Opening on Halloween, October 31 and running through November 7, The Dayton Playhouse produces the national premiere of George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead Live. The Canadian creators/adapters of the stage play share, “Night Of The Living Dead Live is a theatrical tribute to all of the elements that make this cinematic masterpiece so endearing. More than just a recreation of the story, the play celebrates the history and influence of the movie. Done through a series of multiple endings, the characters are all faced with different issues and challenges desperately trying to survive the night. However, their contrasting personalities and agendas always seem to affect the group from working together which leaves us all wondering could anyone survive a Night of the Living Dead?” The team out of Canada was nominated for Best Comedic Play in 2014, so Dayton audiences can expect to laugh and scream in delight.
I reached out to director Geoff Burkman who leads the team producing the National Premiere right here in Dayton. Geoff has a history with Romero – he was cast as a zombie in Romero’s third film (of the five-film series) – Day of the Dead, and Geoff is an experienced zombie. I asked him a few questions about directing this production — the fun of delving into the show and passing along his zombie experience to the next generation.
What can audiences expect by coming to the show?
I’m hoping that audiences can expect a good time watching a genre classic get deconstructed in the most loving way possible….by dismembering it!
Who is the perfect audience for this – theatre-goers, movie buffs, horror hounds?
I think the “perfect” audience for this show is Romero fans with a sense of humor, but I also think that normal theatergoers will also appreciate the zany theatricality of the piece. I really don’t want to spoil too much. Admittedly, people who have never seen the original film (do such folks exist?) may have a hard time grasping what we’re doing. They’ll still have fun, though.
The similarities between the film and this play reside mostly in the iconic characters and the basic plot line and themes, but as the comedic elements begin to intrude and then overwhelm the story, all that goes out the window. That, and they’re both done in black and white.
Suffice to say, I consider Night of the Living Dead to be a milestone film that impinged on my consciousness at a milestone point in my life, leading inevitably, inexorably, relentlessly, implacably with singularity of purpose and impetus toward the staging of this unique production. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!
Why is Dayton the right place for the National Premiere?
Dayton Playhouse has a national reputation for promoting the performing arts, with community theater being no exception, cf. FutureFest. That said, I ascribe it to karma…
Anything else audiences should know?
There will be blood.
For updated information, visit Dayton Playhouse online or on Facebook. Tickets are available now for this national premiere, but you can win tickets first! Dayton Playhouse is offering a pair of tickets to one lucky Dayton Most Metro reader. Just fill out the form below and leave us a comment convincing us why you should be our winner.
Congrats to Emily!