Shakespeare's Land of the Dead

presented by Walking Shadow


Shakespeare's Land of the Dead

A true and accurate account of the Elizabethan zombie plague.

London 1599.

Shakespeare's Henry V opens the Globe Playhouse, but while the actors strut and fret, an excess of bile plagues the populace outside. With equal parts zombie homage and well-researched Elizabethan history, this undead epic will soon take a shining place in the Zombie/Shakespeare crossover genre.

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Walking Shadow received the 8/10 @ 8:30pm encore!
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As flesh transformed Lycaon into raging beast,
the dead now awaken for one final feast.
Their bite brings affliction - wounds that don't heal -
so sever their necks with thy good English steel.


CHECK OUT WALKING SHADOW'S 2008-2009 SEASON

See the reviews of the show!
Pioneer Press (TwinCities.com) review by Renee Valois
Star Tribune (vita.mn) review by Brian Leehan
The Rake - Secrets of the Day by Kate Iverson
City Pages - Fringe by Numbers by Chris Kidder
Daily Planet - Fringe Blog by philip andrew bennett lowe
Daily Planet - Fringe Blog by Matthew Everett
Daily Planet - Fringe Blog by Wendy Gennaula

The cast

Craig Anderson
Role: Will Kemp
This Craig's second show with Walking Shadow, having also appeared as the Beast in Seventy Scenes of Halloween. Locally he has appeared with Hardcover Theater, Four Humors, Illusion Theater, Stages Theatre, Theater Unbound, and others. Regional and touring credits include Paul Bunyan Theater, Troupe America, and the National Theater for Children. Craig is also appearing in this year's Fringe Festival as the Big Ol' Tree in Joe Scrimshaw's An Inconvenient Squirrel, although the tree doesn't do much jigging.

Christopher Bauleke
Role: Afflicted
Christopher has no previous stage experience except a 3rd grade production of The Wizard of Oz, which he found acutely embarrassing.

Jon Cole
Role: Afflicted
Jon loves brains. He is a long time company member of Bedlam Theatre and has worked locally with Red Eye, Frank Theater and recently with Jon Ferguson and John Heimbuch in last year's Or The White Whale. Jon loves brains and fish tacos.

Shad Cooper
Role: Sir Robert Cecil
This is Shad's second show with Walking Shadow, after appearing in their acclaimed production of Fat Pig in 2007. Other recent credits include Whit in Park Square Theatre's Of Mice and Men, The Subconcious in Iguano Films independent film The Room, and the MP Captain in The House of Blue Leaves at The Jungle Theatre. He has also appeared in Amerika, or The Disappearance at Theatre de la Jeune Lune, Bone Dry at the Jungle Theatre, and has worked with other companies such as Teatro del Pueblo, Theatre Unbound, Cromulent Shakespeare Company, Trece Lunas Arts Collective, Half-Cast Productions, and Theatre in the Round.

Michael Curran-Dorsano
Role: John Rice
This is Michael Curran-Dorsano's first Fringe Festival show. He is an Edina High School graduate of 2008 and will be attending the Juilliard School in the Fall to study acting. He is very honored to work with Walking Shadow Theater Company, and the entire cast of Shakespeare's Land of the Dead.

Matt Franta
Role: Fight Choreographer
Matt is an actor, stunt performer and fight choreographer. This is his second show with Walking Shadow, having previously choreographed the fights in The American Pilot. Matt has also choreographed for Swearing Jack Productions and has served as stunt coordinator for several local films. As a performer, he has worked with the Guthrie Theater, Minnesota Opera, Children's Theatre Company, Teatro del Pueblo, and the National Theatre for Children, among others. Matt trained at the International Stunt School in Seattle, and is an Apprentice to the United Stuntmen's Association. Currently, he studies with [they fight] Stage Combat School. www.mattfranta.com

Katherine Glover
Role: Afflicted
Katherine Glover is a freelance writer, performer and journalist from the Twin Cities. This is her first theatrical role since she "retired" from theater in 1999, though she's been an active storyteller and spoken word artist for about seven years -- and she's also doing a solo show at the Fringe: "No Stranger Than Home." On her other career paths, she's worked for the Associated Press in Buenos Aires, taught English in Nicaragua, and written for Salon.com about the politics of gay hobbit marriage online. Her website is katherineglover.net

John Heimbuch
Role: Playwright, William Shakespeare
John is a founding member of Walking Shadow and one of its co-artistic directors. William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead is his tenth play, other titles including The Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen, 10-Speed Revolution, Or the White Whale, and the London After Midnight series (with Mark Jensen, Steve Schroer, and Shanan Wexler). His plays have been produced by Walking Shadow, Hardcover Theater, Civic Stage, Direct Current and the Young Mirror Company in New York City. He has directed Walking Shadow's productions of Seventy Scenes of Halloween and 36 Views and has performed with Starting Gate, Off-Leash Area, Illusion Theatre, Frank Theatre, Shakespeare in the Park, Live Action Set, and the National Theatre for Children. John is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Minnesota State University Mankato, and the Perpich Center for Arts Education. He can be found online at johnheimbuch.com.

