The Living Dead

The Living Dead

by Isaiah Reaves,
inspired by the film by George A. Romero and John A. Russo

October 14 – 29, 2022

Previews October 12 and 13

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.

Content Advisory: Production contains adult situations and themes including acts of violence. For additional information, contact the Box Office at 513-381-2273.

"The Living Dead" is approximately 80 minutes long is presented without an intermission.

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This production of 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. This represents the first in a long line of exciting new plays, elevating fresh and diverse new voices in the American Theatre. Starting with a commitment to the commissioning of new works in 2019, CSC is proud and excited to see The Living Dead reach full a production, and look forward to many more to come!

  • Wed - Oct 12, 2022 - 7:30 PM
    Preview performance & YP Preview Night
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  • Thu - Oct 13, 2022 - 7:30 PM
    Preview performance
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  • Fri - Oct 14, 2022 - 7:30 PM
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  • Sat - Oct 15, 2022 - 7:30 PM
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  • Thu - Oct 20, 2022 - 7:30 PM
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  • Fri - Oct 21, 2022 - 7:30 PM
    Audio Described Performance
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  • Sat - Oct 22, 2022 - 7:30 PM
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  • Sun - Oct 23, 2022 - 2:00 PM
    Q&A with cast following this performance
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  • Thu - Oct 27, 2022 - 7:30 PM
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  • Fri - Oct 28, 2022 - 7:30 PM
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  • Sat - Oct 29, 2022 - 2:00 PM
    Sign Language Interpreted Performance
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  • Sat - Oct 29, 2022 - 7:30 PM
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Darnell Pierre Benjamin*


Burgess Byrd*

Nana/ Zombie/ Ensemble

Cary Davenport*

Sheriff/ TV Newscaster/ Ensemble

Jared Earland


Charles Gidney


Jim Hopkins*


Courtney Lucien*


Kelly Mengelkoch*


Brianna Miller

Governor/ Zombie/ Ensemble

Annabel Phillips


Adrian Devaughn Summers

Duane/ Zombie/ Reverend/ Ensemble

  • Brian Isaac Phillips+


  • Samantha Reno

    Scenic Designer

  • Rainy Edwards

    Costume Designer

  • Nina Agelvis

    Lighting Designer

  • Zachary Bennett

    Sound Designer

  • Robert Carlton Stimmel

    Projections Designer

  • Kara Eble Trusty

    Properties Designer

  • Gina Cerimele-Mechley

    Fight Director

  • Brenna Bishop*

    Production Stage Manager

  • +Member of SDC

  • *Appearing through an Agreement between this theatre, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and Actors' Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States

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, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, and many others. Isaiah is a 2nd place winner for the Hip Hop Creator Award at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. He is also a semi-finalist for the Ucross and The Blank Theatre Future of Playwriting Prize, a 2020 finalist of the Jackie Demaline Regional Collegiate Playwriting Competition, an Iowa Arts Fellow, and a recipient of a Cincinnati CityBeat Critic’s Pick.

He is currently in pursuit of an MFA at the University of Iowa Playwrights Workshop.

Learn more online here.

New Play Development Sponsor:

Design Sponsor:

Adaptation Sponsor:

Season Sponsors:

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company is proud to present a 1 hour Audio Drama adaption of "The Living Dead" airing on WVXU! A very special thanks to WVXU for their continued partnership.


Monday Oct. 31, 8-9 PM
Perfect for Halloween Night!

How to Listen:

Radio 91.7 FM
Tell your smart speaker to "Play WVXU"

Special Thanks to Radio Drama Adaptation Sponsor:

Join us after performances on Oct. 13-15 for the outdoor light installation LIGHT of the Living Dead in front of our theater!

During BLINK 2022, which coincides with the opening weekend of Cincinnati Shakespeare Company’s world-premiere production of “The Living Dead” by Isaiah Reaves, CSC will extend the experience of the zombie horror classic out to its lobby and main entrance at the corner of 12th and Elm in OTR with a local, light-based art installation. Tapping the talents of artists, paired with an interior and exterior light design, CSC will take the “play” out of the theater and onto the streets with a four-beam searchlight package!

FREE. Will be illuminated after performances on Oct. 13, 14, 15 at Cincinnati Shakespeare.

Proud friend of BLINK Local Illuminations through ArtsWave