These zombie costumers will make your flesh crawl

Zombie Crawl. Kevin Copenhaver and Meghan Anderson Doyle.
Kevin Copenhaver and Meghan Anderson Doyle at the 2015 Zombie Crawl.

For 10 years, DCPA Costume Designers (and Zombie Aficionados) Meghan Anderson Doyle and Kevin Copenhaver have turned Denver’s Zombie Crawl into their own personal blood drive – er, party pilgrimage. On Oct. 17, about 30,000 crowded the 16th Street Mall and beyond, making Denver’s 2015 party the largest Zombie gathering in history. Afterward, the DCPA’s favorite spooky stitchers took some questions from PR and Events Manager Hope Grandon about this year’s party – which doubled as a canned-good drive for Food Bank of the Rockies. (No blood drawn.)

ZombieCrawl160Meghan Anderson Doyle: We are really excited for the opportunity to contribute to the DCPA NewsCenter! But it seems Kevin has come down with case of the Zombie Virus and it has affected his speech. However, I’m more than happy to translate.

NewsCenter: Poor Kevin. So what makes a great zombie costume?

Meghan Anderson Doyle: Imagination, creativity and attention to detail are key. There are only a few opportunities during the year for us to dress up, so we take full advantage and love to go all out. 

Kevin Copenhaver:  Graagh! (Translation: Wigs, makeup, contact lenses … we love all of it!)


NewsCenter: It seems like there are a lot of different types of zombies. What are your favorite zombie genres you have tackled?

Meghan Anderson Doyle: We have the most fun just trying to figure out what to do each year. Brainstorming ideas takes us from the ridiculous to the grotesque, and we usually land somewhere in the middle. We both love historical costuming, so that’s where we often start. Our first very elaborate zombies were a gory version of 18th century aristocracy. 

Kevin Copenhaver: Haahabarh. (They were crusty, dirty, bloody and wonderfully fun!)

(Photo at right by Glenn Ross.)

Meghan Anderson Doyle: A few years later, those zombies inspired a glam freak-show version that was made up if really vivid colors, crazy patterns – and it even lit up!   

NewsCenter: Take us through Zombie 101. What are the key components of a great zombie get-up?

Meghan Anderson Doyle: Coming up with a strong idea is the best place to start. We were really intrigued by the idea of using bold colors and the transformative effect of makeup as a central part of our zombie look this year. 

Kevin Copenhaver: Gharraghah! (Mid-century design and fashion are also a common interest, so we melded the two ideas and set out to flesh out our design.)

ZombieCrawl7[3]Meghan Anderson Doyle: We are both very visual people, so we looked at tons of photos and YouTube tutorials to find bits and pieces of design and technique that we could build off. Practice comes next. We each spent several hours painting our faces and testing designs, all while sharing photos with each other via text. We have a great time collaborating so our individual ideas develop from working together.

NewsCenter: Where’s the best place to buy supplies?

Meghan Anderson Doyle: Thrift stores, hardware stores, your garage, closet… Finding all of the parts and pieces is half the fun! 

Kevin Copenhaver:  Mhrrmm. (It’s so much more exciting to find a really unique piece of clothing at a small thrift store than to buy a mass produced costume in a bag. You find things for yourself, for each other, for next year and put it all together.) 

Meghan Anderson Doyle: This year, our costumes were a combination of clothes and accessories from our closets and thrift stores plus a couple of specialty pieces that we made.  Kevin built that great fez and I made my furry shrug. 

NewsCenter: Any clichés or mistakes annoy you when you see them year after year?

Kevin Copenhaver: MMMM!!!  Grrrrr…. (Where’s Waldo. You found him – we get it.)


Read our full profile of Meghan Anderson Doyle
Read our full profile of Kevin Copenhaver

Join us on Halloween for Carpe Nocte

  • Don’t have Halloween plans yet? Join us for Carpe Nocte. Your ticket includes a secret concert within 15 minutes of downtown Denver, free parking, bus ride, costume and one wine or beer.
  • Tickets: $47
  • Transportation from discrete location (revealed upon ticket purchase) between 8-8:45 p.m. No late admittance
  • Call 303-893-4100 or
  • Also: Purchase in person at The Denver Center Ticket Office, located at the Helen Bonfils Theatre Complex lobby. Buy and print online at DenverCenter.Org


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