Jeff Huset
Role: Doctor John Dee
Jeff marks his first appearance with both Walking Shadow and the Fringe Festival with this production. He most recently appeared in The Robber Bridegroom with Minneapolis Musical Theater. He has also been seen as a syphilitic Shakespearean-era actor of women's roles in the area premier of Elizabeth Rex with The New Place and as Donner (Rudolph's father) in The Eight: Reindeer Monologues with Ensemble Productions at the Bryant Lake Bowl. Jeff pops up infrequently in TV commercials and training films as a generic dad.

Betsy Jorgensen
Role: Afflicted Makeup Artist
Betsy Jorgensen is a renegade ninja, top secret mystery shaman, and undercover vampire slayer, but in the moments between grand adventures, she can be found doing random things backstage. Graduating from Macalester College with a degree in awesomeness, she has performed behind-the-scenes magic at Park Square, Minnesota Festival Theater, Chanhassen Dinner Theater and The Children's Theatre Company. She's very excited for the opportunity to make some very nice looking people look completely horror-show, and not get into a lick of trouble about it.

Ellen Karsten
Role: Queen Elizabeth Tudor
Ellen is thrilled to be playing Queen Elizabeth in John Heimbuch's masterpiece, Shakespeare's Land of the Dead for Walking Shadow Theatre Company. The language and history are amazing - and there are zombies! Does it get any better? Theatrically, Ellen has appeared at the Old Log, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, Actors Theatre of MN, Texas Shakespeare Festival, Park Square, Jeune Lune, Pinewood Dinner Theatre, Illusion Theatre, Minnesota Opera Company, Cleveland Play House and many, many more. She works on-camera as well. You may recognize her from such classics as the dancing beautician for the Iowa Lottery. A much younger Ellen appeared in the Ramones' "Rock N' Roll High School". She also directs - well, of course, have to have a back-up career.

Rachel Mullins
Role: Stage Manager
Rachel is proud to call this production her MN Fringe debut. Her most recent collaboration with Walking Shadow was their winter show, 36 Views. Since her graduation from Concordia College in Moorhead, Rachel has been free-lance stage managing in the Twin Cities for four years. Companies she's worked with include the Paul Bunyan Playhouse, Stages Theater, Pendulum Theater, Gremlin Theater, Bloomington Civic Theater and Troupe America, Inc.

Andrew Northrop
Role: Afflicted
Andrew is delighted to be a part of Shakespeare's Land of the Dead. Other on-stage credits include last Fringe's The Chuck Mee Project with Upright Egg, A Klingon Christmas Carol with Commedia Bouregard, and several Minnesota Opera productions as a supernumerary.

Joseph Papke
Role: Dialect Coach, Francis Bacon
Joseph is proud to be a working actor and dialect coach and is very pleased to work with Walking Shadow once again. His professional credits in the Twin Cities include Park Square Theatre, Mixed Blood Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Actors Theatre of MN, Illusion Theatre, Jon Hassler Theatre, Brave New Workshop, Outward Spiral, and the Children's Theatre Company. As an educator, he has taught theater skills at Youth Performance Company, Normandale Community College, and the Guthrie Theater. Joseph earned his MFA from The Shakespeare Theatre Company's Academy for Classical Acting. Look for him in the upcoming film, Midnight Chronicles. He can be found online at josephpapke.com.

David Pisa
Role: Technical Director, John Sinkler
David is a founding member of Walking Shadow, and one of its co-artistic directors. He has served as production manager and technical director for every Walking Shadow production. David developed original puzzles for 1926 Pleasant and has contributed his technical expertise and designs to other Walking Shadow shows. Formerly a jack-of-all-trades with Hidden Theatre in Minneapolis and a props designer at SteppingStone Theatre in Saint Paul, David has also worked as a freelance theater technician with many Twin Cities arts groups, including The History Theatre, The Playwrights' Center, Cheap Theatre, and Mixed Blood Theater. He has a degree in English literature with an emphasis on creative writing from St. Olaf College. David works as a spotlight operator and backstage technician at the Children's Theatre Company, where he serves as the steward for the theater technicians' union.

Ariana Prusak
Role: Kate Braithwaite
Ariana is excited to return to the stage as Kate in Walking Shadow's Shakespeare's Land of the Dead! Other favorite past roles include Helena (A Midsummer Night's Dream), Mina (Dracula), Nancy (Oliver!), and Susy (Wait Until Dark), among others. Much love to our divine friends who moonlit as babysitters. Enjoy the show!

Keith Prusak
Role: Richard Burbage
Keith is very pleased to return to the Fringe with Walking Shadow! He appeared as Quilt Arnold and Samuel Heath in 2004's The Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen. Favorite roles include Claudius in Hamlet, Ceyx/Apollo/Bacchus in Metamorphoses (Theatre Pro Rata), Toby Belch in Twelfth Night (Shakespeare In The Park) and Biff in Death of a Salesman (Starting Gate). Keith couldn't be happier to share the stage with his wife Ariana ... it's been too long! We couldn't have done this without all our friends who helped watch our daughter Eowyn during rehearsals & shows. Many thanks!

