KCAT Announces Cast And Creative For DRACULA: A SONG OF LOVE AND DEATH

Kansas City Actors Theatre has completed casting for its world-premiere adaption of Bram Stoker's Gothic classic titled "Dracula: A Song of Love and Death," written by local author Mitch Brian. Presented in partnership with the UMKC Theatre Department, this is the third show of Kansas City Actors Theatre's fourteenth season, and will run from October 12th to the 21st in the Spencer Theater on UMKC's campus. The production is being directed by John Rensenhouse and features Freddy Acevedo, Yetunde Felix-Ukwu, Jason Francescon, Khalif Gillett, Dayton Hollis, Emilie Karas, Chelsea Kinser, Josh LeBrun, Marianne McKenzie, Lauren Moore, and Kip Niven. The production team will also feature the work of Kelli Harrod (Scenic Designer), Katherine Davis (Costume Designer), Hector Quintero (Lighting Designer), Sean Obrecht (Sound Designer), Wallace McCanless (Composer), and Kylor Greene (Projection Designer).

Kansas City Actors Theatre and UMKC Theatre present a new theatrical take on Bram Stoker's classic "Dracula," with local author Mitch Brian's retelling that focuses on a group of friends in the late 19th century united against a seemingly insurmountable foe. As the seductive and sinister specter of Count Dracula appears in London, Dr. Van Helsing, Johnathan and Mina Harker, and their friends must band together to stop the immortal menace. This classic tale of obsession and desire arrives just in time for the Halloween season, and promises wickedly delicious fun, thrills, theatrical magic, and intense performances.

Local author Mitch Brian, a longtime Dracula aficionado, has previously written for the TV shows "Batman: The Animated Series," and "Viper" in addition to writing scripts for 20th Century Fox, HBO, FX, and other studios. In addition to its world-premiere status, this production also boasts some bold casting choices, including the casting of a female Renfield, the vampire-sensitive lunatic, and an African-American Quincy, the cowboy. And, while this remains Bram Stoker's classic story and setting, Director John Rensenhouse is excited about how the story has been updated. "I'm so impressed with how Mitch Brian has made this classic story resonate with modern relevance," says Rensenhouse. "There are gender politics, sexual politics and racial politics all wrapped up in this Victorian, turn of the century piece and we are offered the chance to experience the story through a new lens."

KCAT company member John Rensenhouse, who played the titular character of Dracula for the Missouri Repertory Theatre (now the Kansas City Rep) in the 1980's, will be directing the production. Rensenhouse last directed KCAT's company record-breaking production of Agatha Christie's "And Then There Were None" last year, and he's excited by the challenges and opportunities brought by this production. "This promises to be the biggest, most technically-challenging show we've ever done. With the help of the great students and faculty in the graduate program at UMKC Theatre, we get to keep pushing our boundaries and learning new things."

Performances will take place at The Spencer Theater on the University of Missouri - Kansas City campus. Previews start October 12th, opening night will be October 17th, and performances will conclude on October 21st. Audience talkbacks will follow performances on October 14th, 15th, and 18th. A blood drive in partnership with the Community Blood Center of Kansas City will be held before the performance on October 12th, with blood donors receiving a free ticket to that night's performance. KCAT will host an author talk with Mitch Brian in conjunction with one performance, and a partnership screening of "Bram Stoker's Dracula" is being planned at Screenland Armour in North Kansas City in October, with details yet to be established.

Tickets are between $28 and $47 and are available by contacting the Central Ticket Office at 816-235-6222 or online at www.kcactors.org.

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