Sir Wil goes old school in high school production of 'Dracula'
By Fred Sherwin
Mina, played by Rachel Jeffries, holds Count Dracula in her arms after driving
a stake through his heart in the final scene of the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary
School production of 'Dracula'. Fred Sherwin/Photo|
there was Twilight, or The Vampire Diaries. Before there was Angel,
or Buffy the Vampire Slayer, there was the one and only Dracula,
written by Bram Stoker over 100 years ago.
doubtful the Irish novelist could have ever imagined that his story about the
Transylvannian Count Dracula would one day become a multi-million dollar franchise.
99.9 per cent of teenagers today are familiar with the earlier titles I mentioned,
very few know anything about the original.
the Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School Theatre Arts Production Club was tossing
ideas around for their annual spring production, they decided to bring the original
story, and Count Dracula, to life.
script is a popular high school adaptation of the Bram Stoker's novel written
by Steven Dietz.
play opened with friends Lucy Westerna and Mina Murray teasing each other in Lucy's
bedroom in London, England. Lucy is eager to here all about Mina's relationship
with her boyfriend Mr. Harker, while Mina wants Lucy to spill the beans about
her many suitors, especially Dr. Seward who runs an insane asylum.
the two part ways, Mina pulls out a letter from harker in which he tells he about
going to see a famous count in the Transylvannian region of the Carpathian Mountains.
As she recites the letter the author gets more and more anxious about the Count's
the second scene we are introduced to the young Dr. Seward and one of his patients,
a mad man named Renfield who must remain locked up for his own protection.
goes partially made from his encounter with dracula and ends up in a sanitarium
in Budapest. He eventually makes his way back to London, with Dracula following
after their arrival in England, Dracula has a chance encounter with Lucy and puts
her in a trance before biting her neck. As Lucy's transforms into a vampire and
her condition worsens Dr. Seward sends for Professor Van Helsing, a Dutch doctor
who dabbles in the occult.
order to keep Lucy safe, they isolate her in a guest room in the asylum, but it
is too late. Rather than let her join the ranks of the undead they drive a stake
through her heart and release her from Dracula's hold.
the meantime, Dracula gains entry to the asylum where Mina has been left unguarded.
Believing she is the reincarnation of his former wife, Dracula bites her neck
and drinks her blood with the intention of making her his Queen. But before they
can get away, Harker, Dr. Seward and Professor Van Helsing return and Dracula
escapes without her.
heros follow Dracula to Transylvannia with Mina, who has Dracula's blood coursing
through her veins, leading the way.
the final scene, Harker, Dr. Seward and Van Helsing are about to be overcome in
hand-to-hand combat with Dracula and his vixens when Mina drives a stake through
Dracula's heart to release him from his eternal torment. When Dracula dies, Mina
is released from his bond.
the plot may sound extremely dark the Sir Wilfrid Laurier cast did their best
to keep it fairly light-hearted. Nick Moolenbeek was quite good as the young Dr.
Seward. At several points in the play, Dr. Seward's mood would verge on the hysterical,
causing Moolenbeek's voice to crack.
Gaucher was superb in the lead role of Dracula. His accent was bang on, and his
stage presence was riveting.
Griffth as Lucy, and Rachel Jeffries as Mina, also did an excellent job, especially
considering they are both still in Grade 10 as is Trevor Desjardins, who did a
superb job in the role of Professor Van Helsing.
remaining principal actors were Andrew Pearson, who had the difficult task playing
the rather complicated role of Harker, and Gina Giamberardino who deserves a CAPPIE
nomination for her role as Renfield. Her over the top performance as Dracula's
mad disciple, was worth the price of admission, especially the scene where he
spits out a a few feathers after dining on bird he kept in his cell.
remaining cast members included Caroline Trippenbach, Meg Atkinson, Alex Bondesen,
Kelly Korim, who played Dracula's vixens; Drew Ledingham who played his assistant;
Natasha Gaucher, Sarah Blanchette and Stephanie Allen who played the maids; and
Gillian Johnston who played the insane asylum attendant and the Old Transylvannian
mention as well to Kyle Newman, who wrote and provided the musical accompaniment
on piano, as well as the entire chorus and crew for putting on a superb show.
to Front Page