Valerie Rigsbee
Role: Afflicted
Valerie Rigsbee returned to the Twin Cities last summer after earning a BA in theatre performance through Pomona College. Since her return she has performed with Scrimshaw Productions (Stitch, Bitch 'N Die), Theatre in the Round (Henry V), The Playwrights' Center (A Matter of Honor), Theatre Unbound (Frankenstein Incarnate), ThE BRiNK (Paradise Hotel), and Bedlam Theatre (Ten Minute Play Festival). She can be seen in the fall in Theatre Unbound's Babe: An Olympic Musical. During the day, Valerie is a Web Media Specialist for IHC Health Solutions and a freelance web designer. Check out www.valrigsbee.com.

Amy Rummenie
Role: Director
Amy is a founding member of Walking Shadow and one of its co-artistic directors. She has directed numerous production for Walking Shadow, including The American Pilot, Fat Pig, The Lives of the Most Notorious Highwaymen, 10-Speed Revolution, and the collaboratively created 1926 Pleasant. Amy has worked for the Children's Theatre Company, Theatre de la Jeune Lune, The Playwrights' Center, Shakespeare in the Park, and Open Eye Figure Theatre. She received her education from Minnesota State University Mankato, is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director's Lab, and recently completed a 6-month internship in the Guthrie Theater's literary department. Her theatrical work aims to accentuate the intricacies and possibilities of language and image by using intense dramaturgical analysis and seamlessly brisk staging that extends beyond the boundaries of standard proscenium framing.

Erin Sheppard
Role: Afflicted
Erin Sheppard is thrilled to make her Walking Shadow debut as one of the undead in the 2008 Fringe Festival. Her previous Fringe credits include The Virgin Diaries in 2005 and I Don't Want to Go to Bed in 2004. She has recently performed at Patrick's Cabaret in the "Somewhat 80s Variety Show" and as a Boogie Blossom at Sample Night Live. When not searching for Renaissance-era brains, Erin spends her days supervising the awesome Entertainment staff at Mall of America, teaching dance to youth and choreographing whatever comes her way.

Galen Treuer
Role: Afflicted Movement Coach
Galen is a skilled dancer, actor, and physical performer. He is a core member of Live Action Set. They can be found online at www.liveactionset.org.

Jennifer Walker
Role: Afflicted
Jennifer is delighted to make her twin cities theater debut (after a very long hiatus from performing) not only at the Fringe Festival but also as a member of the undead! Jennifer holds a BFA in Theater and Art History from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, where she originated the role of Peg in The Pursuit of Anne. Previous favorite roles include Mariane (Tartuffe), Chris Gorman (Neil Simon's Rumors), Mollie (The Mousetrap), Mercy Lewis (The Crucible) and Teddi Bustier in Goodbody's Gold, performed during dinner on a moving train. No, really.

Jen Zalar
Role: Second Soldier
This is Jen's debut Fringe show, and she is honored to have her first time be with Walking Shadow Theater Company. Previous shows include My Fair Lady and Christmas in Oz with Heritage Theater Company, Commedia Dell'arte performances as Columbina with I Arroganti, and Vilification Tennis with VilCo. Jen has studied stage combat from [they fight], improvisational theater from the Brave New Institute, and fire manipulation from a bunch of carnies. Other forms of performance include stand up comedy, storytelling, and environmental theater. Jen would like to thank her own budding performer, Jared, for his advice on being manly.

Eric Zuelke
Role: First Soldier
Eric is excited to be making his Fringe debut on stage with Shakespeare's Land of the Dead. He has worked at the Jungle Theater both behind the scenes as a stagehand and in the front of the house as a box office manager for almost ten years. He is often spotted riding his bike up and down the Midtown Greenway.

Showtimes

Sat., Aug. 2 @ 1:00 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 3 @ 5:30 p.m.
[A] Tue., Aug. 5 @ 10:00 p.m.
Wed., Aug. 6 @ 7:00 p.m.
Sun., Aug. 10 @ 7:00 p.m.

KEY:
[S]=ASL interpreted
[A]=Audio described

Show details

Venue: U of M Rarig Center Thrust

Duration: 60 minutes

For ages 13+

Written by John Heimbuch

Website: http://www.walkingshadowcompany.org

Genres: Comedy, Audio described, Drama

Warnings: Violence

Overall rating

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User reviews

Should have seen this before the weekend
by Mark Beltt Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Let me start out by saying that this was a good play. It was funny. It was
suspenseful. Audience members who didn't wish to over-think things could enjoy
the play just on these levels. But the play also rewarded audience members who
wanted to look deeper. Full of in-jokes, Shakespeare references, historical
context, and genuine affection for the zombie plague genre, all interwoven and
working on multiple levels at any given time. The cast did a great job, the
direction was up to the usual tight and frenetic Walking Shadow standard, and
they played to a full and appreciative audience. I think most people who
attended this play are glad they did. I'm giving it five kitties without
hesitation.

