Darnell Pierre Benjamin
THE LIVING DEAD by Isaiah Reaves is the first play in Company history that was commissioned, developed, and given a world-premiere production entirely at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company
Cincinnati, Sep. 29, 2022 – Cincinnati Shakespeare Company ventures into “spooky season” with a world premiere of Isaiah Reaves’ THE LIVING DEAD, a new play inspired by the cult horror classic film The Night of the Living Dead by George A. Romero and John A. Russo playing Oct. 14-29, 2022. This production is directed by CSC’s Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips, and features Darnell Pierre Benjamin and a cast of CSC Ensemble favorites. This World Premiere Commission is made possible by The McElroy Family. The production’s design is generously sponsored by President H. James Williams and First Lady Carole Campbell Williams, Mount St. Joseph University, Theatre Arts Department.
When a zombie apocalypse ravages the world, a band of strangers seek refuge in an abandoned house, forcing the group to work together to see the light of day. However, individualism, egos, and power struggles expose the horrifying nature of survival. A new vision of contemporary horror inspired by the cult classic, Isaiah Reaves’ THE LIVING DEAD makes its world premiere in time for the Halloween season.
The world premiere of THE LIVING DEAD by Isaiah Reaves marks the first time Cincinnati Shakespeare Company has commissioned, developed, and produced a play entirely within its walls. The play marks the beginning of CSC’s goal to commission new plays to elevate fresh, diverse new voices and champion the next generation of classics. Producing Artistic Director, Brian Isaac Phillips notes, “this project represents an important landmark for CSC and our strategic goals. THE LIVING DEAD is the first commission in our emerging New Works program to be fully produced in our mainstage season. We commissioned Isaiah to write this piece during the pandemic, have supported its development through virtual workshops, and now we are excited to be producing it on our mainstage.”
The playwright, Isaiah Reaves, is an emerging young playwright whose work explores a spectrum of Black and Queer experiences. A native of Cincinnati, he graduated cum laude from Northern Kentucky University in 2020. His plays have been commissioned and staged by The Classical Theatre of Harlem at Lincoln Center, Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati, and many others. He is currently in pursuit of an MFA at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.
For further access, audiences will be able to listen to a streamlined 1 hour version that will play on the radio in partnership with WVXU on Halloween night, Oct. 31 at 8-9pm. The Radio Drama Adaptation Sponsor is Cincinnati Modern Realtor David G. Smith, Keller Williams Advisors Realty. This is the next of a growing collection of radio dramas produced by CSC since 2020. Access to all of CSC’s audio plays are available through the listening library on the website online here: cincyshakes.com/WVXU. All of these recordings are free to listen.
THE LIVING DEAD runs from October 14 – 29, 2022. Performances of THE LIVING DEAD are on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM, with one Sunday matinee at 2:00 PM on October 23 and a Saturday matinee at 2:00 on October 29. CSC offers performances with accessibility resources, including an Audio Described performance on Friday, October 21, at 7:30 PM and a Sign Language Interpreted Performance on Saturday, October 29, at 2:00 PM.
The performance will be approximately 80 minutes with no intermission.
Tickets are on sale now. Preview performances are on Wednesday, October 12, and Thursday, October 13, with tickets at $45. Young Professionals are invited to YP Preview Night on Wednesday, October 12, with discounted tickets at $25, including a free drink and talkback. Discounts are available for students, seniors, local residents, and community partners, as access to all is important to CSC. Each performance night has a limited number of $14 “Access” tickets in the Upper Gallery and Stage Gallery. These can be purchased in advance by going online or calling the Box Office. And starting 1 hour before each performance, any unreserved tickets may be available as a discounted Rush Ticket to anyone, not just students. These tickets are only $12 and could be located anywhere in the house, depending on that evening’s availability. These cannot be reserved more than 1 hour before a show and must be purchased in person in the Box Office. Visa, Discover, MasterCard, and American Express are accepted. Ticketing fees apply. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.
Audience members are no longer required to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test to attend performances at Cincinnati Shakespeare Company. The wearing of masks will be encouraged but optional. Please contact the Box Office by email or phone at (513) 381-2273 for assistance.
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is located at The Otto M. Budig Theater at 1195 Elm Street in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park. Many parking spaces are available on the street and in nearby lots and garages- for more information, visit http://www.otrchamber.com/pages/WheretoPark.
CSC also offers Valet Parking for every performance! Make reservations for $25 in advance when purchasing tickets, or visit www.cincyshakes.com/parking. Purchasing in advance guarantees a spot. Valet is available right at the corner of 12th and Elm Street in front of the theater and begins approx. 1.5 hours before a performance. Cars can be picked up for up to one hour following a performance. (After one hour, you will need to arrange pick up with the valet service directly.) After purchasing, the valet will have your name on the list— it’s that easy!
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s 2022-23 Season is generously presented by The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation; along with our Education Season Sponsor, Debby and Jim Mason; and our Operating Support Partners, The Ohio Arts Council, The Robert and Adele Schiff Family Foundation, Rosemary and Mark Schlachter, The National Endowment for the Arts with Arts Midwest, The Shubert Foundation, Lightborne, and the tens of thousands of people who give generously to the ArtsWave Community Campaign.
About Cincinnati Shakespeare Company:
Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is a professional theatre company dedicated to bringing Shakespeare and the classics to life for all. In the summer of 2017, the theater relocated to the Otto M. Budig Theater, a brand new facility in the Over-the-Rhine neighborhood of Cincinnati. CSC’s repertoire is composed of the works of William Shakespeare, literary adaptations, world premieres, and contemporary classics. CSC performs on a Small Professional Theatre contract with the Actors’ Equity Association. Cincinnati Shakespeare is a member of Theater Communications Group and Shakespeare Theatre Association. Each year, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s Education and Outreach Programs reach more than 50,000 young people and community members by meeting audiences where they are. This includes sharing programming in schools, parks, community centers and hosting educational matinees of mainstage productions. In 2015, CSC was proud to become one of the first five theaters in the United States to “Complete the Canon” by producing all 38 plays by William Shakespeare. CSC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, and all donations are tax-deductible. Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to be Cincinnati’s stage for the Classics!