Dead Meat

70 minutes, no intermission.

It’s the end of the world. A once-promising medication goes awry, mutating 51% of the world’s population into shells of human beings, with only the basic motor functions left to chase, bite, and kill. (Yep. They’re zombies.)

Three men—seemingly alone in the apocalypse—honestly are pretty all right with it. With all the women gone, they can finally kick...
70 minutes, no intermission.

It’s the end of the world. A once-promising medication goes awry, mutating 51% of the world’s population into shells of human beings, with only the basic motor functions left to chase, bite, and kill. (Yep. They’re zombies.)

Three men—seemingly alone in the apocalypse—honestly are pretty all right with it. With all the women gone, they can finally kick back, relax, and get back to their men-only BBQ.

Until Alex—an intersex woman—distorts the dichotomies in which they view their black-and-white world. How is Alex alive? Is Alex's life worth saving? And—ultimately—how can the men go about saving Alex when women are strictly against the BBQ rules?

In a quest for survival, adaptation is necessary. Will masculinity bend for a new world, or is the pull of the routines of a lost time too strong to resist?
  • Recommend
  • Download
  • Save to Reading List

Dead Meat

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    4 Jan. 2021
    Unsettling, hilarious, and brilliantly rendered socio-sci-fi-dark-satire with absurd elements. Paige Zubel explores masculinity, gender roles, gender identity, and the intersection between those things and violence in an extremely original and insightful way. The whole bizarre theatrical reality is established brilliantly and subtly, with nary a hint of unnecessary exposition. The contrast of Alex's urgent quest with the devolving dynamic between Beanie, Boris, and Brian creates tension and a propulsive energy. I love how this piece works as exciting, apocalyptic sci-fi as well as an extended metaphor for escaping prescribed roles with what felt like a cautiously optimistic ending.
  • Rachel Aberman:
    15 Nov. 2020
    I was lucky enough to see this piece as a reading before and found it absolutely thrilling. Now, in our time of covid, it's viral, post-apocalyptic setting somehow feels even more relevant. Here, Zubel is the crafter of a unique and terrifying world where BBQs rule, women are zombies, and you really shouldn't trust the meat. The characters are absolutely brimming with humor and the writing as as clever as it gets. And throughout is an overwhelming need to survive and find some semblance of normalcy. I highly recommend this play!
  • Sarah Fenner King:
    16 Jul. 2019
    Saw this performed as a staged reading by Ignition Arts at the Lyric Theatre of Oklahoma in March 2019. Smart and delightfully perplexing, Zubel undercuts the dude-bro caricatures and laugh-out-loud absurdist humor with the claustrophobic scenes of Alex and her quest for survival. An unexpected, thought-provoking take on zombies about gender and rules and the importance of BBQ.

Character Information

  • BRIAN
    early 30s
    He makes a rule every time a woman gives him a fake number (he has a lot of rules).
  • BORIS
    early 30s, same age or a little younger than Brian
    Has a serious issue with a food. Like, he should see someone about that.
  • BEANIE
    30s, older than Brian
    He was probably a dog in a past life. One of those dogs on the side of the road where you look at them and think, “Poor guy, someone should take him home,” but you drive off really fast because you are definitely not taking him home. You were probably thinking a cute, lovable dog at first. But nope.
  • ALEX
    late 20s-30s
    Intersex, a woman (which is against the rules).

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Relative Theatrics
    ,
    2020
  • Workshop
    ,
    Normal Ave Productions
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    New York Winterfest
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Elephant Ear Productions Reading Series
    ,
    2017

Awards

Finalist
,
New Play Festival
,
Players Club of Swarthmore
,
2020