All that said: I saw this play with a wicked hangover. I had advance warning
that if I wanted to be seated before the show was started, I needed to get there
quite early. Quite early in this case meant arriving an hour beforehand to see
a line already in progress. A line to buy tickets, and after you bought your
ticket, another line to wait for the doors to open so that you could be seated. The
entire time spent in a building full of theatre junkies and people I knew,
trying to keep my head from falling off its precarious perch at the top of my
neck and bouncing down the stairs and out into the street in front of the Rarig building like some symbolic death of innocence at the end of an Orson Welles flick.

One of the people who said hello to me while I was waiting in line was the
playwright's mother. I think she knew. She must have known. My ill humour could not be hidden, not that day.

Zombies. Shakespeare. Zombie Shakespeare.

I'm so glad I went, but I have to admit, looking back, I didn't think I was
gonna make it.

Wow.
by Dana Johnson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Basically, a work of genius. It works on at least two levels -- one if you know some Shakespeare, and another if you know the company.

Frankly, the continuity discussions about Falstaff's death and offscreen rebirth reminded me of nothing so much as comic book nerds and their continuity discussions.

Anyway. Really brilliant, basically.

Zom-Beeeeee!
by David Lee Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This one time, I had a nightmare that the zombie apocalypse was happening. I was able to survive and fight back, but the whole time I was doing so, people were scolding me. "David, you're such a bigot," they'd say, "Why do you have to be prejudiced against the zombies?" Meanwhile, the very zombies I'm destroying are doing their best to eat people's brains. It was so unfair.

It's actually quite good
by Brian Balcom Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I saw this twice. It was fun and entertaining the first time, but it wasn't until the second time 'round that I really cued in on how well it's written. It's smart and really well constructed. GO SEE IT!!!!

Zombies and Shakespeare
by Bryan Logan Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Doesn't get much better than that! Thank you!

Solid storyline and zombies
by Albert Choy Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The concept was intriguing, a day in the life of Shakespeare, the question about the authorship of his plays and his relationships with various other historical personages. Add to that the spice of a Zombie invasion, and you have an interesting concoction.

remarkably mediocre
by Crummy Reviewer Follow this reviewer
Rating 1 kitty
I saw the encore performance (immediately following their 7:00 show).

I appreciated the homage to Shakespeare. There was cleverness in the writing and handful of remarkable performances (Joe Papke and Ellen Karsten were great). But this was SO dull. There was no excitement, momentum or tension onstage EVER.

The strengths of the space were not used at all. The fights and the zombies were hardly theatricalized. I'm not sure how this concept could fail (or how if could have been such a hit--there wasn't even any sex jokes).

The final image was cool, but we had to wait 55 minutes to get there.

Ham & Bacon
by Rick Treece Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very clever script, quirky enough to qualify as "fringe". Solid performances from the whole cast.

Zombie Jamboree!
by Fringivitis Vulgaris Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The writing is swell, the company and famous contemporaries are splendid, and Queen Bess is royal fun! The poor Afflicted are to be pitied even as they're run through. Now if only Kemp had done some real Morris dancing!

DEAD ON!
by Cody Stewart Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Heimbuch's script and portrayal of the bard are quite good. The play follows -for the most part- a pretty historically accurate account of Shakespeare's life at the Globe. The writing wittily is a mixture of older English, Shakespearean text, and Heimbuch's words. At first those words spoken on the thrust stage were a bit hard for me to comprehend. I am not sure if it was the size of the space, my unaccostumed ear, or poor diction, but regardless, I acclimated my ears eventually and enjoyed this zombie romp. At first I was disappointed in the ending, but realized that this is after all a zombie story and welcomed all the surprizes. Anderson's Kemp also was a treat. Rummenie's staging was never distracting and I felt worked quite well on the thrust stage. Four out of Five.

Polished Thee-ate-or
by dixie treichel Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Four and a Half Kitties
Shakespeare and Zombies - where else but at the Fringe?
Well directed, written and performed.

Loved it
by Gus Rholl Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I loved everything about this show. Not much else to say. I loved it. Walking Shadow is on my list of theaters that I will make it my job to see their shows.

More, Please
by Karen Weber Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
The concept and writing were the best parts of this show. Kudos to John for his hard work and obvious love of the written
word. Loved it so much I wanted to hear more of it. I was sitting house center and was disappointed in some of the staging as it made it more difficult to hear the dialogue. The actors were often being obscured or placed so that they were forced to upstage themselves in direct address. Many line endings were drown out by bells and delivered too quickly or were trailing off. Directing for/Perfoming in the thrust can be challenging and with a few corrections the dialogue would have been better appreciated by the audience as a whole. As it was, we all heard different parts well and missed others completely. A show this clever deserves more.

If you love Shakespeare...
by allan veldey Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
If you love Shakespeare you'll love this show. There are a lot of Elizabethen references in this creative script that Shakespeare fans theatre buffs will enjoy.

What a Surprise
by Liz Floyd Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I'm glad someone recommend this to me. I learned about Shakespere and comedy at the same time. I was very entertained and wished I knew more about Shakespear so that I would have gotten more of the jokes. My guess is that if I went again I would, since I felt like I learned something about Shakespear and the writing and production process through the production.

