arts

Actors stage 'Dracula' plays for first time since 1897



Vlad the Impaler has been dead for 530 years. The Monroe County Civic Theater and Bloomington Playwrights Project have collaborated to commemorate the anniversary of his death with a series of performances of Bram Stoker's original script of "Dracula," based on Vlad's life.

The show opened Monday at the Hilltop Restaurant in Spencer, Ind., and it will run at 8 p.m. tonight and Wednesday at the Irish Lion, 212 W. Kirkwood Ave. It will also run Nov. 6-8 and Nov. 13-15. Showtime is 8 p.m. for each performance, and admission is free.

According to the production's press release, Stoker realized his novel "Dracula" would be a best-seller soon after he wrote it in 1897. In an effort to protect his novel from "play pirates" of the day, who often stole material from authors to make and sell unauthorized scripts, Stoker pulled passages from his book and copyrighted them as a stage version.

His play was performed once May 18, 1897, and a reading was staged once May 18, 1997. The MCCT and BPP performance will be the first time Stoker's original script has been acted out since its creation 109 years ago.

The cast is composed of several IU students and Bloomington community members, as well as a professional accent coach from Chicago portraying the character Abraham Van Helsing, according to the press release.

The show will run again in May to commemorate the 110th anniversary of the production. For more information, visit www.mcct.org.

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