This preview has been provided by Historic Interpretations, Inc.

hiSTORYstage, the theatrical performance company of Historic Interpretations, Inc., opens our second season with the North Carolina premiere of William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead by John Heimbuch.  Our production of this award-winning, new script, directed by Matt Schedler, will run October 10-13 at Common Ground Theatre (4815B Hillsborough Road) in Durham, and October 24-27 at Burning Coal Theatre at the Murphey School (224 Polk Street) in Raleigh. 

Performances will have an 8pm curtain on October 10-12 and 24-26, and a 2pm curtain on October  12-13 and 26-27.  Tickets for all performances are $18, with senior and student tickets available at $12 each.  For ticket reservations, call 1-800-838-3006 or visit  For more information about the production, please call 919-339-1558.

William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead

London, 1599. Shakespeare’s Henry V opens the newly built Globe Playhouse, but while the actors strut and fret, an excess of bile plagues the populace outside. 

After the opening of his newest play, William Shakespeare must once again defend his work fending off the embittered clown Will Kemp while trying to appease Francis Bacon, a wealthy lawyer who has come with an idea to pitch. But when the company’s costumer is bitten by a plague-ridden madman, and the Queen and her men arrive seeking safety, life in the playhouse takes a turn for the worse.

As the affliction spreads through London, the Globe is placed in quarantine and the survivors within must fight for their lives. Can they escape? Is there a cure? Is artistic integrity ever worth dying for?

John Heimbuch’s script is witty, clever, peppered with self-referential humor and wonderful wordplay on some of the Bard’s best lines. – Brian Leehan, Minneapolis Star Tribune

Both Shakespeare and horror nerds will enjoy this brilliant Elizabethan production of bloody proportions, taking zombies into new and exciting terrain. – Ben Smith, Fangoria Magazine

The Directors

Matt Schedler directs the production.  Matt has worked with many local theatres including Bare Theatre, Cary Players, Raleigh Little Theatre and Theatre in the Park.  Matt’s directing highlights include Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water and Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. He also created and directed The Shakespeare Zone, an original show for Bare Theatre, which was written with the cast.  Matt recently received the 2012 Pietzsch Award from Cary Players as Outstanding Leading Actor for his work in A Christmas Story with Cary Players.

Heather J. Strickland and Jason Bailey provide physical direction and fight choreography for the production.  Heather is the Artistic Director of Bare Theatre Company. Heather received a degree in Theatre Arts from Flagler College and is a certified member of the Society of American Fight Directors.  Jason is a local actor, filmmaker, and stunt/stage combat enthusiast who has also worked with Bare Theatre, NRACT, and Burning Coal.

The Cast

Clint Lienau (William Shakespeare) recently appeared in several hiSTORYstage productions, including Saint George and the Dragon (Saint George), The Marowitz Hamlet (Hamlet), and The Hollow Crown (Chamberlain).  Larry Evans (Richard Burbage) joins hiSTORYstage for the first time, though he has been seen in Triangle productions of The Cocktail Hour, Oleanna, and the Woolgatherer, amongst others.  Jeff Buckner (Will Kemp) comes to hiSTORYstage direct from an engagement as Orlando in Bare Theatre’s production of As You Like ItJorge Ivan Santos (John Rice) appeared in every show of the inaugural season, including Saint George and the Dragon (John Finney), The Marowitz Hamlet (Priest/Captain), and The Hollow Crown (Herald).  Ashley Rebecca Jones (Kate Braithwaite) makes her Triangle stage debut with this production, having recently relocated from Atlanta, GA, where she worked on CW’s The Vampire Diaries, and ABC’s upcoming show, ResurrectionMason Armour (John Sinklo) returns to the stage after a 16 year hiatus during which he worked on numerous film and television projects for such companies as MTV and New Line Cinema.  Seth A. Blum (Francis Bacon) makes his second appearance with hiSTORYstage, most recently being seen as Yorick/Polonius in The Marowitz HamletBeverly Schieman (Sir Robert Cecil) joins hiSTORYstage for the first time direct from Bare Theatre’s As You Like It (Le Beau).   Nicola Lefler (Queen Elizabeth) joins the production after a successful run of Hamlet and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead with Little Independent Theatre.  Noelle Barnard Azarelo (Dr. John Dee) was most recently seen in Bare Theatre’s As You Like It, and joins hiSTORYstage for the first time.  Sarah Schmitt (Soldier 1) spends a lot of time playing Shakespeare, most recently as Gertrude in The Marowtiz Hamlet and thinks that combining zombies and Shakespeare is a no-brainer!  Lauren Elizabeth Clos (Soldier 2) returns to the stage after a six year hiatus, during which she played the role of mom to her two young sons, most recently being seen in Bare Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet (Gregory) in 2007.  Rounding out the ranks of the Players and Afflicted are G. Todd Buker, Managing Director of Bare Theatre; Laura Griffin, most recently seen in The Hollow Crown (The Lady);  Matt Plaia, most recently seen in Cary Player’s The Miracle WorkerRiley Watson, joining the cast direct from Bare Theatre’s As You LikeIt, and Paul Yosim who has appeared in local productions of Puss N Boots and You Can’t Take it With You.

For further information, please contact Historic Interpretations director, Jeremy Clos, at 919-339-1558, or visit our website at