Thanks to network television shows like AMC’s “The Walking Dead” and video games such as “Zombie Farm,” zombie mania is alive and well in American pop culture.
The flesh-eating fiends will invade Northeast State’s Wellmont Regional Center for the Performing Arts this month when the college’s theater department presents Lori Allen Ohm’s stage adaptation of George A. Romero’s classic 1968 horror film “Night of the Living Dead.”
Directed by Brad McKenzie, “Night of the Living Dead” will open with a 7:30 p.m. performance on Oct. 25, with shows continuing at 7:30 p.m., Oct. 26 and Nov. 1 and 2; at 2 and 7:30 p.m., Oct. 27 and Nov. 3; and at 2 p.m., Oct. 28 and Nov. 4 in the performing arts center, on the college’s main campus in Blountville, adjacent to Tri-Cities Regional Airport.
Mixing visceral horror and biting social commentary, the play stays true to the original film version as a small band of survivors wait out the night in an abandoned farmhouse while a growing army of flesh-eating zombies try to make them their next meal.
The catastrophe unfolds with siblings Barbara and Johnny encountering one of the living dead at an old cemetery. A struggle ensues with Barbara fleeing to a nearby house, where she is met by Ben, who saves her life and barricades them inside. They later discover a young couple and a family with an injured child hiding in the basement.
Through radio and television news reports, the survivors hear a story of chaos descending upon the world. The crisis seems to be precipitated by a space experiment that rained down radiation, causing the recently deceased to become reanimated. The group faces the unthinkable news that the dead are rising to feast on human flesh. Victims dying during the crisis return as one of the walking dead, including anyone who has been bitten by a zombie. The only way to destroy them is to destroy the brain.
As the group fights to survive, panic and personal tensions escalate, and risky decisions must be made. Will any of them survive the night of the living dead?
“Night of the Living Dead” is being produced by special arrangement with The Dramatic Publishing Co. of Woodstock, Ill.
Tickets are $10 for the general public and free to current Northeast State students, who must pick up their tickets at the box office. Tickets can be purchased online at www.NortheastState.edu or at the theater’s box office one hour prior to the show. The house opens 30 minutes before show time.
For more information, call Northeast State Theater at (423) 354-2479; email emsloan@NortheastState.edu; or visit www.facebook.com/NSCCTheatre.