Michigan International Prep School’s flexible education helps CTH actress Alexa Zielkowski thrive

Alexa Zielkowski will be taking the stage this weekend in the Community Theatre of Howell’s youth production of “Santa’s Zombie Apocalypse,” playing the role of an energetic reindeer.

A veteran of several shows, Alexa is thrilled to be back on stage. And she’s grateful that her education has been flexible and supportive enough to help her thrive.

Alexa, a ninth-grader who lives in Howell, is enrolled in two charter schools – Michigan International Prep School (MIPS) and the Charyl Stockwell Preparatory Academy (CSPA). MIPS is an online charter school with students across the state and a learning lab in Howell. Alexa takes eight classes at MIPS and does her math through CSPA.

“What I like best about attending Michigan International Prep School is the flexibility and support I get from it,” she said. “It’s an online school and I have a pacing guide, but am able to do my work on my own time rather than sitting in a classroom for seven hours a day. Also, there are a whole lot of resources available for me to use if I need help, and all my teachers have been very good at being responsive and supportive.”

Alexa Zielkowski

All of that support has helped her devote time to the stage, as well. She’s been part of the Livingston County theater scene for almost seven years now.

“I first became involved with CTH in the fall of 2014 when my sister did her first show there (‘Shrek the Musical’),” Alexa said. “I mostly helped backstage and did summer camps until I performed in my first main show at CTH, (‘Dinosaurs Before Dark’) in 2017. Overall, I have been on stage for five main shows and three summer camps, in addition to being on teen staff for the 2019 elementary school summer camp.

“I love so many things about being involved with CTH, but the one I value the most is probably the people involved,” she added. “The CTH family is one of the most welcoming, loving groups I have ever been a part of. I always have a whole lot of fun being a part of any type of performance at CTH and I believe that this theater has helped me grow a lot as an actor and as a person.”

With the live shows coming up this weekend, she’s thrilled to be back on stage.

“It has been very difficult to practice theater throughout the past year, but this show has allowed us to come back and do what we love,” she said. “The smaller cast size and safety measures enforced have allowed us to put on a comical, fun, little show to help the cast and audience escape from the world for a little bit. That is probably what I like most about the show, in addition to working with all the fun, talented, and hardworking people involved.”

As for her part in the show, “I play the role of Arti, a rather rambunctious reindeer who works with her sister, Tippett, to rescue Santa from a zombie invasion. What I like the most about playing Arti is being able to really express the ambition and excitement of her character, but also showing her weaknesses too and what can be learned from them. The audience can expect a fun, post-Christmas show filled with, fantasy, cool effects, and lots of interesting characters!”

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.

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