Students Go All Out for Night of the Living Dead Performance

The poster warns “graphic violence and live stage gunfire.” Those are just some of the surprises the Avila theater students have in store for this exciting performance.

Night of Living dead poster
The poster warns of graphic violence and live stage gunfire, a nod to the authenticity Avila theater students put into this production.


This weekend gets busy with theater performances, hip-hop, blues and a Leap Day Run.


Night of the Living Dead at Avila’s Goppert Theater

By Abby Cambiano

Avila University’s Department of Performing Arts presents Night of the Living Dead on Thursday, February 25th to Sunday, February 28th, at the Goppert Theater, 11901 Wornall Rd. in Kansas City.

The play, written by Lori Allen Ohm, is modeled after the 1968 cult classic depicting a zombie apocalypse during which seven people find themselves in disagreement while trapped in an abandoned farmhouse.

The production is directed by Professor of Theatre Charlene Gould, who has been directing one show a year since she joined the university full time in 1995. Gould, who received her PhD from The University of Kansas, is also the Dean of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences at Avila University.

While the audience may be familiar with the film, Gould says they should be prepared for a few surprises.

“Our zombies will be more of The Walking Dead type. They are gruesome, gory, and faster than the 1968 zombie.”

The cast has been practicing for almost a month, including working with Fightmaster Bill Warren on choreographing stage combat scenes.

Night of living dead
A drone seen above films Avila students from above for a video segment.

In order to stick to the original script, they have been filming scenes with the Avila Film Department to create footage that can be shown behind a television reporter delivering the news of a zombie attack.


“I thought it might be more interesting, as he reads the news, for the audience to see the zombie apocalypse on stage in film clips. Even though it’s only one scene, I think the film adds another dimension to the production,” says Gould.

The production is supported by Adjunct Professor Tammy Keiser who oversees costumes and makeup and Professor Jason Harris, overseer of design and all the technical elements.

For tickets and more information contact the box office at 816.501.3699 or order tickets online at


Two-Act Musical Tells The Story of Harriet Tubman in Honor of Black History Month

Harriet_Tubman_c1895_editThe life of Harriet Tubman, a leader of the Underground Railroad offering freedom to slaves in the South, is featured in a two-act musical, “A Triumph of the Spirit,” to be performed at the historic First Baptist Church of Kansas City, 100 W. Red Bridge Road on Saturday, Feb. 27, at 1 pm.

A cast of 15 actors, singers and dancers will perform, starring playwright Shirley Johnson. It will feature soloist Tammie May and gospel artists Cynthia Green, Sadie Cole, and Zenobia Smith.  A Rockhurst student group will provide interpretive dance. The Musical is free and open to the public; there will be a free-will offering taken between the musical’s two acts.   “We invite the public to join us as we celebrate Black History Month by offering this amazing musical.  Few other lives from American history offer such a bold example of courage, freedom and justice,” stated Dr. Stephen Jones, pastor of the church.  

For more information, go to  or call  816/942-1866.   


Thursday, February 25

Night of the Living Dead. Student performance. Goppert Theater, Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd. 7:30 pm.

Friday, February 26

Night of the Living Dead. Student performance. Goppert Theater, Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd. 7:30 pm.

Boomerz. Music.  Murray’s, 12921 State Line Rd. 8 pm.

Doghouse Daddies. Live music. The Daily Limit, 523 E. Red Bridge Rd. 8 pm.


Saturday, February 27

Night of the Living Dead. Student performance. Goppert Theater, Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd. 7:30 pm.

Road Trips that Travel Civil War History. Authors of Big Divide: The Travel Guide talk on local sites during Border War. Red Bridge Mid-Continent Library, 11140 Locust St. 2 pm.

The Story of Harriet Truman: Triumph of the Spirit. Musical. First Baptist Church of Kansas City, Wornall and Red Bridge Rd. 1 pm. 816-942-1866. Free.

XParte. Music.  Murray’s, 12921 State Line Rd. 8 pm.

Southsider present Hip Hop featuring J-Issie, Sean, BabyB, Lonnie Luv. Just One More, 13023 Holmes Rd. 9 pm.

Sunday, February 28

Night of the Living Dead. Student performance. Goppert Theater, Avila University, 11901 Wornall Rd. 2 pm.

Monday, February 29

Leap Day Groupie Run. Running event for walkers and runners. The Martin, 135 & Holmes. 6 pm. Free.

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