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Arts & Culture

True Blood and Twilight fans, beware: Orlando Shakes’ bloodcurdling one-man Dracula is the really scary stuff

Live Active Cultures

Photo: Seth Kubersky, License: N/A

Seth Kubersky


Compare your live rodent co-star Mina (named after the novel’s heroine) with rats you’ve acted with previously.

JPK: The other production of Dracula we did [in Alabama] also had a live rodent. We had a rodent and an understudy rodent, which had to share a dressing room. Mina is the only contracted rodent, so she can probably make a lot more demands.

Is the show’s tone more “spooky” or “scary”?

MC: It splits the difference. There’s a lot of “telling ghost stories around the campfire,” but I have absolutely no doubt that you will hear honest-to-goodness screams from the audience, and people will jump out of their seats. Not because we have a bogeyman jumping out from behind them … it’s because the actor is totally intense.

Is Dracula still relevant in today’s superhero- and zombie-obsessed pop culture?

MC: I think zombies are passé now. It’s gone in waves when vampires were hotter. There was a wave with Anne Rice … there was a wave with Twilight, which was silly, but a wave. But I don’t know that vampires have ever really lost their interest, because it is such a primal thing: Someone sucks your blood … and gives you immortality.

JPK: In this play the monster has all the superpowers, and the heroes are just normal everyday people who are thrown into this world and have to fight for their lives. They don’t have Spidey-sense, they’re just normal people who have to figure it out. That captures my imagination.

MC: I’m amazed at how many young people come out to these things. … I think there’s a constant throb of dark need for younger [viewers], which is great if we can get young crowds in for this, which I’m sure we will. The first production was 17 years ago; those kids have kids now.

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