Worth Your Time
by Allyson Daniels Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
This is a wonderfully written show with great comedic and dramatic elements. There is definately potential for this show to go on to other places now and far into the future. There's a huge market for it! I saw a lot of great perfomances along with a few inconsistancies in dialect. I also felt a bit of a dragging in the energy of the show around the middle, but it soon picked up again. I suggest that anyone make this a show to see.

How many actors can fit on head of pin?
by Nick n Rosie Heille Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Up. Up. And, OVER THE TOP! Walking Shadow challenges Guthrie! Shakespeare's Land of the Dead, a production of Walking Stick Theater Company, is incredible.

It is a play filled with intrigue: Bacon's place in Shakespeare's work; the appeal of the now dead Falstaff character; and, Queen Elisabeth's relationship to Bacon, the actor Falstaff, as well as Shakespeare. A production filled with excitement: sword fights, zombies that walk about; and, dead bodies strewn around the stage.

A play that makes use of extraordinary costumes, set, and props that place the production in the time it portrays. A fantastic set of visual images.

Note to those who have background knowledge of the Elizabethan times, especially the plague and the fire of London, you will enjoy the subtleties of the play's dialogue.

I love zombies
by Katie Sopoci Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
...and I loved this show. If you are a fan of Shakespeare, you'll laugh at all the funny references (not to mention Fringe references), if you're not, you'll laugh at all the funny zombies. It's a win, win! Francis Bacon and the boy dressed as a girl were a treat!

five creepy kitties
by BN DR Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Combining two of my favorite things - Shakespeare and zombies - was a stroke of genius. Loved the whole thing.

Quality Show.
by Naples Noesis Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I went to this show by default. Originally I had showed up to see another production, but had the times wrong. So, I just hopped into this Shakespearian twist. Great production.

I'm assuming there's more....
by re gurgitate Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
I enjoyed the show overall, although the ending was abrupt. Which leads me to believe this may be the edited version. If so, I hope there's a bit more plot to exceed the self reverence. Overall though, an enjoyable show.

Hail fellows and well met!
by Ronald Corradin Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is John Heimbuch's best work to date, and that's saying a lot for Walking Shadow Theater Company. The play is well staged, with great costumes and a clear use of Elizabethan language that avoids anachronisms and references that only a Shakespeare expert would understand. The out-of-context quotes from other Shakespeare plays are very funny.

Yes, there are similarities to "Shakespeare in Love," but the story is taken even more from Heimbuch's own experience in writing plays while trying to run a theater company. Plus, there are zombies, whose condition is less out of place when you realize how little the Elizabethans knew about disease and how it spreads.

The Rarig Center Thrust Stage was almost full for the performance I attended, and rightly so. See this play.

More brains!
by Michael Shaeffer Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
A wonderfully referential script, but I had expected and wanted much more zombie fare. The costumes and the acting (performances from the alive and the undead) were enjoyable, and the swordplay was an unexpected treat. It was clear that the large cast was having a blast on stage, perhaps a bit of the living envying the dead.

Best Elizabethan Zombie Play Ever
by Michael Borchert Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is definitely the most epic fringe show I have ever seen. It was solid, engaging, and hilarious on too many levels to count (some of which are pretty meta).

Less Shakespeare. MORE ZOMBIES!
by Rex Winsome Follow this reviewer
Rating 1 kitty
This peice succeeded in putting someone's excessive historical education about The Greatest Playwright of All Time (TM) to some use. It even had a good parody of Sir Francis Bacon. It's well acted and looks good too. But, it fails because it uses a zombie gimick to lure in people who don't give a rat's ass about The Bard, then dissappoints us completely. The zombie threat never seemed real or compelling. All the actual drama occuring on stage relating to the zombies had no stakes at all. The zombies were dispatched too easily to make room for more Shakespeare detrius and biographical speculation, subjects that i for one wish would just please stay dead already!

OK
by Admiral Awesome!!! Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Somewhat self-indulgent, but not bad. I was ready for this in a way, but could have taken in more... and less in some respects. FUN SHOW, THOUGH.

Less zombie than you'd think
by James Proescholdt Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
As mentioned, the more knowledge you have of Shakespeare (famous lines from plays, his chronology, the mythology surrounding his authorship), the more you'll enjoy this show. This essentially functions as a satirical meta (and self-referencing) take on Shakespeare, with some zombie stuff thrown in, but not as much as I would've liked. Which is not to say the play isn't meticulously crafted--the lines, jokes and references fly with abandon and were obviously carefully planned out--but I felt it was a bit of false advertising.

Otherwise, it was well performed, written (slow start, but soon picked up) and quite enjoyable. The momentum picked up considerably at the end when famous Shakespearean lines were quoted out of context fast and furious all while the action, such as it was, reached its climax.

Needs More Zombies
by Katrina Perez Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
I have to say the show was not what I expected. At the Fringe for all there was a guy advertising for the show and he really made it seem like the show was going to be really scary. I was all happy about getting to see the zombies and stuff. But when I saw it there was not nearly as much zombies as I thought there would be. I wanted more out of the show.

