FARMINGTON — The days are growing shorter and the nights growing colder, the earth is turning from the bounty of summer and tucking in to fall, and Halloween is just around the corner. Pumpkins are appearing on doorsteps, nylon spider webs being strung in doorways, plastic skeletons are poking their boney faces around corners, and cut-out ghosts, black cats and broom-riding witches are hanging from trees.

The "spookiest" night of the year, some believe that Halloween, also known as Samhain and All Hallows' Eve, is the night when the veil between the world of the living and that of the dead grows thinnest.

The imagination turns to zombies stirring in the darkness, edging their decaying fingers through the dirt, preparing to pull themselves up from their graves and stumble through the night, arms groping blindly in front of them.

It seems that some of these zombies are partial to the stage, and will be making a special Halloween evening appearance, as Theatre Ensemble Arts presents a "Zombie Theater" at Piedra Vista High School.

The event, a fundraiser to benefit the PV Drama Department, will consist of two short skits entitled, "What if You Missed the Zombie Apocalypse?" and "The New Chic," both written by Alejandro Sandoval.

"These skits poke fun at the idea of a zombie apocalypse," said TEA's General Manager Debbie Doggett.

Two other pieces written by local playwright Andrew Gomez, "The Last Autumn," and "Bargain Shopping," will also be presented by TEA actors.

"One of these takes place at a high school.


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The new girl at the school is a zombie and starts infecting the whole school," said Doggett. "But she's also really popular because she's so different."

Doggett said she got the idea for the Zombie Theater from former San Juan College Theater Director Theresa Carson, who organized last year's "Farmington on the Fringe" Festival, which also featured zombies and vampires in its plays.

This event is an extension of a Halvorson House grant TEA received several years ago, which is geared toward bringing theater to youth and schools.

"I thought the Zombie Theater would be a fun way to apply that grant," said Doggett.

Michelle Holmes volunteers with TEA, and will be appearing in one of Gomez' plays at the Zombie Theater.

"It's a post-apocalyptic story that takes place after the zombies have taken over the earth," Holmes said. "Some people are zombies and some are not, and it's a story of survival of the non-zombies. I think this is the first play Andrew has had presented, and I really like supporting local artists."

Holmes said the Zombie Theater will serve as a fun family Halloween event, though with the zombie/death theme, it might be scary for very young children.

"It's going to be a lot of fun, and if people want to come dressed as zombies, that would really add to the ambiance," said Holmes.

The Zombie Theater starts at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Piedra Vista High School's Turano-Chrisman auditorium. Admission is $3 per person. For more information, call 505-326-2839.