Just what are zombies? How to they differ from other creatures—werewolves, ghosts, and monsters familiar to us from horror films, books, plays, and Halloween costumes? What do they have to do with UW-Richland Theatre’s fall play “Night of the Living Dead”?
According to folklore, often that of Africa and the Afro-Caribbean, a zombie is an animated corpse raised by magic. In contemporary times, it’s come to be defined as an undead being, a person who has died but continues to move, a character or characters usually found in popular horror fiction. Indeed, the 1968 George A. Romero black and white film “Night of the Living Dead,” the film UW-Richland Theatre’s fall production is based on, is often cited as the defining depiction of zombies today.
Books, films, articles and research on zombies—from the silly to the scholarly—abound. The website of the Zombie Research Society(http://zombieresearchsociety.com) offers a fine overview and includes sections on zombie science, zombie culture, zombie survival and more.
Just how much will you need to know about zombies to enjoy the UW-Richland Theatre production of Lori Allen Ohm’s stage adaptation of the classic 1968 film?
According to director Andrew Sharp, “Prior knowledge of zombies is not necessary. Just be aware that they want to feast on living humans. Brains appear to be their favorite part. Our zombies may also surprise you by showing off their talents for other things during our after-show Zombie Bash. They might be singing, dancing, telling jokes—anything’s possible!”
A published summary of the play describes the plot. “Fallout from a satellite probe shot to Venus returns to Earth carrying a mysterious radiation that transforms the unburied dead into flesh-eating zombies. Seven people trapped in an isolated farmhouse, held hostage by the ravenous ghouls, begin to turn on each other as the dead encroach. A gripping terror-filled monochromatic play that brings all the fright of the cult classic to life. This blend of thrilling horror laced with touches of black humor envelops the audience in the action and unfolds into a shocking theatrical ending. “
Probably best, because of the fright factor, for audiences of those age 13 and up, the UW-Richland production is scheduled for Halloween weekend. Performances of “Night of the Living Dead” are planned for 7:30pm on Friday, November 1 and 2, with a 1:30pm matinee on Sunday, November 3. Tickets, to be sold at the door prior to each performance, are $10 for adults and $5 for those 17 and younger.For more information, contact Sharp by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (608) 647-7373.
Category: Local News