Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

Augustana Observer

“Dracula: a feminist revenge fantasy” sinks its teeth into October

Victoria Campbell

With comedy, vampires and fake blood, “Dracula: a feminist revenge fantasy” intends to make you laugh, cry and enhance the power of women. 

This play is an adaptation of Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula,” by Kate Hamill, and it incorporates a variety of new elements that have never before been seen on the Augustana stage, particularly the amount of fake blood the actors use.

The play is being directed by Jennifer Popple, an associate professor and the co-chair of theater arts. She said she was excited to help to bring the play to life and to collaborate with a wide range of crew members. 

James Wheeler, an alum from the class of 2021, is one of the actors whom Popple was eager to work with. 

“I am excited because I have an alum that came back to play Dracula,” Popple said. “It seemed a little strange to try to ask a 19 or 20 year old to play somebody who’s just such a big character.” 

This play has required a lot of help and effort. A lot of the help has come from Augustana students, but also from alumni and professionals that work outside the school.

“We also have another alum. Her name is Jacqueline Isaacson, and she is almost fully certified by the intimacy directors and choreographer union,” Popple said. “Having her as a buffer between the actors and me, I think it really helped them to be able to articulate what feels comfortable for them and what doesn’t.” 

Hard work and persistence is what makes this play so important to the theater department. Everyone has invested long hours into crafting every detail so that every scene will capture the attention of the audience and the essence of the play’s message. 

First-Year Myles Anthony Smith said there is meaning behind his work for the costume department and the long hours spent sewing are noticeable in the detailed patterns of the costumes. 

“I’m not watching people read lines, I’m watching characters do things, and that’s why costumes are so important. They add the vibe,” Smith said. “Also, some of the characters do have costumes that really represent their personality. We’re doing belts, and one of the characters got a really ugly belt because he wouldn’t care, he would pick it up and go.” 

Crew members have been working on the play since the second week of the semester. The goal is to portray the novel through the art of visual storytelling in a way that allows the audience to connect with the play by presenting problems of the current society.

Sophomore Catherine Karn will be acting in the production as the character Mina Harker, wife of main character Jonathan Harker. She said it is exciting to be back in the theater after having taken a break from being a performer in high school. 

“This is my first production in Augie being a part of the cast,” Karn said. “I applied for this character and a couple others, but wasn’t really expecting anything. It just kind of means the world to me to get this to be my debut.” 

There are many things taking place behind the scenes that will play an essential role in the success of the play.

“I have been preparing by going over the lines for hours and hours and just working on dialect work to make sure that my accent is all there,” Karn said. “I have also been making sure that I know how to do my hair and makeup and just making sure that I go to every rehearsal that I can and put in my all.” 

According to some of the crew members, being a part of this play has brought some of the actors out of their comfort zone.

“I’m excited to work with blood. That’s so weird! Like that’s not anything that I’ve ever gotten to do in my theatrical experience before,” Karn said. 

Popple also recognized the efforts of the crew and said that she hopes to see many students at the performance.

“We rehearse about 12 hours a week, so that’s how much they’ve been working every week for about a month,” Popple said. “It’s also spooky season, so people should come and see it because we’re getting up to Halloween, and this is a vampire play.” 

The performances will be taking place at the main stage of the Brunner Theatre at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 12-14 and 1:30 p.m. Oct. 15. Tickets will be free for Augustana students with ID.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Augustana Observer Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *