Meet Casey Zoglmann – Theatre and English major; Writer, director and producer of “The Complete Works of Dark Shadows Abridged”

“This is my final week at Kentucky Wesleyan, and what an experience it has been. I came here as a transfer student from Owensboro Community and Technical College after taking a children’s theatre class here during my time at OCTC. I always felt like I was the “weird girl” in high school, but when I arrived at Wesleyan, I was welcomed and accepted immediately for who I am. That acceptance helped me move to a new level in my life, and I accomplished a lot while I was here. I will always be grateful for my Wesleyan experience.” – Casey Zoglmann ’18

Casey Zoglmann loved “Dark Shadows,” the 2012 movie starring Johnny Depp. The film, based on the popular late 60s and early 70s ABC soap opera featuring vampire Barnabas Collins, prompted her to acquire and view all 1,225 episodes of the vintage soap opera. A theatre and English major, she wrote a screenplay that was an abridged version of the TV show under the direction of her English professor and advisor, Tamara Coy.

Casey joined Coy’s screenwriting and page to stage courses to write and produce small scripts. “She always spoke of her close ties with the community and local theatre,” shared Coy. “As a joint major, working with the English and Theatre departments to write and produce a full play script was the perfect progression for her senior seminar project.”

The two met every week for a year. Zoglmann described Coy as “a gem to work with,” and said Coy even met with her during the summer months. “She gave up her summer time for me,” she reflected, “and I’ll never forget it.”  Zoglmann said screenwriting was fun, and yet challenging. The first draft was 159 pages, and after many revisions, was reduced to 86 pages. She then read the entire script to friends, who suggested “a little more of this, and a little less of that.” The final script was 95 pages.

Coy described the finished product as “a fun and dark adaptation from hundreds of hours of the series’ story condensed into a 90-minute sampling. Her love of all things magical is inspiring.”

Nate Gross, director of theatre, mentored Casey as she produced and directed the play. He recalled, “Her passion and work ethic made ‘Dark Shadows’ a success. I knew she had worked hard on the script, but I was surprised at what an amazing director she was.” He said the cast bonded and had fun throughout the process. “Casey set the tone. I could not be more proud of her accomplishments.”

Zoglmann said the process of casting was a fun, new experience, and that as preparation evolved, everything went quickly. They had it blocked (staging, entrances, exits, where to move on stage, where and how to stand, gestures) in two short weeks.

She said Gross was a great mentor. “He helped me when I didn’t feel confident, but was very hands off during practices, and provided excellent coaching during our one-on-ones.”

“On opening night, I was as anxiety ridden as I have ever been,” she remembered.” I watched from the sound booth, and paced back and forth. I was excited by the audience reaction. They obviously enjoyed it.” Zoglmann was pleased with the size of the crowds, and said a man even drove down from Louisville to attend.

After her December graduation from Kentucky Wesleyan, Zoglmann will continue to work at the Daviess County Public Library. “I want to be an author and playwright, and my Wesleyan experience was just what I needed to help me fulfill my dreams,” said Zoglmann. “I loved all of my professors. They helped me learn that I was more capable than I thought I was. I’m leaving Wesleyan with something I didn’t have when I arrived – confidence in my abilities.”