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Arts and Entertainment

The Undead Loose in Denmark! It's 'Hamlet Vs. Zombies' at SCT Center Stage

(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)

Springfield Contemporary Theatre presents the riotous send-up of Shakespeare's Danish prince, Hamlet Vs. Zombies: Something is Rotting in the State of Denmark, Oct. 16-Nov.1st at SCT Center Stage, corner of Pershing and Robberson downtown.  Written by Jeff Jenkins and Bryant Turnage and directed by David Rice, this is a co-production with Jeffrey Markus Productions.  Claudius, brother to the King, has developed a plan to usurp the throne of Denmark and finally deal with their pesky Norwegian neighbors: kill the King, seize the crown...and then bring him and his soldiers back as zombies. No opposing force in the world could destroy an army that's already dead. Brilliant, right? Or it would have been... you know how these zombies are... brains on the brains. Hamlet, along with his trusted sidekick Horatio, fight in a race against the clock to stop Claudius's out-of-control experiment before it's too late and Denmark is overrun by the walking dead.  The Huffington Post called the play “inspired lunacy” after one of its appearances at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. 

Jeff Carney plays Claudius and readily acknowledges that he's not just the "villain" of the piece, but "I'm a mad scientist, I guess you could say, who develops the 'zombie virus' that's going to take over Europe."  Jerry-Mac Johnston plays Polonius, who he calls "the bumbling yes-man, the king's advisor. He's just into everything, and confused as could be as to how things are going, and why."

Neither Jeff nor Jerry-Mac feel that any prior knowledge of the original Hamlet is necessary on the part of the audience. "Not a bit," says Jerry-Mac.  "The story is so well written that they're just going to follow it and pick it up, and they're going to laugh... I think!  We hope!  No 'spoilers,' but Ophelia's very heavily armed...."  And don't worry too much about "scary" moments--though Jerry-Mac points out that "it's really, really bloody... but it's clever blood!  And I won't give that away.  You'll have to come see it."

Jordan Thomas is cast as Hamlet, with Sam Hays is Ophelia.

Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm October 16 through November 1st.  Call 831-8001 for tickets or visit