News Column

IN UNLIVING COLOR ; Kanawha Players using black-and-white makeup to re-create look of classic film [Charleston Daily Mail (WV)]

October 17, 2013


If you go What: Night of the Living Dead Live When: 8 p.m. Friday, Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday; 8 p.m. Oct. 25- 26 Where: Kanawha Players Theater, Beauregard Street Tickets: $12 for adults, $10 for students and seniors Info: or 304-343-7529

Ginger Workman dreamed in black and white. The makeup artist and co-director of the Kanawha Players fall show decided the best way to bring a theatrical version of the classic black-and-white horror film, Night of the Living Dead, to stage was to produce it in the same way: in black and white. I couldnt pass it up, she said of the idea. Workman did some research into how other theater companies have produced Lori Allen Ohms adaptation of the film and has yet to find another that used the black-and-white idea. The effect is striking the shows 30 actors and actresses all wear black, white, gray or other neutral colors. The set is black, white and gray. Actors makeup is all black and white and wigs are similarly hued. It takes every second of two hours to do the makeup, Workman said. Even lighting is designed with the theme in mind, with special gel covers to neutralize the yellow tones. The show is based on the 1968 movie directed by George Romero and tells the tale of a mysterious radiation the fallout from a satellite probe that returns to Earth from Venus that transforms unburied dead into flesh-eating zombies. The setting is a rural farmhouse, where seven family members are trapped by zombies. The monochromatic story unfolds in horror and humor. There is one bright spot of color in the production: blood. Co-director Devon Nuckles, a native of Jackson County, said he jumped at the chance to be involved in the production. Night of the Living Dead was the second black-and-white film I ever saw, he said. It is one of the most important movies to me. Nuckles said he developed an appreciation for old-school horror flicks, ones that set themselves apart from the slasher films so popular in the 1980s and beyond. Horror is much more than blood and guts, he noted. The show has a celebrity guest zombie this weekend. Greenbrier County native Jeremy Ambler appeared in the AMC series The Walking Dead as a zombie during Season 2. He and Workman met during the filming of a regional horror film and he offered to help out. Ever since I was 5 or 6 Ive been a fan of the movie, he said.

BRAD DAVIS/FOR THE DAILY MAIL The Kanawha Players production of Night of the Living Dead is being staged in black and white, just as its 1968 film counterpart was done. The only color will be the blood and guts.

Jeremy Ambler, at left, is making a guest appearance this weekend for the Kanawha Players production of Night of the Living Dead. Ambler, a Greenbrier County native, is an expert zombie he has appeared in the AMC series The Walking Dead. Cynthia Hall, at right, tries to escape the zombie horde.

Contact writer Monica Orosz at or 304-348- 4830.

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