October 28, 2010
by Kristen Coughlar

EMC Entertainment - They're coming to get you!

Tomorrow night legions of zombies will take over the auditorium of Duncan McArthur Hall when the King's Town Players present the second show of its inaugural season, Night of the Living Dead.

"Zombies are really quite the thing right now... People really like zombies and vampires and things. I'm a fan of the genre myself, so we thought it would be a great Halloween show to do," said director Clayton Garrett.

The live-stage performance is a re-imagining of the classic 1968 film by George Romero, which follows a group of strangers who barricade themselves in an old farmhouse seeking protection from the throng of undead lurking beyond its four walls.

Garrett said that the cast and crew read through a few adaptations of the film before deciding to put their own spin on the original cult classic.

Garrett noted that the original film accidentally became a 60s social statement when Romero cast an African American actor as the main character, Ben. In his own adaptation, he makes a similarly poignant statement about television media, consumerism and paranoia.

Garret noted that the play begins with a very "CNN-esque" report of an outbreak. The group of strangers that has taken shelter in the old farmhouse continues to get updates about the outbreak from various TV newscasts.

"If we had stuck to the actual play it would have been people standing around a radio and that would have been pretty boring, so we've shot film footage of all of the new clips that the characters watch on TV, so we're going to be doing a multi-media thing and projecting the films that have been prepared onto a screen behind us," Garrett said.

He noted that through the TV newscasts the characters begin to see a falling apart society, with much speculation about whether terrorism, food contamination or flu pandemic is the cause of the zombie outbreak.

"Every time they turn on the TV they get the wrong advice... Ultimately, the television itself factors in pretty majorly as the reason why everything falls apart for them," Garrett said.

A couple of other adaptations have been made to the original but the King's Town Players can't give everything away.

Garrett said he is hoping the show receives a warm reception from the public, as the King's Town Players first show, The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged), did.

"It's kind of an event. It's going to be over-the-top fun, but not in a campy way, I think it's a pretty fair homage to the movie itself. Anybody who is a fan of the movie is going to like it, they're going to love it. And for the person that just wants to come out and see something that is a really good Halloween type of thriller, it's definitely going to be that," he said.