Dracula in the Peach State
Sounds like the title for a movie that really should have been made, doesn’t it? But no, I’m actually talking about a play that’s going on now right now. My friend Crystal O’Leary-Davidson, who in her day job is a professor of English at Middle Georgia State University, is serving as the director for this one. I recently conducted an interview with her about the production. Here it is, reproduced in full.
CHEEZMAN: I’m not familiar with this particular script. Is this a new one?
CRYSTAL: 1996, so new for the history of the play.
CHEEZMAN: I don’t recognize the name of the playwright. Do you know this person, or did you procure rights from one of the major publishers?
CRYSTAL: Our theater procured the rights for these performances through the publisher, Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
CHEEZMAN: Was there any particular reason you went with this version, as opposed to, say, the Deane/Balderston original?
CRYSTAL: Yes! The original feels like a creaky drawing room play and this went back to the novel as strong source material. It also has subtle nods to Coppola’s film. I like that it has two acts and no scene breaks where scenes move fluidly back and forth, sometimes even for two lines! This has a more filmic feel and leads itself to minimalistic/experiential staging and production design.
CHEEZMAN: Sweet. Did you look at any other versions?
CRYSTAL: No. I knew the Deane/Balderston [version]. Then a friend who is a director at a theatre in Texas did [this] show last spring. And so I got the play and read it and liked it.
CHEEZMAN: Are you a Dracula fan in general, or only at Halloween?
CRYSTAL: While Halloween is near-Christmas for me, I’m a Dracula and vampire fan all year. I love vampire films, not just Dracula, but films like Tony Scott’s THE HUNGER, or Park Chan-wook’s THIRST or Kathryn Bigelow’s NEAR DARK. Anne Rice’s INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE is one of my first favorite vampire novels, as is John Ajvide Lindqvist’s LET THE RIGHT ONE IN, and my husband, Andy Davidson’s novel IN THE VALLEY OF THE SUN. I’m also an RPG table-top gamer and have been playing VAMPIRE: THE MASQUERADE for years. I’m the Storyteller of my current campaign that has been ongoing near-weekly since 2008.
CHEEZMAN: I think we are kindred spirits. What are the dates and times for your shows?
CRYSTAL: We have two shows left in our run: Oct. 18 & 19 at 8 PM at Warner Robins Little Theatre (WR, GA).
Full details are available on the poster. (And nice poster, isn’t it? I dig it.) If you’re in the area, check this show out!
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS, specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced, and directed (and occasionally acted in) over two dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and True Crime genres. He obtained a doctorate in Occult Studies from Miskatonic University and is an active paranormal investigator. Is frequently told he resembles Anton Lavey. And Ming the Merciless.
Denn die totden reiten schnell!