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The Zombie Monologues, a shortened online version of my pandemic-postponed play The Zombie Life, is premiering this week at Richmond’s Firehouse Theater’s website, one monologue each day at 4:00!

The link to the first two monologues is here.

And below is the text and other information about the production.

Hello, my name is Dr. Steve Brandeis. My patients like to call me Dr. Steve. You know, like Dr. Phil I guess. I’m a therapist. I’ve been trying to help people for, I don’t know how many years now, my career, my whole life basically. And sometimes, I’ll be honest, I’ve wondered, whether, I’ve really helped anyone. I mean really helped them. Cured them. Of the one thing that all diseases and disorders have in common. Pain. That’s what we’re all suffering from. The cost of being alive. Of just trying to lurch from one day to the next day. It’s like, it’s like human beings, we weren’t designed for this. For living. It’s a design flaw.

And I assumed it was unavoidable, that all I could do was apply band aids, squirt a little disinfectant into your gushing wounds. But I’ve been watching these former patients of mine, these former people, these converts, that’s what they are. Converts to a safer, an easier, a better way of existing. And I’m realizing that all of my years and years of work don’t add up to a fraction of the solace that they’ve each found on their own. So I’m rethinking everything, my whole approach. Forget therapy. You can’t talk your way out of a torture chamber. Understanding why you’re in pain, where it comes from, how your life is a perfect storm tailored just to you—none of that makes any of it go way. It still hurts. Call it what you like, agony by any other name is still agony. But now for the first time I see a way to actually do something about it.

Based on the testimonies you’ve just heard, from patients who have cured themselves from human suffering, I am following their insights and will make them available to you, to everyone. I am developing a seminar to educate people about the benefits of the zombie life. Benefits that we all desperately need. These are desperate times. We need radical change. We need to rethink and reform what it means to be human. Abolish suffering. Abolish prejudice, bigotry, misogyny, inequality, tyranny. No more police, politicians, elections. Hell, zombies are even good for the environment. No pollution, no waste of natural resources. We can leave it all behind. Zombies feel no guilt, no shame, no regrets. No regrets! Can you imagine that?

Well, soon you won’t have to imagine. I’ll show you up close and personal. But since we can’t meet in person yet because of COVID-19, I’ll spend the coming months developing “The Zombie Life Seminar for Humans Seeking Conversion.” Then next summer, when we’re no longer social distancing, you’ll attend in person. You’ll see for yourself. The zombie life is the answer. The zombie life will save us all.

Until then, please stay safe. You just have to hang on a little longer. Help is on the way. Good night, for now.


At first we thought: Government experiment, biological warfare. From … North Korea. China. Or maybe an alien microbe. From thawed polar ice. Or the space shuttle. Or …?  But then we thought: H.I.V., Ebola, H1N1, Covid-19.  Definitely something cross-species. Birds, monkeys, pigs, bats. … aardvarks? Galvani was making dead frog legs twitch in the 1700’s, but full body animation? From a medical standpoint, it was genius. The ultimate breakthrough. If we could patent it, we’d be trillionaires. Military applications weren’t the half of it. Who needs automated assembly lines when you have a limitless supply of inexhaustible workers? Forget Hazmat suits, the whole workforce is invulnerable. No health care costs, pension plans, minimum wage, housing. You don’t even have to feed them. Not … technically. They can’t digest. The whole G.I. track, it’s shutdown. All the organs. They’re not hungry. They just—think they are. Their muscles are sputtering on idiopathic electricity. It’s a matter of harnessing it. It’s not even immoral. They’re not alive. We had been looking at it backwards. This wasn’t a disease. It was the cure. For everything. The end of medicine as we know it. Nobody ever has to get sick again. Life without life. The end of suffering. This is why I became a doctor. To help people. And now we can help everyone. It’s in the saliva. Break the skin, the cells spread, shut down the old system, maybe a day in bed, and voila! It’s like a flu shot. A toothy, flesh-gouging flu shot. But then that’s it. No more pain. Ever again. You’re cured. You just have to stop looking at it … backwards.


the ZOMBIE monologues

by Chris Gavaler

directed by Joan Gavaler

August 19-30, 2020

the ZOMBIE monologues is a fully virtual prequel to our world premiere of Chris Gavaler’s THE ZOMBIE LIFE that we’ve had to postpone due to COVID-19.
Videos will premiere at 4pm on 8/19, 8/21, 8/23, 8/25, 8/27, and 8/29 at these 3 links

Wed 8/19, Thu 8/20
Ken Moretti – Therapist + Keaton Hillman – Doctor
Fri 8/21, Sat 8/22
Marjie Southerland – Chef
Sun 8/23, Mon 8/24
Robbie Winston – Professional
Tue 8/25, Wed 8/26
Boomie Pedersen – Activist
Thu 8/27, Fri 8/28
Caity Brown – Volunteer
Sat 8/29, Sun 8/30
Ken Moretti, Keaton Hillman, Marjie Southerland,
Robbie Winston, Boomie Pedersen, Caity Brown – klansman

the ZOMBIE monologues has been developed by Firehouse Theatre with support from Aura CuriAtlas Physical Theatre through a series of Zoom workshops.

Videos will premiere at 4pm on 8/19, 8/21, 8/23, 8/25, 8/27, and 8/29 at these 3 links

​donations gladly accepted at or text “zombie” to 44321.

The Zombie Life: A Seminar for Humans Seeking Conversion
We know life is hard. When you are ready to stop searching for meaning and leave the pain behind, we are ready to help.
1. Zombies have no responsibilities.
2. Zombies feel no guilt, shame, or emotional pain of any kind.
3. Zombies don’t plan for the future.
4. Zombies are never judgmental, petty, jealous, or hypocritical.
5. Zombies are free of racism, sexism, and all other forms of prejudice and bigotry.
6. Zombies form no governments, run no businesses, consume no natural resources, and cause no harm to their environments.
7. Zombies are never uncertain. They never second guess. They have no regrets.


Caity Brown

Keaton Hillman

Ken Moretti

Boomie Pedersen

Marjie Southerland

Robbie Winston

Production Team:

Joan Gavaler – Director

Dan Plehal – Movement Director

Todd Labelle – Production Designer

Tad Burrell – Set Designer

Annette Hairfield – Costume Designer

AC Wilson – Props Designer

Grace Brown – Stage Manager


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