Bram Stoker penned the words of Dracula over a hundred years ago.
A chilling account of good versus evil, the tale of Dracula continues to evoke fear and fascination. Adapted by Preston Lane for Triad Stage and directed by Eleanor Holdridge, Bram Stoker’s Dracula is a must-see for those who appreciate the subtle scares of classic horror.
Unlike Stoker’s novel, Triad Stage opens and closes the story with words from an unnamed child. Performed by Sarah Bock – an eighth grade student at Mills Park Middle School in Cary – the young girl’s haunting voice delivers the most memorable lines of the production; lines that audience members revel in repeating as they exit the theater.
The story initially unfolds in London where the audience is introduced to Doctor Seward, Renfield, Lucy Westenra, Mina Harker and the eccentric Van Helsing. There, within the setting of an insane asylum, Michael Newman exudes compassion in his portrayal of Doctor Seward while Brian Mullins gives a spirited rendition of Renfield. Maggie Thompson performs the dual roles of Lucy and Mina; but her transition is flawless and the two characters are never confused. Dathan B. Williams brings humor to the performance as the odd – and sometimes babbling – Van Helsing; and also lends his voice to several songs, which is an absolute treat.
Upon the discovery that Lucy has fallen victim to Dracula’s bite, Van Helsing commits to finding and destroying the bloodsucking monster. As Mina’s late husband (Jonathan Harker) was once confined to Dracula’s castle, his journal becomes a crucial element in Van Helsing’s quest and provides the means by which the audience is transported to Transylvania.
Curt James is brilliant as Jonathan Harker. So believable are his emotions of nervousness and fear that when Harker falls into the abyss of madness, the audience descends with him. The role of Dracula in Transylvania (a tired and older creature) is played by Dathan B. Williams while Curt James assumes the role of Dracula in London (a refreshed and younger version of the vampire). In these dual roles, both men give exceptional performances.
As well as the actors, many talented individuals work behind the scenes to bring the sights and sounds of 19th century London and Transylvania to life. Recognition must be given to sound designer and composer Patrick Calhoun for his skill in placing the audience at a train station, on a ship, and in a forest full of wolves. His manipulation of sounds – such as breaths and sighs – creates a sense of apprehension that compels the audience to peer over their shoulders a time or two.
Triad Stage never fails to give its audience an immersive experience and Dracula is no exception. Give yourself a treat this Halloween season and purchase a ticket to see Dracula today.
Tickets for Dracula are on sale now through Nov. 10. For more information, contact Triad Stage, 232 South Elm Street, Greensboro, at 336-272-0160 or triadstage.org.