BY LINDSAY MCCOY

Times Bulletin News Writer

lmccoy@timesbulletin.com

VAN WERT - Van Wert resident and Van Wert Civic Theater performer, Jewell Kurtz, was recently cast in Glenn Berggoetz's short film, Midget Zombie Takeover. On Thursday, Kurtz left Ohio for Winchester, Virginia for the movie premier, an event that is now sold out.

After raising 11 children with her husband, Kurtz is now a stay at home grandma, but is still active in the community through her performances at the Van Wert Civic Theater. Kurtz has always been a singer, and these performances allow her to continue this passion.

"I was given the opportunity to be involved with the Civic Theater, and I love it," said Kurtz. "I am always looking forward to the next project." She has performed in a total of 15 shows at the theater and was recently cast in the upcoming show, Weekend Comedy.

It was at one of these performances that Kurtz was noticed by short film director, Berggoetz. Berggoetz was looking for performers for his next film, Midget Zombie Takeover, and Kurtz's performance as well as her short stature won the director over.

Midget Zombie Takeover was filmed in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and proved to be a lot of fun for Kurtz who underwent two hour sessions just to apply her makeup for the film.

The film premiered yesterday at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Virginia with Kurtz in attendance. The horror/comedy film has already been booked into three theaters following its world premier event. A handful of other theaters have also shown interest in bringing the film to their theater as well if the premier goes well.

Berggoetz has also received an offer from Zom-Bee TV to have the, acquire both Midget Zombie Takeover and his previous film, The Worst Movie Ever. The Worst Movie Ever screened at the Van Wert Independent Film Festival in 2011, and Berggoetz attended the festival to help promote the screening and speak to locals.

Berggoetz's first connection to Van Wert was playing baseball in Van Wert for McComb Construction Stan Musial League baseball team. He made many trips from his home in Fort Wayne to play the Van Wert Orioles.