Bluefield, VA – Bluefield University Theatre Department will present the Gothic thriller Dracula in Harman Auditorium October 27, and 28 at 7:30 pm and October 30 at 3:00 pm. The company will also present a special Halloween performance on October 31 at 7:30 pm. Tickets for all performances are $10 in advance for adults and $5 for students and senior adults. Tickets are $12 and $7 at the door.
Dracula first appeared as a novel written by Bram Stoker in 1896. It was adapted for the Broadway stage in 1926 by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston and featured Bela Lugosi in the titular role of the Transylvanian vampire. This same script was the basis of the original 1931 Universal Studio film Dracula, also starring Bela Lugosi.
The play is set in a large country estate outside of London, which serves as the home of psychiatrist John Seward, as well as his private sanatorium. The neighboring ruin, Carfax Abbey, has recently been purchased by the flamboyant Romanian nobleman Count Dracula. A visitor, Mina Weston, took ill suddenly during a visit to Dr. Seward’s daughter Lucy.
Over the course of several days, she began to grow weaker and eventually dies. Now Lucy too has taken ill. She complains of bad dreams and seems to be wasting away before her father’s eyes. In desperation, he summons a former mentor and teacher, Professor Van Helsingr to see if she can get to the bottom of his daughter’s illness before she, too, succumbs to the mysterious malady. On Van Helsingr’s arrival, the professor meets Jonathan Harker, Lucy’s fiancée: Mr. Renfield, a troubled patient in residence at Dr. Seward’s facility, and the dark, enigmatic foreign nobleman, Count Dracula. Van Helsing, with the help of Dr. Seward and Jonathan Harker set out on a race against the clock to discover what ailment is plaguing Lucy before she, too, falls prey to the same puzzling condition that killed her friend, Mina.
Dracula is played in the Bluefield University production by a newcomer to the company, Derek Cruise. Van Helsing is played by Bluefield University Theatre faculty member Rebecca McCoy-Reese. The role of Lucy is played by Bluefield University junior Abigail McComas, while her father, Dr. Seward, is played by BU senior General Smith. Harker is played by senior Brian Fisher, and Renfield is portrayed by senior Noah Jennings. Also in the cast is Aaron Sudderth as Mr. Butterworth, an attendant at the asylum, and Alysia Townsend as Miss Wells, Miss Lucy’s servant.
Dracula is directed by Bluefield University Theatre artistic director Charles M. Reese. “Dracula is one of my favorite plays,” said Reese. “I first did the show when I was in college years ago. I’ve directed or performed in it six or seven times over the years. I think our audiences are going to have a great time.”
Dracula opens on October 27 and runs through Monday night, October 31, in Harman Auditorium on the Bluefield University campus. To make reservations visit the BU theatre ticketing site at https://our.show/bu-dracula.