Meet the “Santa’s Zombie Apocalypse” cast: Howell’s Jenny Halliday relishes playing the “bad guy” in CTH’s new show

All this week, the Livingston Post will be profiling cast members of the Community Theatre of Howell’s youth production of “Santa’s Zombie Apocalypse.”

Jenny Halliday has been in numerous shows with the Community Theatre of Howell in happy roles, but in “Santa’s Zombie Apocalypse,” she’s getting a chance to play the bad guy, Philpott.

And she’s loving every minute of it.

“Playing Philpott is so fun,” said Jenny, an eighth-grader at Parker Middle School in Howell. “It’s definitely different for me to play the bad guy, but I love it. It’s so fun to get to be sassy and villainous, especially when I would get in trouble for doing that at home. I can relate to her a lot, because a lot of times, I am constantly asking to turn up the heat! I am so thankful to the directors for giving me this amazing role.”

In this play, when Santa is trapped by zombies (who have somehow gotten into the North Pole toy shop), two reindeer fawns are determined to save the day. But as they make their way through the toy shop encountering wayward zombies and stranded elves, they learn that saving the day is not as easy as it sounds.

Jenny Halliday

“What I love most about the show is, well, the show itself,” Jenny said. “Of course it is fun to be in a well-known show, but when people don’t know the plot, it is more fun to see what happens next. The show is so funny, and there are so many parts in it where I can’t help but laugh out loud. I also love the Christmas theme, because Christmas is my favorite holiday. It’s also so funny to see everyone in their costumes, especially some of the elves.”

Jenny lives in Howell with her family, all of whom are also involved in CTH: dad Chris, mom Susan and sisters Sarah, Anna and Abby.

“I first became part of CTH in one of their theater camps, ‘Madagascar Jr.,’ where I played King Julian,” Jenny said. “It was definitely fun to play one of the more comedic roles, and that really got me into theater. My family learned about the theater camp from Bethany Bean, who went to our church. It was really fun, and after that, my sisters and I started to be a part of their shows. So far, I have been a part of four shows, including ‘Santa’s Zombie Apocalyse.’ I also did stage crew for ’13 The Musical.’ ”

As for her favorite part of the theater group, “The thing I like the most about being involved with CTH is most definitely the people,” she said. “Everyone – the cast, the directors, etc. – have all been so nice and friendly. I have made so many friends through CTH, and I don’t think I would’ve met them if it weren’t for it. Also, when you are in a show, you become almost like a family with the cast and you feel like it is a safe space you can go to if you ever need it.”

Jenny is thrilled to present the show to a live audience this weekend.

“The audience can expect a show that will keep them laughing with this production,” she said. “There are so many humorous lines in this show. You will also love the costumes! Some of them are so cute and funny!”

“Santa’s Zombie Apocalypse” is directed by Kevin Rogers. The producer is Theresia Rogers; assistant director and makeup coordinator is Cristian LaBar; technical director is Brian Bickel; costumer is Dawn Eldred; and the stage manager is Cheryl Schott.

The Community Theatre of Howell is presenting “Santa’s Zombie Apocalypse” at the Howell High School Freshman Campus, 1400 W. Grand River Ave., Howell. Shows are Feb. 26 at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 27 at 2 and 7:30 p.m., and Feb. 28 at 2 p.m. Seating will be limited, masks are required in the auditorium and social distancing will be maintained in seating.

Tickets are $10, available by calling 517-545-1290, or online by clicking here.

Jenny Halliday in “Santa’s Zombie Apocalypse.”

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