with superstitious villagers that's been plagued by zombies, werewolves, witches and the like for hundreds of years," Carolino says.

Carolino, who started out writing heavy adult dramas and comedies, has just recently begun to branch into writing family-themed comedies, which he is quick to note isn't the same as what some might call children's theater.

"I was trained as a writer, and then I got into directing. ... And I learned that to be good at either of these, you have to be a good listener," he says. "And so there is truly a sense that this piece has something for all audiences."



Shotwell Studios (View)
3252-A 19th Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
United States

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Arts > Theatre

Minimum Age: 10
Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: No


Owner: Ninjaz of Drama
On BPT Since: Jul 16, 2011
415 509 8656


Donna F.
Sep 08, 2012 12:04 PM
Donna F.
Sep 08, 2012 12:04 PM
Loryn S.
Fremont, CA United States
Sep 07, 2012 2:48 PM
Loryn S.
Fremont, CA United States
Sep 07, 2012 2:48 PM
Name Withheld
orinea, CA United States
Sep 07, 2012 12:35 PM
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orinea, CA United States
Sep 07, 2012 12:35 PM

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