William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead


Writers: John Heimbuch


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Dark Comedy, Horror
Period, Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
1599, summertime, southwark, england
Cast Size
Ideal for
professional / regional theatre, community theatre, college / university theatre, high school theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, early teen, late teen, mature adult, elderly, young adult, child characters


It’s a rough day for the Lord Chamberlain’s Men, the most prestigious acting company in the city of London. First, their inaugural performance of “King Henry the Fifth” is interrupted by the wayward clown, Will Kemp, dancing a jig to advertise his newest stunt: a Morris dance from London to Norwich! Secondly, the scheming lawyer Francis Bacon comes to call, hoping to borrow the name of star playwright William Shakespeare for his own mediocre comedy, a ploy to curry favor with Queen Elizabeth. Thirdly, the queen herself arrives suddenly at the Globe with a guard of quarreling advisors, seeking shelter from the main event: a terrifying plague of undeath is racing through the city, the infection spreading from bite to bite. It’s a hot and hazardous summer in 1599, and in William Shakespeare’s Land of the Dead, artistic pride, and scientific philosophy must be sacrificed as the relentless horde of shambling zombies overtakes the stage -- but not before hearts are broken, desperate rescue missions are plotted, and everyone gets a chance to mock the target of their choice. John Heimbuch’s mash-up of history and horror results in a theatrical masterpiece, a scholarly and intelligent story full of fatalistic philosophizing and knowing winks for the Shakespeare buff, and a rollicking action-adventure monster tale with blood and gore a-plenty.

Lead Characters

William Shakespeare's Land of the Dead guide sections