DRACULA at the Berkshire Theater Group
Based on the classic gothic horror novel by Bram Stoker, the legendary vampire DRACULA descends on the Colonial to close out the summer season. Directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winner David Auburn, DRACULA has struck fear into the hearts of people around the world for over a hundred years. Auburn says, “We are thrilled to bring 1924’s DRACULA to life in an invigorating new production that honors the storied history of this classic clash, while taking a 21st century perspective on power, sex and seduction. Innovative design, music and movement elements will contribute to the chilling and thrilling fun in the colonial theater atmosphere.”
This world famous story brought the legendary DRACULA to the stage for the first time. Professor Van Helsing investigates the mysterious illness of a young woman, Lucy Seward, whose father is the doctor in charge of an English sanatorium. Van Helsing discovers that she is the victim of the charming Count DRACULA, a powerful vampire who feeds on her blood. In order to save Lucy, the vampire must be buried with a stake through its heart.
This classic gothic thriller directed by Pulitzer Prize and Tony Prize winner David Auburn stars Brian Thomas Abraham as Butterworth; David Adkins as Dr. Seward; Emma Geer as Lucy Seward; Tim Jones as Set, Understudy; Jessica Ko as Miss Wells; Rubi Nejaime as the Woman in White; Nomè SiDone as Jonathan Harker; Matt Sullivan as RM Renfield, understudy; Jennifer Van Dyck as Professor Van Helsing; Mitchell Winter as DRACULA; Lydia Isabel Duff as understudy and Megan Mistretta as understudy.
DRACULA was dramatized by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston from the novel by Bram Stoker. DRACULA’s creative team consists of Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony Prize-winning direction David Auburn, movement direction and fight choreography by Isadora Wolfe, stage design by Bill Clarke, design costumes by Hunter Kaczorowski, lighting and projection design by Daniel J. Kotlowitz, sound design by resident composer Scott Killian, special effects by J&M Special Effects, dialect coaching by resident dialect coach Jennifer Scapetis -Tycer, directed by Jason Hindelang and casting direction by Alan Filderman.
I’m not a fan of the horror genre, and when I heard about this production, I had reservations. As is often the case, the BTG production is a high quality production where seemingly everyone involved played their part and did their job well. There is, however, one aspect that I certainly did not expect. Laugh. At several points throughout three acts in 2 hours, audience members responded with laughter, which I found rather confusing. So much so that I began to wonder if the company had reworked the piece with an infusion of camp that wasn’t promoted or easily perceived. I even asked someone sitting nearby and they said, “I’ve never seen a Dracula where people laughed.” I can only assume that after 125 since it was written with the evolution of the central theme that includes the likes of Anne Rice, Vampire Diaries and the Twilight franchises, the “OG” is struggling to live up to it. to the term “GOAT”.