The giving dead: Anam Cara Theatre’s zombie-themed benefit

SHAMBLE ON: Anam Cara Theatre Company encourages event patrons to don full zombie attire at Saturday's costume party. Photo courtesy of event sponsors Tempus Fugit Design

Although there is no formal dress code for Anam Cara Theatre Company’s fundraiser, Zombie Hospital 1955, it may be one of those rare Asheville parties where not dressing appropriately is actually frowned upon. But keep in mind that in this case, “appropriate” is loosely defined as blood-stained anything — and a frown is perhaps the ideal outcome, considering the typical spectrum of zombie emotion.

The costumed event, which includes a panel-judged contest for best dressed, aims to “transport” attendees to an alternate reality, set in a 1950s hospital where medical care has gone awry. The theme was chosen, says event coordinator Kim Hartley, “because we wanted something that was kind of quirky.”

Hartley’s team has planned a dynamic programming lineup for the evening, including four “interactive soap opera theatrics” where audience members will be cued to participate with the stage performers in various ways.

“As the night goes on, it will become more interactive between attendees and artists,” says Hartley, who aims to make the evening a fluid co-mingling of personalities. Additional installations ( for example, a pop-up psychiatric ward and pharmacy), managed by Anam Cara ensemble Accordion Time Machine, will also be scattered throughout the event space.

Prizes abound at the zombie hospital, with the costume contest winner snagging two tickets to any Anam Cara show in the 2014-2015 season, and the silent auction will provide further opportunity to walk away with local eats and entertainment spoils. Gift certificates for The Hop and Blue Ribbon Salon are for bid, as well as dance classes with Christine Garvin and an Asheville Fringe Festival all-access “Freak Pass.”

The $25 admission charge includes one signature cocktail to ease the discomfort of rigor mortis, and a cash bar and hors d’oeuvres will be available throughout the night. Food sponsor My Sweet Caroline’s Bakery of Mills River will also provide cupcakes to sweeten the affair.

All proceeds from the party benefit Anam Cara Theatre Company, a local organization that “strives to provide the community with progressive, thought-provoking theater that incorporates music, art and the written and spoken word,” according to the company’s mission statement.

WHAT: Anam Cara Theatre Company fundraiser, Zombie Hospital 1955

WHERE: Toy Boat Community Arts Space, 101 Fairview Road

WHEN: Saturday, Nov. 8, at 7:30 p.m. $25. anamcaratheatre.org

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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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