News Column

Actors are a delight in Teen to Teen Theatre's 'Dracula'

September 12, 2013

YellowBrix

Sept. 12--"Dracula" is a timeless piece of literature that can irk your spirit and send shivers down your spine. It's a complex piece to perform, but the cast and crew of Teen to Teen Theatre's production of "Dracula" proved to be more than up for the challenge.

The story opens with Jonathan Harker (Will Troxler), a young lawyer, headed to Transylvania to conduct a business transaction with the great Count Dracula (Tristan Overman). After meeting the Count and staying with him in his castle, Harker begins to fall into fits of prescribed hallucinations.

Pale and desperate, Harker seeks the aid of Professor Van Helsing (Kaleb Anderson), who, along with his assistant Anya (Cassie Berry), begin to slowly nurse Harker back to health. Meanwhile, back in England, Harker's wife Mina (Emily Herry) is staying with Dr. Quincy (Sam Cryan) and his sister Mrs. Westenra (Brooke Bass) at the Doctor's Sanatorium.

For quite some time, Mina and the rest had been noticing some strange behaviors in Mrs. Westenra's sickly daughter, Lucy (Macy McKinney). The young woman who once was so kind-hearted and sweet is now snapping rudely at her maid. And having once preferred the sunshine, Lucy can't get enough of the evening shade.

With Lucy feeling ill, Harker continuing to fall into his delusions and Dracula as their new neighbor at the Carfax Castle, Dr. Quincy's household tries to make scientific sense of the situation. It takes the help of Van Helsing for them to realize that their new neighbor is more than meets the eye.

All the teens in this production put their heart into their performances. With a wide range of talents and skills, the audience will see a show portraying all levels of acting. But these kids don't have it easy.

"This show is challenging for the actors because they have to keep the suspense," director Carol Plew said.

While keeping the suspense, staying in character and keeping the correct regional accent would be a challenge for any seasoned young actor, it's especially challenging for the five first-time actors in the cast.

For example, the performance of Drake Glidewell as Renfield was especially riveting. Glidewell's first stage performance requires his portrayal of a hilarious mad man, fallen prey to Dracula's hypnotizing eyes. Glidewell pulls it off effortlessly, quickly becoming a highlight of the show.

Other highlights include Emily Herry's heartfelt version of Mina, Tristan Overman's fantastic stage presence and flawless Transylvanian accent and of course, the always marvelous Sam Cryan with his passionate portrayal of the good Doctor.

Teen to Teen Theatre will present "Dracula, the vampire play," at 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday, 7:30 p.m. Sept. 19-20, and 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 at the Paramount Theater, 128 E. Front St., Burlington. The show is recommended for ages 10 and older.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and students 18 years old and younger and can be purchased at the box office between noon and 3 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays; credit card reservations can be made by calling (336) 222-TIXS.

For more information on Teen to Teen Theatre, visit burlingtonnc.gov/Teen2Teen or call (336) 570-6516.

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(c)2013 Times-News (Burlington, N.C.)

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