"Fools often speak the truth"
by Dave Romm Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Mash-up of Shakespeare and zombie movies works pretty well. It helps to be able to recognize lines from the Bard, though the story holds up even if you don't know from Elizabethan figures. The zombie story worked less well, maybe because George Romero dialog isn't as much fun to riff off. A Shockwave Radio Theater Review.

Hilarious
by Kris Man About Fringe Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
A little campy in spots. I'm not the biggest fan of Shakespere, I know, a sacrilege, but I love zombie films and as I ordered tickets to this show after seeing the hype build, dared not miss it and was glad I had the forethought as it was the perfect way to spend a summer evening (if you're going to spend it indoors with the undead)

Quirky Fun and Pure Brilliance
by Justin Bacon Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show offers riches far greater than the catchy gimmick of its title and concept: The script is witty, touching, and clever. Using the conceit of Shakespeare in Love while mixing in the formulas of George Romero gives ample scope for Heimbuch to entertain and delight, but what really sets the play apart is the surprising depth with which the characters are written. You quickly come to care about them as people, and that draws you wholeheartedly into the world of Shakespeare, Queen Elizabeth, Francis Bacon, and the Globe Theater.

In addition the production values (from the costumes to the make-up to the fight choreography) are superb. The actors excel. And every time you think you've seen everything the play has to offer, Rummenie (the director) and Heimbuch ramp it up another notch... right up until the last, thrilling moments which propelled this reviewer out of his seat to deliver a well-deserved standing ovation.

I'm Afflicted!
by Ben Thietje Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I knew they would do this to me...those Walking Shadow bastards. I waited in line FOREVER to get my tickets and then had to wait in line FOREVER again to get into the theatre. They've got some nerve putting up a show so awesome that it makes me wait in line FOREVER just to see it. It's all a bit selfish if you ask me.

The bridge collapsed!
by Anders Nerheim Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A brilliant show. Must be seen by all.

Maybe it's just me...
by madee weisner Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Though the imagery and acting in this show were great, I didn't find "Land of the Dead" very enjoyable. I don't usually like shows set in Shakespeare's time, and this was no exception. The language was often hard to understand, the jokes were not that funny, and the plot was dry. I found myself getting absurdly excited every time I saw zombies coming onstage, because they were a distraction from the rest of the dull storyline. The one actor who stood out for me was Ellen Karsten, as Queen Elizabeth. She was the only character who made me laugh throughout. I didn't really enjoy this show, but maybe it's just me...

The Best Ever!
by Mark Knutson Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Shakespeare's Land of the Dead reigns supreme! It's a super engaging blast of entertainment to the face... the zombies with makeup on kind of scared me.

Zombies Surround the Globe!
by Random Audience Member Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This was a great show - not as campy as I thought it would be, they played it straight. But very well-written, and well-acted - a blast!

Costumes, gruesome makeup & 1 set
by Matlisa Semrad Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Wishe we had ye ole cliff notes to better appreciate the clever jokes. Zombies were too easy to take out, easier than buying tickets & finding a seat at the show. Thank you Fringe volunteers for your help.

Good
by Donovan Walker Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
It was well acted, reasonably written, with good props. I didn't feel as though it really went anywhere. Much like those 70's b grade zombie movies... so maybe that was the point.

Leaves something to be desired
by molly budke Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
As everyone else has said, if you're a big Shakespeare fan, you'll love this show. As someone who doesn't know his words inside and out, I was lost. Most of the jokes were dependent on a familiarity with the works of the bard, and the story line was too weak to make up for this. It seem s like a good idea, but needs quite a bit of work in order to appeal to all.

Is this the end of Zombie Shakespeare?
by Brian Watson-Jones Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Just to warn, I won't be an impartial reviewer. Hard to be, when you're a full blown Shakesnerd who's well-versed in surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse.

But then, it's clear that the Walking Shadows are no different. The in-jokes and references to what little is known and what lot is speculated about Shakespeare's world and fast and furious. And, zombies. Although they often move fast and appear to be vulnerable to swords to the heart (really?), they are Elizabethan zombies eating people on stage. Honestly, if that sentence doesn't make you want to go, there's nothing else to say.

Shakespeare Minus the Zombies
by phillip low Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
There's a lot here for theatre geeks, but not much for zombie aficionados. Found myself longing for something much darker and more intense, but the show ends up not being much more than a single prolonged joke. A very good, very entertaining joke, but ultimately feels a bit hollow. Full review available at the Twin Cities Daily Planet.

William of the Dead
by Robert Hammel Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
One of my favorite films is "Shaun of the Dead" Take that film, set it in London in 1599, throw in Shakespeare, Bacon, the Globe, and lot of references to Shakespeare's plays and you have a winning combination. The production value is excellent: a well made script that makes the most of Shakespearean language, excellent performances, and a staging that keeps the action going and and doesn't intrude. John Heimbuch's performance as Shakespeare and Craig Anderson's Will Kemp are standouts.

Five resounding (zombie) kitties!
by Ashley Schweitzer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I've been looking forward to this show for months and Walking Shadow did not disappoint! If you like your Shakespeare full of wit, allusions, and long death scenes and/or you like your zombies set to thrill, then this is the show for you. Unless, of course, you don't like fun.

