Sarna Lapine to Direct CSC's DRACULA, Plus Tristan Bernays' FRANKENSTEIN
Classic Stage Company today announces new additions for the thrilling repertory cycle of adaptations of two legendary Gothic nightmares by emerging playwrights, kicking off 2020. Sarna Lapine (Sunday in the Park with George, Little Women) will direct Kate Hamill's reimagining of Dracula (starting January 14), and Tristan Bernays' adaptation of Frankenstein will start January 30.
CSC now presents Bernays' take on Frankenstein as Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, originally commissioned to adapt, steps down due to scheduling conflicts with a number of exciting upcoming projects in theater and beyond.
With these two adaptations of canonical horror works-based on novels by Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley-CSC continues the repertory series' aim of providing a platform and freedom in the creative process to today's most exciting emerging theater artists. Widely known as a pair of macabre fantasies about blood-sucking vampires and man-made monsters, Dracula and Frankenstein more truly scratch at the fundamental human fears of love and betrayal, while exposing the even truer horrors of basic human nature. These productions continue to expand CSC's panoramic view of what constitutes a classic.
Kate Hamill, 2017 Wall Street Journal "Playwright of the Year" and one of the US' 10 Most Produced Playwrights of the 2018-2019 season, offers a new take on Dracula. In her terrifying and riotous adaptation, she confronts the sexism in Bram Stoker's original work and subjugates it as a smart and disquieting feminist revenge fantasy. Hamill, who also appears in the production as Renfield, uses her signature style and postmodern wit to upend this familiar tale of Victorian vampires and drives a stake through the heart of toxic masculinity. Director Sarna Lapine was praised for the 2017 Broadway revival of Sunday in the Park with George with Jake Gyllenhaal and Annaleigh Ashford, which The New York Times described as "marvelous" and "directed with blood-racing immediacy."
Hamill garnered resounding acclaim for her feminist reconsiderations of classic novels centering complex women characters, such as Little Women, Pride and Prejudice, and Mansfield Park. Her work as a playwright celebrates theatricality and closely examines social and gender issues. Her adaptation of Jane Austen's Sense & Sensibility was hailed for "expand[ing] and magnif[ying] Austen's delicate comic worldview" (The New York Times, in a Critic's Pick review), while the Wall Street Journal described her stage version of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair as "a masterpiece of creative compression...a dead-serious romp whose implicit feminism has been given a sharper point by Ms. Hamill."
Tristan Bernays' Frankenstein is an electrifying metaphysical adaptation strongly rooted in the tradition of theatrical storytelling. Athletically performed by only two actors, this exhilarating retelling of Mary Shelley's beloved novel boldly explores the creation myth while dissecting some of the most frightening aspects of the human psyche.
Classic Perspectives talkbacks, offering audiences additional chances to engage with the productions, include two behind-the-scenes talkbacks for each production and a special post-performance chat about 'Women and Dracula.' Capturing the full potential of presenting works in repertory, CSC introduces several multi-performance dates, including some three-show Saturdays and some two-show Sundays and Wednesdays. These will serve as easy opportunities to experience both productions in a single day.
The repertory program launched last season with a pair of productions in which emerging directors offered fresh perspectives on socially searing works by August Strindberg. Shariffa Ali directed Yaël Farber's Mies Julie, adapted from Miss Julie, and Victoria Clark helmed The Dance of Death, in a new version by Conor McPherson.
Performances of Dracula and Frankenstein take place at the Lynn F. Angelson Theater at Classic Stage Company (136 E. 13th St, New York). Dracula begins performances January 14 and Frankenstein begins performances on January 30. Both productions open Monday, February 17 and play in repertory through March 8.
CSC 2019-20 season memberships are now available starting at $25. Member tickets for Dracula and Frankenstein will go on sale Tuesday, September 24 at Noon. Single tickets will go on sale Thursday, October 10 at Noon.
Tickets for Dracula and Frankenstein are $75 between January 14 and February 17; and $80 between February 18 and March 8. Special two-show packages will offer one ticket each to Dracula and Frankenstein for $130. Prime seats are available at all performances for $125. Tickets and membership packages can be purchased at classicstage.org or 212.352.3101 (or toll free 866.811.4111).
Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski