During November 2023, The Department of Theater Arts and Dance at Loyola University in New Orleans will present God Help Them if We Wake Up, a production written and directed by Walking Dead actress Ann Mahoney along with Gillian Shelly, starring TWD actress Nadine Marissa, in the lead role.
The story follows Marrissa’s Hannah Green, a woman in the midst of a midlife crisis who takes her life into her own hands and sets out to find a better world. During her journey, she inspires an army of women and sparks a revolution.
In an interview with My New Orleans, Mahoney said this about the play.
"“I recently found myself watching fundamental human rights taking a huge step backward in this land of the free, home of the brave. I knew I didn’t have the political prowess to make a statement that would matter, so I returned to my roots in the theatre and wrote this epic play – featuring 25 women, original music, choreography, and much magic and mayhem.”"
The play was funded by the annual Carol Sutton/Sherri Marina Memorial Grant, which supports plays with Black actors in the lead role, especially Black women, and a New Orleans Theater Association Grant. Marina was a facility member of Loyola at the time of her death in 2020 and a dear friend and colleague of Mahoney, who also serves as a theater professor at Loyola.
"“This is a full circle moment, Sherri Marina was a dear friend and colleague. To be able to utilize a grant named after her – to perform a new play, with several leading roles for women of color, at Loyola University – feels appropriate and deeply spiritual.”"
Walking Dead’s Ann Mahoney and Nadina Marissa
Mahoney is known in TWD world for her portrayal of Olivia, who was in charge of the supplies at Alexandria. She is known for giving the slap heard ’round TWD world to Negan (Jeffrey Dean Morgan) in season 7 for inappropriate comments. She would be killed by Arat (Elizabeth Ludlow), one of Negan’s Saviors.
Marissa is known for her roles as Nabila, the wife of Jerry (Cooper Andrews). She was introduced in season 7, and by the series finale, after the one-year time jump, she and Jerry were happily situated in Alexandria with their children, Ezra, Aliyah, and Mariam.
God Help Them if We Wake Up will be featured at the Marquette Theatre November 9-18 at 7 p.m. CST each night. (no shows November 13 and 14) Tickets can be purchased on the Loyola site.