John Heimbuch's script is a well-crafted treat for any theater buff, but it's great fun even for folks who don't have a Shakespeare quote for every occasion. The acting and staging were lively. The scenes featuring the 2 Wills (Craig Anderson as Will Kemp and John Heimbuch as Will Shakespeare) were especially entertaining. And it was topped with a cherry by the thrilling finale.

Five resounding (zombie) kitties, so get thee to the Rarig!

lottsa jokes here
by David Trudeau Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Really funny well written and superbly directed and acted. Joe Papke's Bacon is brilliant. Bring back Falstaff from the dead via ghost writing by Bacon for Shakespeare and all hell breaks loose at the Globe - Oh no! I've been bitten!

The Plague's The Thing
by Reid Gagle Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Great fun! A plague of zombies infest London, encircling the Globe. Inside the theater, political intrigues, literary machinations, and theatrical egos collide. Dueling words -- and dueling swords -- abound. And can anyone save the Queen's Bacon?

Hilarious!
by Heather Baldwin Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I really loved this play. It is original and clever, and just lots of fun.

John's script is brilliant; he perfectly nailed the tone of a Shakespeare-style comedy, with a few well-placed meta jokes thrown in. I was impressed with the little touches he added for authenticity, such as having two characters shake hands at the wrist, a common gesture during that era, instead of hand-to-hand contact as done today. Apparently he has done a lot of research on both Shakespeare and zombies, and it pays off.

The cast did an excellent job with the acting. Amy's directing and the set and costume designs were amazing as well. I highly recommend this show!

Shouldn't even be at the Fringe
by Max Wojtanowicz Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Shame on you, Walking Shadow. Shame on you for ... putting other Fringe shows to shame. Well-polished and clever production! Thanks!

Love the concept
by Tim Johnson Follow this reviewer
Rating 3 kitties
Great concept. Fine acting. Hard to understand at times due to the bells. Would have loved to see some blood on stage.

Nice job!

Zombies in London!
by Eric Herr Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
What a fun treat! This show is very well written. Lots of funny moments and many, many zombies! My only critique is with the staging. I was in the lower house and spent most of the show looking at the actor's backs and not seeing the rest of the staging. Re-blocking some of the actors upstage would solve this issue. It's a huge theatre, I recommend sitting in the balcony and you'll have no problems! Other than that I absolutely loved the show. Great job!

A bloody good time
by Deanna Larsen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
A clever mix of Shakespearean dialogue and zombie mayhem. Well written, well acted, impressive costumes, and did I mention zombies?

The Ending
by Allie Moen Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Funny, fast-paced and the ending is perfection.

Warped, wild, and hilarious
by Hazen Markoe Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Basically a cross between "Shakespeare in Love" and "Night of the Living Dead," this warped and funny play tells the story of Shakespeare and his cohorts and their battle with a plague of zombies. John Heimbuch, Craig Anderson, and Joseph Papke lead a strong cast in this rather wacky tale. Heimbuch's script is very literate and smart, which adds to the play's overall effectiveness. With all its inside jokes, you don't have to like Shakespeare or George Romero to enjoy this enjoyable tale of Elizabethan carnage, but it definitely helps. Definitely a must-see!

Zombies and Shakespeare... OK, let's go
by Derek Miller Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
First off, let me congratulate John Heimbuch and Walking Shadow for creating a really killer concept (no pun intended... no, I take that back: pun intended). Beyond that, though, it's a pretty damn solid show displaying both a great level of imagination and a solid grasp of Shakespeare's life and works. And it's hysterical. It both sends up and celebrates the Bard, straddling the line between modern comedy sentiments and the florid Elizabethan prose of Shakespeare's time.

My only quibble with the show, and the only thing that keeps me from issuing five of these kitties here, is on the zombie side of things. I personally miss the days before the zombie genre became "funny." George Romero's original framework-a small group of survivors holes up and destroys itself from within-is the the basic plot of "Shakespeare;" but a lot of the claustrophobia, paranoia, and dread of the original "Living Dead" films is missing.

Yeah, what they said...
by Katie Mulinix Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Being the 20-something reviewer, I don't have a lot to add except that I entirely agree with, especially about the wit, being a crowd pleaser, ambitiously large cast that all pull their weight well: it's a preposterous story that somehow fits well, gives us romance, the Queen, cross dressing men, zombies, Shakespeare all tied up with humor.

Oh, and that embracing between Kate and Richard? Such passionate kisses--is that allowed at the fringe??

Shakespeare's Land of the Dead
by Roberta Pisa Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Very creative. Funny and smart. Well acted. Nice set. I probably missed some of the Shakespeare references, but you don't have to be an expert to thoroughly enjoy the show!

Beautiful, but inaudible
by Marie Odle Follow this reviewer
Rating 2 kitties
Come prepared to spend the first 15 minutes sifting saying "What?". The show is visually beautiful, and the script is genius, but you won't hear a word until Craig Anderson leaves the stage. Alas, the bells strapped to his legs are a plot point and can't be taken off, and therefore drown out both the good and bad english accents, making the 1/3 of the show inaudible. Perhaps I should have been sitting in the front row instead of three rows back, center stage... Thank goodness the costumes were pretty!

