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The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

The Student News Site of Lafayette High School

The Lafayette Times

Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy at Actors Theatre of Louisville Review

The Program of Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy on September 10th and the grand ceiling in the Actors Theatre of Louisville.

The stains of blood and screams still linger in the theater. At the Actors Theatre of Louisville, founded in 1964, Dracula has been a staple fall activity since 1995. Bram Stoker’s Dracula is one of the most famous pieces of English literature, and because of this, it has been turned into movies, plays, musicals, books, and so much more. In 1995, the Actors Theatre of Louisville decided to open its doors for the people of Louisville to watch Dracula.

The past year’s performances of Dracula have always been a big hit. They have tried many different set-ups, such as bigger casts, smaller casts, a show with music, without music, and even adding dance numbers. The show used liquid blood and scare tactics to frighten its audience, but in 2022, they adopted a new version. The description for the show on their website reads, ”In this thrilling new adaptation that bounces between humor and horror, playwright Kate Hamill reimagines Bram Stoker’s vampire classic as a full-throated battle cry against toxic masculinity. No damsels in distress, no romanticized villains-just a gleeful stake through the heart of the patriarchy.”

This year, Dracula: A Feminist Revenge Fantasy has a cast of nine people. The cast is made up of LaShondra Hood (Doctor Van Helsing), Justin Jackson (Jonathan Harker), Abigail Bailey Maupin (Renfield), Mark Mozingo (Doctor George Seward), Brittany “Beebee” Patillo (Lucy Westenra), Dara Jade Tiller (Marilla/Maid), Alanna Darby (Drusilla/Merchant/Miller), Nick Jordan (Dracula) and Lipicia Shah (Mina Harker).

Lucy Westerna, played by Brittany “Beebee” Patillo, was my favorite character. She had a great contrast in character, and how she could switch her personality in the blink of an eye made her an exciting and round character that stood out to me. She was a very likable character and was very funny. She started hinting at her possession at the show’s beginning; once possessed, she was terrifying. When she first emerged in the dark, she growled in my face as I sat in the front row. Her acting was also fabulous; she loved doing what she did.

Renfield, played by Abigail Bailey Maupin, was also a fantastic actor and storyteller. She had so much personality and passion on stage. She was also active and agile when playing a mental patient.

Doctor Van Helsing, played by LaShondra Hood, really stood out in this show. Her costume was excellent, and her wearing pants also hinted towards her character being an independent woman. She added comedy to this show but also was great at acting.

The show itself was stunning. The acting, scenery, lighting, it all was perfect. It was very entertaining and kept you interested through the entire show. The stage being an arena-style seating in the round makes for a very intimate and immersive experience. The theater isn’t huge, and they don’t seat many people, which also plays into the intimacy of it. Also, the set pieces they chose to use are very smart and help make sure everyone in the theatre can see.

The story portrayed was like Bram Stoker’s Dracula, but instead of having a man come in and swoop a woman off their feet, the women in this show stand up for themselves and learn to fight on their own. There are comedy, horror, and romance aspects, which all add up to a fantastic show. The only questionable thing was the stage combat, but it made more sense once you understood that Dracula, Marilla, and Drusilla had telekinesis-type powers. The portrayal of blood was not significant, they used depictions of red sequins and ribbons instead of actual liquid blood.

The show ran on select days from September 6th to September 24th this year. It is a two-and-a-half-hour long show with one 10-15 minute intermission. Actors Theatre of Louisville is at 316 W Main St, Louisville, KY. In the round theater, they also do other shows, mainly Shakespearean and Renaissance plays. This is a great show to help you get into the Halloween spirit. Watch for their next showing of a Dracula adaptation in 2024.

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About the Contributor
Logan Gwynn
Logan Gwynn, Staff Writer
Logan Gwynn reprises his role at the Lafayette Times as a Sophomore. He enjoys spreading important news and information to his fellow peers. Logan enjoys being involved in Theatre and Choir. His hobbies include cooking, traveling, listening to music, and hanging out with his friends. He hopes his articles are enjoyable, informational, and entertaining this 2023-24 school year.