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Retired Indiana Guardsman writes, directs his own play with message about change

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Posted at 7:38 AM, Jun 06, 2024

INDIANAPOLIS — A retired Indiana Guardsman is making history as the first former member to write, direct, and act in his own play inspired by World War II and accepting the changes that come after.

Brad Staggs’ play I Love My Zombie  is a “Zom-Com” is set in 1952 Hollywood where television is new and stars who fought in World War II have become something they didn’t expect.

“After 25 years in the military it really informed the World War II portion of the play,” Staggs said. “Having experienced deployments, having experienced not what they went through but a form of what they went through.”

"Yes, it has zombies. It’s fun, it’s funny it’s also heartfelt and at times heartbreaking so it’s really a play about how we react to other people who might change,” said Staggs.

Ron May is one of the lead actors in the play and is World War II vets who comes back different.

“This character has come out from that experience and has become a co-host on a television show with his wife and goes into the transition of the zombies,” said May.

For May, who is a World War II historian and a former Navy Chaplin, this play is personal.

“He knew the culture. Knew of what we were talking about with people with PTSD and people having personal problems and bringing that to the role,” said Staggs.

It’s a “Zom Com” with a message Staggs hopes the audience takes with them well after the curtain closes.

“There are a lot of soldiers World War II on even before that that come home a lot different than they left,” Staggs said.

“The points that this play would touch on are the feelings of camaraderie the feelings of family, the importance of family, and friends, and the importance of accepting everybody for who they are. Knowing that everybody is still the person you love no matter what happened.”

The world-premiere comedy turns old Hollywood on its head and is filled with comedy, pathos, and mystery.

It premieres on the 80th anniversary of D-Day June 6 and runs through June 9 at the Arts for Lawrence Theater at the Fort on old Ft. Benjamin Harrison.

More information about the play can be found at the Hyperion Players website.