Q&A with 'Dracula' Director JoBeth Cruz

 Q: "Dracula" is a very old story. Why do you think it still resonates with audiences today?

A: Dracula is a timeless story of good versus evil.  When the legend of Dracula the vampire was first committed to paper by Bram Stoker, it was during the Victorian age.  The Victorians were fascinated by the supernatural and the occult. Vlad Dracul was a ferocious warrior and protected his homeland from the invasion of the Turks.  Vlad’s methods for dealing with his enemies garnered him the name Vlad the Impaler.  He would take the prisoners of war and impale them on stakes outside the walls of his castle.  He was also known to dine among the dying men, prompting the locals to think he was drinking the blood of his enemies.  Thus began the legend that Vlad was a vampire.     

Q: Can you describe the modern adaptation by William McNulty?

A: Dracula is not a love story or some romantic tale.  Mr. McNulty has taken the original 1926 script and turned it into something that today’s audiences would be much more in tune with.  Mr. McNulty wanted to produce a true horror story on stage and I think he has succeeded.  This is a dark show with violence and blood, as close to the horror genre as I could get on our stage!

Q: Is this a play that will appeal to all ages?

A: Not sure I would really say all ages!  It is definitely a thriller with lots of blood and special effects.  I’m sure the middle schoolers will love it!  They boys will cheer, the girls with say “ewwww”!

Q: Are you costuming? How difficult is it to both direct and costume?

A: I always costume the shows I direct.  It is not as difficult as you might think.  I have a very clear vision of what I want for every show I direct, and that includes the costumes.  I usually know right where to find those costume items.  This play is set in 1898 Victorian England.  It is not a colorful production, rather is has the dark menacing tones of the time period.  The entire play takes place in a 24-hour period, so costume changes are not necessary.  The biggest challenge is dealing with the stage blood.  Without giving too much away, the amount of laundering required will likely demand each actor have several costumes as back-ups!

Q: Can you talk about the chemistry within the cast? 

A: Hopefully every cast has chemistry!  Due to the intimate nature of this show and the amount of physical contact between the actors, they can’t help but become a close-knit cast.