The days of trick-or-treating might have come and gone for most IU students, but this Halloween season, there's more than scantily clad nurses and candy corn in Bloomington. Out of the eerie shadows of the Irish Lion comes a play of monstrous proportions, filled with murder, intrigue, rage and maybe even a misunderstood creature or two.
"Mary Shelley's Frankenstein," performed by the Monroe County Civic Theater, takes the stage at 8 p.m. tonight and Tuesday at the Irish Lion.
Adapted from Mary Shelley's classic novel, the script of "Frankenstein" is a close adaptation of the literary work. The play closely follows the novel's plotline, veering from the book only in instances where director and playwright Russell McGeesaid he feels the casting and dramatic action need a jolt.
Set as a play within a play, "Frankenstein" is told through the eyes of Victor Frankenstein, a man who has suffered greatly because of his obsessive research and tormented existence. Frankenstein tells the unfortunate events of his life to a man named Captain Saville, who is much like Frankenstein in his quest for knowledge. As the scenes progress, the audience watches as Frankenstein's world is altered by the creature he brings to life.
Frankenstein's Creature, played by IU junior Annie Kerkian, is an intelligent being that has suffered the injustice of mankind, rather than Hollywood's cliché of the creature as a heartless monster. It is this difference that McGee said he hopes will set Frankenstein apart from other representations of the novel, making it just as psychologically challenging as it is creepy. The big difference between Hollywood's monster and the MCCT's Creature: He's a she.
"When I auditioned for the show, I never imagined I would be considered for the role of the Creature," Kerkian said. "After I was cast, initially I worried that people would come to the show expecting to see a 6-foot tall, grunting, lumbering guy in the part. Seeing a 5-foot (tall) girl might throw some people. However, the feelings of insecurity and isolation that the Creature experiences are universal, regardless of gender or other factors."
With a cast of only seven, the show's roster does match the scale of production reached by other MCCT shows, but for some cast members, smaller numbers mean greater interaction.
"Everyone gets to know everyone else on a much more personal level," said senior Victor Ortiz, who plays the role of Frankenstein's friend Henry Clerval. "You work with these people for extended amounts of time, and I feel that knowing about everyone brings the cast closer together and results in better relationships on stage."
These relationships have been brewing for more than two months, with an average of three rehearsals per week and hundreds of hours spent crafting each scene.
This Halloween season, be prepared for a classic, creepy tale to come alive to new generations of thrill-seekers and theater buffs alike.
"I know it may sound biased, but I do think it is a truly good show," Ortiz said. "It is not your usual run-of-the-mill horror story. The script is amazing in being able to evoke feeling from anyone who reads it. I strongly encourage everyone to come see this show"
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