When I was five years old, I stepped onto a stage for the first time. I appeared as Abu (the monkey) in one of my sister’s dance recitals. They were dancing to the song “Prince Ali” from the movie “Aladdin.” I was on stage for maybe thirty seconds. But after that, I said to my parents, “I was born to be on stage!”
After twenty years, my feelings have not changed; I’ve done just about every genre I could do: comedy, drama, musical, play, farce, Shakespeare, children’s theatre, melodrama, improv and more. So, when I heard that Weathervane was producing “Dracula,” I was intrigued. I have never done a show like this before. It’s not too often you see the horror genre on stage. I was very excited to be a part of it.
Everyone knows the name “Dracula,” and most people know many different interpretations of the story. I grew up only knowing the Mel Brooks take on it: “Dracula Dead and Loving It.” Therefore I have always associated ‘Dracula’ with comedy. This is definitely not the case with this production, and it took me a week or two to adjust when rehearsals began. Thankfully, I play Robert Renfield, the comic relief of the show. Renfield is a patient at the Purley Asylum who is a bit of a prankster and eccentric. Although he has a dark side, I still get to play with the comedy aspect. However, he is also a very intriguing and intense character, so the character work on this show has been a great challenge.
Despite being a fairly cheesy script, the character development in the show is actually written quite well and everyone in the show is doing a great job portraying their characters. A great cast is incomplete, however, without a brilliant director. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better person to direct this show than John Davis.
John has been a joy to work with! He has done professional work in both theater and film as a fight choreographer, which is just the type of director this show needs. Despite the intense physicality of this show, the cast has always felt perfectly safe thanks to John and his great understanding of how to take a [fake] punch to the face without even the slightest pain.
I think the audience is in for quite a treat, as the show definitely has a cinematic feel to it. There are many interesting special effects including smoke, fire, and plenty of blood. It is my hope that audience members will be terrified and on the edge of their seat for the whole show. Everyone knows the name ‘Dracula,’ but how are you going to feel when he’s ten feet in front of you?
- Thursdays — Oct. 1, 8 and 15 — at 7:30 p.m.
- Fridays — Oct. 2, 9 and 16 — at 7:30 p.m.
- Saturdays — Oct. 3, 10 and 17 — at 7:30 p.m.
- Sundays — Oct. 4, 11 and 18 — at 2:30 p.m.
For tickets, please visit www.weathervaneplayhouse.com or call (330) 836-2626.