Zombies and Shakespeare share the stage

By Eric Povish
April 2, 2009

Jamie Grace-Duff

On Friday, Feb. 13, there was a zombie outbreak in Philadelphia.

The outbreak was started by Plays and Players, one of Philadelphia’s oldest theater’s. It is currently in its 97th season, in celebration of the east coast premier of “William Shakespeare’s Land of The Dead,” by John Heimbuch on March 13.

The outbreak, which has been advertised as Zombiedelphia, had a handful of events in February to help promote the play.

The Zombie Makeup Workshop painted up its participants as zombies.

The Zombie Bar Crawl had guests march their way over to five local bars in the city where they were treated to their choice of a free drink or appetizer for their visit.

“Zombiedelphia was formed to promote ‘William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead,'” Daniel Student, actor, said. “We wanted to create a unique event that celebrated the zombie culture that inspired this play, and claim another time of year (February/March) to be the realm of the undead outside of Halloween.”

Zombiedelphia’s month long celebration concluded on March 13, when The Plays and Players Theater opened it’s curtains “William Shakespeare’s Land of The Dead.”

The play, staring Daniel Student as William Shakespeare himself, had Shakespeare and company trapped in the Globe Theater in the great zombie outbreak of 1599.

Others, such as Queen Elizabeth, Francis Bacon and Richard Burbage, join the fight with Skakespeare as they try to survive the night in the Globe Theater, the last safe place in the city.

Fans of Shakespeare’s work will find many references to many fan favorites.

Whether it be a line or a pose, they are riddled throughout and it makes the experience even more enjoyable.

Any fan of classic Zombie films will feel right at home with the story, which mixes all the right elements of horror, drama and comedy.

Also, a special treat awaits the audience in the first three rows, which come equipped with plastic ponchos, free of charge.

The play won best sell show of the 2008 Minnesota Fringe Festival and was written by John Heimbuch, co-artistic director of Walking Shadow Theatre Company in Minneapolis.

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Eric Povish

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