Part 8: Letters From the Living Dead: “This is the end of broadcast day” by Stephen Gregory Smith

Tonight is the final performance of NightoftheLivingDead (the musical) at Kensington Arts Theatre. How can I possibly begin to wrap this whole series up in a nice bow?

I can start by thanking the entire cast and crew of our show. I asked a lot from both, and they delivered double back in return. When you see actors coming off of the stage at the end of the show while crying and shaking, you know that they are giving their all. I am grateful to each and every one of them for their incredible work.

I can thank Leah Kocsis and the fabulous LivingDead band, consisting of herself, J. Michael d’Haviland, and Thaddeus Achey (best name a drummer ever had). Thanks to Chris Youstra for his fantastic orchestrations.

I can thank Craig Pettinati for believing in our work so much to take a chance on it. I would like to thank Callie Hodge for being a stage manager/zombie extraordinaire.  I would like to thank Marshall Hackett, Meng Chiao, and Kevin Boyce for giving our farmhouse light, and for taking it away again. I would like to thank Kevin Boyce, Jenna Ballard, John Decker, Marshall Hackett, Mike Ricci, Matt Karner, Ed Eggleston, and Doe B. Kim for helping to bring the farmhouse to realization. Thanks to Ernie Achenback for our memorable program cover, and to Doe B. Kim for designing the program. And also for working box office every night. Thanks to Casey Kaleba for giving us a breath-taking fight sequence as the farmhouse collapses.

I can’t begin to thank Jenna Ballard and Kevin Boyce for their work on this show, because they have done so very much. This show wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them, and I am eternally grateful to them for that.

Thanks to the audiences that have come and taken our journey. It is extremely important to support new works, and I know that in these economically repressed days, you have to think twice before opening your wallet. Many might have given pause to see a musical based off of a black and white, grainy cult horror film that was made in Pittsburgh.

Thank you for coming and taking the chance on us. I have learned so much from you being there. It has been fantastic to keep sculpting this piece every weekend in front of you, in an effort to make it the best that it can be. Your feedback has been, and continues to help with that sculpting process.

And thanks lastly to you dear reader, for being curious enough to read these letters and to peer into our little corner of the world. We’ve had such a great time putting this one- hour epic together, and having the privilege to share it with you is one that I also have to thank Joel Markowitz and DCMetroTheaterArts.

I have enjoyed sharing this journey with you, and if you haven’t taken the journey yet, come and help us celebrate the end of this wonderfully winding road to the farmhouse TONIGHT at 8 PM. at Kensington Arts Theatre.

Part One: Welcome to my Farmhouse.
Part Two: Finding Ben.
Part Three: Exploring the Farmhouse.
Part Four: Meet Our Cast.
Part Five: My Sweet Baby.
Part Six: We’ll Be Alright.
Part Seven: This House…this place.
Part Eight: This is the end of broadcast day.

 All photos by Stephen Gregory Smith.


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