Revamping “Dracula”



Just in time for Halloween, the cast of the UW-Eau Claire theater department’s “Dracula” is donning their vampire fangs and writhing around in fake blood. The “Dracula” production is a theatrical adaptation of the classic, same-named novel written by Bram Stoker.

“Dracula” will debut on campus at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 17 in the Kjer Theatre. The show is directed by Richard Nimke.

“I’ve always been curious about horror in theatre,” Nimke said. “I’ve wondered whether fear can be created in the same way that film and television can do it.”

The show downplayed the type of fear usually portrayed in productions of “Dracula.” When Dracula appears on stage, Nimke said he wanted the other characters to be frozen in fear rather than screaming in terror, because that can be more chilling for the audience.

Koryna Flores, a senior theater major is the stage manager. Flores said stage managing involves taking care of the administrative work of productions, along with ensuring everything happening on stage is what the director envisioned, Flores said.

Professors normally send emails to theater majors seeking stage managers a few months before the start of a production, Flores said.

“I love this play,” Flores said. “It was one of my favorite books when I was little. So, I was really excited about it being done at Eau Claire, so I walked down to (Nimke’s) office right away and asked him about the position and got the job.”

Nimke said the Eau Claire production of “Dracula” has a custom soundtrack composed by Landon Profaizer.

Each character in the show has an instrument that is specific to them in the soundtrack. Dracula’s instrument is the only one of its kind. Jared Beebe, a senior Spanish and theatre major is playing Dr. John Seward, the asylum doctor.

Beebe said Dr. Seward heads the mental asylum, and at the time of the play, in Victorian England, mental sciences are just beginning to be practiced. He has aspirations of starting up this new science.

Molly Wilson is a junior theater major playing Lucy.

Wilson said Lucy is very well off and hasn’t known a lot of hardship in her life. She is Mina’s best friend since childhood, and she starts having nightmares at the beginning of the show.

“(Lucy) wakes up from these nightmares with strange marks on her neck and is left totally in the dark about what’s happening to her.”

Seth Hale, a junior theatre major, is playing Dracula in the show.

He said, “Dracula starts out in Transylvania, and his goal is to get to England, because he’s starving in Transylvania and growing old from not feeding.”

“(The Dracula show) utilizes professional designers,” Hale said. “The design is really well done, and the costuming is time-appropriate and amazing.”

“Dracula sucks,” Hale said. “Come see it.”