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Mercyhurst Theatre Program opens season with 'Dracula'

Thursday, August 11, 2016

“I want your fear. For your fear, like a current, rushes through your body. Your fear makes your heart pound, it renders your veins rich and full. Your fear hemorrhages deliciously within you.” – Dracula


The Mercyhurst Theatre Program opens its fifth season Aug. 24-28 with Steven Dietz’s adaptation of the Gothic masterpiece Dracula. This new version restores the suspense and seduction of Bram Stoker’s classic novel to the stage. As Count Dracula begins to exert his will upon the residents of London, they try to piece together the clues of his appearances in a valiant attempt to save themselves from a hideous fate. Rich with both humor and horror, this play paints a wickedly theatrical picture of Stoker’s famous vampire.

Dr. Doug Powers, associate professor of theatre at Susquehanna University, who helmed the Mercyhurst Theatre Program’s summer 2015 production of Dancing at Lughnasa, returns as guest director.

“I think the story of Dracula resonates with so many of us,” Powers said, “because it is all about the great mystery of death. And death is at once compelling and repelling. Dracula is the perfect synthesis of the profane and the sacred, two ways of colliding with each other, sucking (pun intended) out of us our deepest, most human fear and making it conquerable and even beautiful.”

In addition to its usual matinee and evening performances, the theatre program is planning a special midnight performance on Friday, Aug. 26, for those brave enough to attend at the witching hour. Audience members who arrive in costume can purchase a half-price ticket at the door.

Dracula features 12 Mercyhurst students: Ashley Poletto (Renfield), Bethany Sulecki (Mina), Sarah Krempasky (Lucy), Cole Prots (Harker), Michael Rowe (Seward), Luke Ballantyne (Dracula), and Ensemble members Christina Cacchione, Erin Fink, Jeanette Fournier, Abby Larimore, Charity Ludwig and Rosie Pregler. Theatre program director Dr. Brett D. Johnson portrays Abraham van Helsing. The creative team includes set designer Aaron White, lighting designer Madeleine Steineck, production stage manager Kathryn Schmitt and assistant stage managers Owen Hitt and Rebecca Holt.

Performances are Wednesday through Thursday, Aug. 24-25, at 7:30 p.m.; Friday, Aug. 26, at 11:55 p.m. (midnight performance); Saturday, Aug. 27, at 7:30 p.m.; and Sunday, Aug. 28, at 2 p.m. in Taylor Little Theatre on the Mercyhurst campus.

Single tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for senior citizens and non-Mercyhurst students, and $5 for youth and Mercyhurst students with ID. All performances are general admission, with doors opening 30 minutes prior to curtain. 

Reserve your tickets today by calling 814-824-3000 or by visiting the box office in the lobby of the Mary D’Angelo Performing Arts Center. Cash and credit cards accepted. Tickets will also be on sale at the theatre beginning one hour before curtain. Cash only.

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Warning: This production contains adult situations, theatrical smoke, and lots of stage blood. It is recommended for ages 13 and above.