WEST PLAINS, Mo. – What would happen if Denmark was attacked by a zombie horde? That’s the question “Hamlet vs. Zombies: Something is Rotting in the State of Denmark!” will answer at 7 p.m. Saturday, March 3, at the West Plains Civic Center theater.
Tickets for the original play, written by Jeff Jenkins and Bryant Turnag, both of Springfield, are $8 each and available at the civic center box office, 110 St. Louis St. The performance is being sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) and the University/Community Programs Department at Missouri State University-West Plains.
“This play is a collaboration of a group called AlleyWay Productions, which was formed from the actors and comedians at The Skinny Improv in Springfield,” said U/CP Theater and Events Coordinator Deborah DeWitt. “These talented actors will no doubt keep the audience in stitches with their seasoned ability to make people laugh.”
The play, which premiered in Springfield last July and has been performed at the Kansas City and San Francisco Fringe Festivals, is a highly-charged, action-fueled, modern-day remake of William Shakespeare’s timeless classic. It’s an irreverent take on one of the most infamous works in the English language and gives a new spin on the lives, loves and losses of these unforgettable characters, promoters said.
Claudius, brother to the King, has developed a plan to usurp the throne of Denmark – kill the King, seize the crown. His thirst for power unquenched, he gambles one step further by infecting a platoon of his best soldiers with a zombie virus. No opposing force could destroy an army that is already dead! Hamlet, along with his trusted sidekick Horatio, fight in a race against the clock to stop Claudius before it’s too late and Denmark is overrun by the walking dead!
Although more of a comedy than the original, “Hamlet vs. Zombies” does have similarities with Shakespeare’s masterpiece, according to Jenkins. “We try to keep a lot of the same themes and a lot of the same ideas in the show. So, most of the major speeches are in there, to be or not to be is in there, get thee to a nunnery. All the things that people are most familiar with we tried to keep them in there and just kind of expanded on them a little bit,” he explained in a July 2011 interview with KSMU Radio Station in Springfield.
DeWitt said the play is geared for audiences at least 13 years of age and older, due to implied violence, the realistic prop weapons and the zombie theme.
For more information about the play, call the U/CP Department office at 417-255-7966 or visit the website at http://wp.missouristate.edu/ucp/Theater.asp.