Centenary's Marjorie Lyons Playhouse presents "Living Dead in Denmark" November 15-18
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary’s Department of Theatre is breathing life into an old classic with its annual student-directed production later this week. Senior Tessa Anderson will direct Qui Nguyen’s Living Dead in Denmark, an action-adventure/horror sequel to Hamlet. This zombie take on Shakespeare’s classic comes to the Marjorie Lyons Playhouse stage November 15 through 18 for four performances.
Living Dead in Denmark is set five years after the events of Hamlet, in a world in which many of Shakespeare’s most iconic characters – including some from other plays - have been resurrected for an epic clash of the undead. Lady Macbeth and Juliet mingle with Fortinbras, Horatio, and a very angry Ophelia in a funny, fast-paced show that showcases stage combat while grappling with larger philosophical questions of good vs. evil.
Anderson, in her directing debut, was specifically attracted by the challenge of staging such a physically demanding show at Centenary.
“I thought it would be great to introduce a show with lots of big fights to both the actors and our audience,” says Anderson. “It’s something that hasn’t been done a lot here. I also love the use of older, well-known characters put into the context of something that the modern audience is so used to seeing: the zombie movie. The comedy is a kind of goofy that I really love.”
Kennedy Wilcher, a sophomore from Zachary, Louisiana, is playing Lady Macbeth in the production. She has enjoyed the chance to embody a powerful female character as well as the focus on stage combat and the script’s unexpected twists.
“This show is such a cool way to introduce stage combat to Centenary’s student audience,” says Wilcher. “People have this skewed notion against theatre sometimes and they think it has to be this dramatic, over-the-top production, and it doesn’t. This show also reveals that bad guys are not always obvious but rather the wolf in sheep’s clothing.”
For Elizabeth Beagley, a sophomore from Bossier City, Louisiana, playing Ophelia in Living Dead in Denmark has brought both light-hearted fun and deeper insights.
“One of the most rewarding things for me during this show has been finding the reality of the characters,” shares Beagley. “It’s really fun to fight zombies and make a lot of corny jokes, but it’s still real to us on stage. A major theme in the show is learning what you’re willing to fight for, and there’s also some interesting discussion of what it means to be human.”
The MLP production of Living Dead in Denmark also features junior Sarah Cook of Lafayette, Louisiana, as Juliet, freshman Cason Hancock of Houston, Texas, as Horatio, and freshman Carlitos Ayma Gonzalez of San Antonio, Texas, as Fortinbras.
Playwright Qui Nguyen, known for his innovative use of pop culture, stage violence, puppetry, and multimedia, is also a screenwriter and co-founder of the award-winning professional theatre company Vampire Cowboys of NYC.
Tickets for the MLP production of Living Dead in Denmark are available at centenary.edu/mlp or by calling 318.869.5242. Tickets are $15 for general admission, $10 for seniors/military, and $5 for students with ID. Centenary students, faculty, and staff are free.