Going to a Dead White Zombies show is always an adventure.

Dallas Morning News


Experimental Site-Specific Meta Theatre Performance Installation Media Dallas TX Since 2011

Thomas Riccio, Poo Pah Doo

Shelby Allison-Hibbs, Doo Bah Doo

Founders: Lori McCarty, Brad Hennigan, & Thomas Riccio

We are malcontent theatre, performance, visual, sound, and installation artists, ironic & fun loving agent provocateurs in an age of intellectual and cultural leveling, conformity, franchise, and mass marketing to the lowest and most banal common denominator.

We simply do things the way we want to do it, where, and how, because we don’t know what else to do. Our emphasis is on new, experimental, site-specific and collectively created performance work that defies categories and conventions.

We are Dead because we are White, pale reflections of what was once. We are Zombies because we are still walking around, empty, searching for meaning, thinking we are still alive.

As shot-caller for the Dallas -based arts group Dead White Zombies, Riccio puts the pedagogy of mythology and anthropology right on the line of Dallas culture, blending the politics, pastimes and social structures of the city with the cosmology of classical paganism (Homer, Virgil, Ovid) and a variety of shamanistic traditions, both ancient and contemporary.

Glasstire, Texas

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Like all DWZ performances, a concrete and visceral individual story is set in relief on a large, mythic canvas, a place where the boundaries between mythic and personal, reality and artifice are permeable, where time is transcended, and the distinction between spectator and performer blurred. This intersecting of particular with mythic is thematic for DWZ and an evolution of my ritual and indigenous performance work as an artist and scholar. This deliberate theme/device/operative of blurring performance boundaries is central to the aesthetic of DWZ, and is, I believe, central to our moment in history.

excerpt Theatre Forum article by Thomas Riccio


Humans, the most enabled and greatest beneficiary of earth’s magnificent offering, are responsible for its maintenance and balance. Theater has the ability to shape thoughts and feelings, to prod and provoke a new consciousness, explore and reveal a re-conceptualizing our relationship, role, and obligations to create a world of inclusion, gratitude, and healing. Theatre, its content, form, function, and expressions, can be a vital part of a co-evolutionary process, enabling an emergent narrative of place where the voices of humans, animals, flora, spirits, all the elements of the environment, and ancestors “speak” each in their in their own way. Our survival as a species depends on it.

excerpt Narrative of Place by Thomas Riccio


It’s all about the form now. It’s about content still, but it’s really digging deeper beyond content, because in a sense we’re filled up with content. Everything is repeating itself; it’s like a recursive loop now. Everything is being appropriated or post-modernism is a kind of symptom of that. It’s no longer about that surface noise of things swirling around, repeating recursively. Now it’s about questioning, interrogating and transforming the form. Which is much more difficult and much more deeply rooted and much more contentious for people because it’s so branded on us.

interview excerpt Brett Cowell with Thomas Riccio

Listen to the Pod Cast

Pod Cast Transcription

You look worried.

You look worried.