The Cold Lake High School Theatre will not smell like garlic next week, but it will have coffins on stage, stakes and crosses at the ready, and a genuinely talented cast and crew who are not afraid to handle fake blood and work in foggy, dark conditions. Two casts of performers have been rehearsing three times a week since September to prepare for William McNulty’s adapation of Bram Stoker’s story, Dracula.
Director, Dana Schwab says they have kept the spooky stuff in the play, but the story is accessible to a high school program and a community audience. “The reason I chose this script was because it was creepy and suspenseful, but the screaming parts that happen off stage allow the audience to use their imagination.” This will be Ms. Schwab’s fifth play in Cold Lake. Up until this year, most of the plays performed at the school have been comedies.
The cast, which consists of a core group of actors and new faces will not be offended if they don’t hear nothing but silence from the audience. Schwab reminded the cast that if the audience is silent, and not laughing, that is probably a good thing. It is Dracula after all. They are modeling parts of the play on a famous movie from 1922, which they all watched during their Christmas party. Schwab explains, “The make-up style and the Creature in the play are influenced by the movie Nosferatu.” With one hundred percent of the money the play makes through ticket sales going toward next year’s play (to purchase scripts, production rights, costumes, and props), Ms. Schwab welcomes a full house. There are 206 seats to fill in the high school theatre. “Without the support of the community, the teachers, the students and parents, I couldn’t do this,” says Schwab who got her start in theatre in high school and university.
There will be four performances of the play: Thursday, March 2 (7:00 pm-9:00 pm), Friday, March 3 (7:00 pm -9:00 pm), Saturday, March 4 (1:00 pm-3:00 pm and 7:00 pm-9:00 pm). Tickets can be purchased at the door or online at http://nlsd.schoolcashonline.com. Seating is general admission.