Shakes-tastic.
by Courtney Roche Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
If you know a bunch about William Shakespeare, you'll have fun. If you know nothing about William Shakespeare, you'll have fun. See the show either way, because it's cleverly written, well acted, and not something you're likely to see anywhere else.

The buzz is right on!
by Celia Forrest Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This show was amazing! Well written, well directed, well acted! Funny, smart, wry and witty. Also? Zombies. They're always good! Walking Shadow has upped the ante for Fringe shows. This show is a must see!

Witty Writing
by Heather Stone Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
Kudos to John Heimbuch's script. He's got some funny stuff going on in it and there were a load of laughs to be had in that hour. A very strong acting ensemble as well -- probably one of the best put together pieces acting-wise I've seen thus far in the "play category". I only ask that they ask the ticket taker to close one set of the theatre doors for late seaters so we're not competeing listening to the first 5 minutes of the show and who is buying tickets in the lobby and coming in late! I hope you have a super run!

Bacon beware
by Richard Heise Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Shakespeare is probably laughing in his grave over this uproarious production. A delightful piece of witty comedy.

Loved it
by Kristi Lawless Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
I don't participate in the theater in any way except watching, and it was fun for me to see this robust play staged as if from behind the scenes. Interesting, funny, and clever.

A lot of bang for your Fringe buck
by Florence Brammer Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Walking Shadow sure upped the ante for Fringe show production values with this jam-packed hour. A tight clever script, great costumes, super staging, uniformly great performances from an ambitiously large cast, and even stage combat! Zombies are just the icing on the cake. Very clever, very fun, and definitely worth one of your Fringe slots.

Aboslutely Brilliant!
by David Rust Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This great, professional show really is great fun all around. I mean it: they could have taken this in a direction of campy silliness but -instead- the characters react like who they are supposed to be: they play it straight and the humor is in the situation and the sly, wonderful writing that peppers the dialogue with small Shakespeare quotes and ideas put forth by historians over the years. It's great fun and, honestly, deserves to be a full-length show in a major venue!

This was my first show of this year's Fringe and -man- what a GREAT way to start out!

Wonderful Production
by Jonathan Mulinix Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Great Story, Acting and Production... a well-polished show. Great Value for your Fringe Dollar.

Bravo!
by Tim Voss Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Leave it to John Heimbuch to fill an hour with so many words, and to do such a terrific job at it. This is wonderful hour of theatre. The cast, from zombies to the soon to be zombies, play their roles flawlessly. The set, staging, and costumes are first rate. It helps to know Shakespeare's work and some history of the period, but it's not required. Go. Get there early.

Worth Seeing... Twice
by Benjamin Egerman Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is a play that just about anyone could enjoy--that being said, if you have a special place in your heart for Shakespeare, or for Zombies, or both, it'll be a downright blast. I'm hoping to get the chance to see it a second time.

Oh, and watch out for the ending--it's about the most incredible moment imaginable onstage.

Make this #1 on your list!
by Bryan Banks Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This is the first Fringe I've attended and this was the first play I saw. The performance by all the actors were truely amazing! The acting, the costumes, the story line were all top notch. It was if I paid 3 or 4 times the ticket price. I'm only lightly versed with Shakespeare and I was still able to keep up. Get your tickets and get in line early as this show should grow more popular as the Fringe goes on.

An impressive, polished show
by Swizzy Wizzlecheeks Follow this reviewer
Rating 4 kitties
If anyone out there happens to be well versed in both William Shakespeare and George Romero, this is the show for you. The characters, the speech and the dress is Shakespeare, but the plot is pure Romero. Don't expect his gore, instead a clever script jam packed with Shakespearean references (and some meta humor,to boot). They have a large cast and a very well staged show. If the characters had dug a little deeper, and evoked some real emotion I could have given it 5 kitties.

Wickedly smart and damned funny
by Joe Fuemmeler Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
Walking Shadow has a real hit for those who love Shakespeare, the undead, or both.

John Heimbuch's writing (and performance as Shakespeare) were top notch. He has an amazing talent with working with the words and history of the Bard to make a show that is engaging and funny for a contemporary audience.

The director and the cast of Shakespeare's Land of the Dead deliver--not only a clever and funny Fringe show, but also a well paced and high-caliber performance.

Zobies and Shakespeare = Winner
by Richard Shields Follow this reviewer
Rating 5 kitties
This production offers the viewer fun, clever references to theater history and melodrama. This show has a large cast and it is used with skill to develop this witty production. If you like references to theater and to Shakespeare's work this show will please you.

Among the cast four people stood out: Joseph Papke as Francis Bacon conveys the part of courtier well, while Craig Anderson displays comedy talents in his part as Will Kemp, John Heimbuch is a great Will Shakespeare and finally Ellen Karsten displays in her part both a regal classiness and a well measured sense of comic delivery.

If you do not smile after leaving this production the zombies got you some where along the way for real!

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