This Year, Actors Theatre’s 'Dracula' Is A 'Feminist Revenge Fantasy'

Sep 1, 2022 at 3:17 pm
Lipica Shah (Mina Harker) and LaShondra Hood (Doctor Van Helsing) during a rehearsal.  |  Photo provided.
Lipica Shah (Mina Harker) and LaShondra Hood (Doctor Van Helsing) during a rehearsal. | Photo provided.

Halloween might still be close to two months away, but Actors Theatre’s annual production of "Dracula" starts next week.

But this isn’t the Dracula you’ve seen at Actors before — this year, the production reimagines Bram Stoker’s novel into a “feminist revenge fantasy.”

According to a press release, playwright Kate Hamill has rewritten the show as “a full-throated battle cry against toxic masculinity. No damsels in distress, no romanticized villains — just a gleeful stake through the heart of the patriarchy.”

Her adaptation first premiered in New York City in January 2020.

The press release also says that the show “reflect[s] the terrors of the world back at us and challenge[s] us to overcome them.”

Dr. Van Helsing, for example (who, in the original novel, is an older Dutch man), is now a female character from America who “takes no crap from anybody. She is badass — and 19th century men do not, as a rule, appreciate it.” The asylum patient and Dracula acolyte Renfield — played by Hamill herself in the original production — becomes a “madwoman” who “believes that if she can earn his approval, she will be free.” A New York Times review describes the asylum doctor, Dr. Seward, as “a Victorian #NotAllMen type.”

The cast list includes Nick Jordan (Dracula), LaShondra Hood (Dr. Van Helsing), Justin Jackson (Jonathan Harker), Abigail Bailey Maupin (Renfield), Lipica Shah (Mina Harker), Brittany “BeeBee” Patillo (Lucy Westenra), Mark Mozingo (Dr. Seward), Dara Jade Tiller (a vampire named Marilla), and Alanna Darby (a vampire named Drusilla.) Jennifer Pennington is the director.

The play runs from next Friday, Sept. 9, through Sunday, Sept. 18.

Tickets start at $25, and you can buy them at this link

Actors Theatre will require all patrons to wear face masks during this production.

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