Dracula to stalk stage

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Woodland Regional High School seniors Robert Wiener and Lily Fontaine, at left, playing Dracula and Lucy respectively, rehearse a scene this month at the school from the Woodland Drama Club’s upcoming production of Dracula. The theater will present the play Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the school. –LUKE MARSHALL
Woodland Regional High School seniors Robert Wiener and Lily Fontaine, at left, playing Dracula and Lucy respectively, rehearse a scene this month at the school from the Woodland Drama Club’s upcoming production of Dracula. The theater will present the play Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the school. –LUKE MARSHALL

BEACON FALLS — The Woodland Regional High School Drama Club is preparing to bring a classic monster back from the undead.

The club will present Dracula the first weekend of December.

“We were trying to do something unusual. We liked the idea of this gothic tale. It’s something we had never tried before — a completely different genre. It’s a little bit funny, it’s a little bit scary. It’s a big departure from what we were doing last year, which was The Miracle Worker,” Director Sue Cinoman said.

The play follows the tale of Lucy, played by senior Lily Fontaine, as she is put under a trance by Dracula, played by senior Robert Wiener.

“Strange things start happening to Lucy and everybody thinks she is sick. But Dracula has been putting her in a trance every night and is sucking her blood,” Woodland’s Drama Club President Katie Steinbacher, who plays Lucy’s friend Mina Harker, said.

While Dracula is the title character, the play’s focus is more on the effects he has on the lives of others.

“It’s interesting because Dracula isn’t in it as much as you’d think. It’s more about the back story about what he’s doing with his wives and how he is trying to make Lucy his wife,” sophomore Sydney Sills, who plays Dr. Quincey, said.

Steinbacher said everyone has been working together to bring this play to the stage.
“It’s going really well. We work really well together. We are almost done with blocking the show, which is awesome,” Steinbacher said.

Weiner echoed her comments, noting how fast everyone is picking up their lines.

“We’ve been getting through the show really easily and we are all working so hard on this production. No matter what scene we do or what the blocking is like, we put full effort into it. The crew is phenomenal. We are getting the show right off the bat in a good way,” Weiner said.

This is the first play the club since its spring production of Grease, which was sold out and had people waiting in long lines for tickets, Cinoman said.

Cinoman said the success of the club’s last two shows has attracted more students to the theater.

“We are growing every year. We have another 25 participants in the play than we had before. We are up to about 50 participants for the play. We started with maybe 15 seven years ago,” Cinoman said.

In addition to bringing in new students, the theater department has caught the eye of the community.

“We have, over the years, become a community enterprise. It’s not just kids from the school coming to see the show or their parents. It’s also people from the community who have heard about us over time and now are coming. So we’re offering this service of entertainment to Beacon Falls and Prospect, not just the Woodland community. It makes the kids feel like they are accomplishing something really important,” Cinoman said.

Cinoman said the success of Grease means the theater had more money to spend on this production and people can expect more special effects than they have seen in Woodland’s plays before.

The theater will also decorate the hallways to make people feel like they are entering through Dracula’s castle in order to get into the theater, Cinoman said.

Wiener said people will enjoy Dracula because it’s the perfect blend of comedy and horror.

“In my eyes I think it’s really funny. It’s sort of a comedy but it’s also a horror at the same time. Also, Dracula is the one of the most famous spooky characters,” Wiener said.

Cinoman said this play will be a special delight to people who enjoy the spookiness of Halloween.

“People who are entertained on Halloween by what’s going on will enjoy this. It’s that kind of atmosphere. Also, going into the winter and the darkness of the winter, we thought this kind of reflected it. If they want to be entertained by creep horror they will like this,” Cinoman said.

The club will present Dracula Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. at the school. Tickets for the show are $10 for adults and $5 for students. For the first time in the school’s history tickets can be ordered online at www.wrhsdramaclub.com.