MK Penley stars as Cheryl in Out of Box's upcoming production of Evil Dead the Musical by George Reinblatt. Evil Dead the Musical brings Sam Raimi’s cult classic franchise to the stage, and Out of Box Theatre brings it home for its Atlanta premiere. This “All Guts, All Glory” musical interpretation of Evil Dead, Evil Dead 2, andArmy of Darkness features songs like “All the Men in MY Life Keep Getting Killed by Kandarian Demons,” “Ode to an Accidental Stabbing,” and “Do the Necronomicon.” This musical is not for the faint of heart, but is sure to leave your screaming with laughter. Evil Dead the Musical runs October 7-30, 2016 at Out of Box Theatre in Marietta, GA, and tickets are available at outofboxtheatre.com.
OOB: How did you first get into acting?
MKP: Being the quintessential middle child I was always 'on', but my first actual performance was as the title character of a church play, Angelica Saves Christmas, at age 6. It was all downhill from there.
OOB: What are some of your favorite roles to date?
MKP: Princess Winnifred in Once Upon a Mattress, Lucy in You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar, and Diana in Next to Normal. The last one isn't so much a 'favorite' role to date, but it was certainly the most challenging.
OOB: What made you want to work with Out of Box?
MKP: I was in a show at Out of Box Theatre last season and thoroughly enjoyed the entire process from rehearsals to productions. The staff they have assembled are welcoming and warm, and they attract an actor's favorite audience - smart, receptive, and willing to go on a journey with you each time you step on the stage of that quaint black box theatre.
OOB: Why did you want to audition for Evil Dead the Musical?
MKP: To be perfectly frank, I had never heard of EDTM! When I received the email notification about auditions, I googled the show, read the synopsis, listened to a few of the tunes, and had signed up for a slot within 5 minutes. Campy horror musical? Sign me up!
OOB: What or who has inspired your portrayal of Cheryl?
MKP: She's a touch of Molly Ringwald, a sprinkle of androgynous Pat, with a spoonful of Barb from the new Stranger Things TV show. There's also some hints to the original Cheryl in The Evil Dead thrown in.
OOB: What has the rehearsal process been like?
MKP: The rehearsal process has been awesome! Zip allows us to work organically, meaning we can navigate the stage freely without him having block our every move. The dance rehearsals have been my favorite, because - deadites dancing. And my fellow actors are all incredible talents. At the very least, we think we're hilarious!
OOB: Without giving away too many spoilers, what are you most excited for the audience to see?
MKP: Not really answering the question, but I am most excited to HEAR the audience belly laughing - because it will happen.
OOB: What kind of challenges has this show presented for you?
MKP: Challenges? Cheryl has a very intriguing character arc. That's all I'm going to say about that...
OOB: What's your favorite song in the show and why?
MKP: Every song has its moments! But I love Reliable Jake because... Trevor. Love Houseware Employees because on top of Lisa and Jack's pitch-perfect singing, the choreography is a riot. Love "Do the Necronomicon" because I don't think I've made it through a whole time without laughing.
OOB: Why do you think EDTM is the perfect fit for Out of Box?
MKP: EDTM will be PERFECT for Out of Box Theatre. The audience will get to experience their favorite scenes from this movie like they're IN the scenes from the movie!
OOB: Would you take on this role again, if you had the opportunity?
MKP: Despite the fact that I'm actually terrified of zombies and can't sit through a single episode of Walking Dead, I'd play Cheryl again in a heartbeat.... Err... Deadbeat? Cause she's... Well, come to the show to find out!