A black fog overtook the Quinnipiac University campus as the Theater for the Community let their inner vampire bleed through during this past week’s production of Mac Wellman’s “Dracula.”
The play was written by Wellman in 1987 and was directed by freelance New Haven director Bob Bresnick. The bizarre play was a re-vamped version of Bram Stoker’s classic vampire novel.
The story is about two sexually repressed women from the days of Victorian London who find passion in the world of vampires. Doctor John Seward is in charge of the asylum where Jonathan Harker ends up after meeting Count Dracula. Doctor John Seward was played by junior Aleczander Farquharson, Jonathan Harker was played by freshman Sean Davis, and Count Dracula was played by sophomore Gerard Lisella.
Meanwhile, Doctor Seward’s close friend, Doctor Abraham Van Helsing works to stop Count Dracula. Lucy Westenra seeks out Dracula’s love, while Seward and Quincy Morris are both in love with her. Meanwhile, John’s lover, Mina Murray, begins to succumb to Count Dracula’s spell, as well. Doctor Abraham Van Helsing was played by junior Zachary Glassman, Lucy Westenra was played by freshman Christina Comizio, Quincy Morris was played by freshman Kevin Ebner, and Mina Murray was played by junior Sara Detrick. Simmons, played by junior Sean McLaughlin, assisted in the asylum.
“Dracula” had music numbers implemented in through the three vampirettes, played by freshman Tiffany Green, junior Shannon Murfee and junior Melissa Peters. Freshman Emma Levine Sporer was also in the production, and played the old woman/nun.
I was unsure of what I had originally been walking into. With Halloween being just a few weeks ago, I assumed the production would be similar to the novel that I had grown up with during the month of October. However, I was completely wrong.
The play combined clever language, outlandish humor and many twists that left the crowd guessing what was happening, such as the breakout dance number of “Twist.” I have never seen a production like this one before. I laughed during times when I did not think I would, sat there unable to guess what was going to happen next, but overall, sat on the edge of my seat to see if Count Dracula would prevail in the end. The Count Dracula was not menacing as expected, however, he was meant to be seductive and humorous. There was a love twist mixed in with the humor, something I was not expecting.
Sitting in the second row gave me a great view of not only the great acting, but the incredible set design. The design itself was not just a stable and decorated set, the walls moved around, enabling more space for the actors and creating change in the scenes when needed. The detailing in the designs was also very clear and clean.
The acting talent not only shined through, but so did the set construction and design.
The actors, actresses and those who worked behind the scenes for QU’s Theater for the Community’s production of “Dracula” did an excellent job and put on yet another incredible performance.