Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Zombies + Shakespeare? (Living Dead in Denmark)

Our good friend David Schmidt turned us on to this. Apparently the headline on Fark.com was: "Alas poor Yorick... OH MY GOD, HE'S EATING ME!"

Rorschach Theatre's "Living Dead in Denmark" features as its heroine a resurrected Ophelia. Yes, that Ophelia, the melancholy Dane's drowned love interest from Shakespeare's tragic play. Still, the production is no "Hamlet" sequel.

Rather, it's a mash-up of the Bard, a comic book adventure, kung fu movies . . . and zombies. Coming to the aid of Ophelia (Amy Quiggins) in her battle against the army of the undead that has taken over Elsinore in playwright Qui Nguyen's pop-cultural pastiche are two of Shakespeare's best-loved (and deadest) female characters from other plays: Juliet (Megan Reichelt) and Lady Macbeth (Katie Atkinson).

The genesis of the play was straightforward enough. At least according to Nguyen, a self-described "geek playwright" with an "impatient mind" who co-founded the Vampire Cowboys, a New York-based theater company specializing in spoofs of such action genres as blaxploitation and samurai movies.

"I had this idea for doing a behind-the-scenes action-adventure story of 'Hamlet,' where Ophelia didn't actually die," Nguyen says. "She fakes her death and would track down Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and kill them before they kill Hamlet." An idle joke -- about Ophelia running into the ghost of Hamlet's father, and finding him solid, because, duh, he's a walking corpse -- led Nguyen's scenic designer to suggest making the whole play about zombies. "Oh, that is funny," Nguyen remembers thinking. "I scrapped the script, and that ended up being what became 'Living Dead in Denmark.' "

For full article, click HERE

No comments: