Maverick Theater’s ‘Night of the Living Dead’: These Zombies Really Can’t Be Killed

Photo by Jessica Peralta

A pandemic nearly killed what would have been the 15th year of “Night of the Living Dead” returning to Fullerton’s Maverick Theater. And while this year’s show technically does not take place at the theater, but rather at a nearby warehouse, the show did in fact live on.

It occurred to Maverick Theater owner and NOTLD Director Brian Newell that while the show couldn’t go on inside its usual venue, it could happen mostly outside and socially distanced with a team of skilled actors. It would be immersive, intimate — and involve layers of PPE. Fortunately, the theater’s repertoire of actors were available and eager to participate.

Guests arrive to the Maverick Theater at their designated time slot, check in and change into their disposable protective gear: hooded ponchos, face masks, nitrile gloves and face shields. They receive an introductory greeting and instructions from their team leader before heading out in a van for a search-and-rescue mission. You see, the ROVID pandemic has hit and you’re part of a team being sent in to rescue some people.

Once you arrive at your destination — a warehouse down the street — you realize “this is no Sunday school picnic.”

It’s a fun, engaging 50 minutes that mixes some classic elements of Newell’s NOTLD stage version with something brand new. This time, you get to be part of the story — and may even get some blood on you.

The immersive show is now nearly sold-out. But you can get a behind-the-scenes look at the experience here: