October is the only month of the year that I try to be brave and watch scary stuff.  So it makes sense that I went to see Dracula at Cincy Shakes on Friday the 13th. The Cincinnati Shakespeare Company outdid themselves with this phenomenal production.  I was not expecting how dark and gruesome this production was, but they seemed to stick more closely to Bram Stoker’s novel than some of the campier versions of Dracula you see on stage and screen.  This production of Dracula was spooky and sensual all at once, and the new theatre really made it even more intense to watch because we were all so close to the show.  There were times that we could have reached out and touched the performers.  I was blown away by this production.  Watching this performance made me want to dust off my copy of Dracula and re-read it.  Maybe next October…

Celebrate the scariest month of the year by taking someone you love to see Dracula at the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company.  Do not delay…get those tickets right now because shows are already selling out and they are having to add new shows to keep up with the demand.  There were children at this performance (including my own middle school aged child) but be warned – there is definitely some gore and scandalous blood-sucking scenes that were quite intense.  My middle schooler handled it fine (until a kitten came into peril).  Get your tickets NOW!

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company Presents: Dracula

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company continues its debut season at The Otto M. Budig Theater with Dracula by Steven Dietz, from the novel by Bram Stoker opening Friday October 13. The production runs through November 4, and is directed by Producing Artistic Director Brian Isaac Phillips. Longtime ensemble member Giles Davies reprises his role as Dracula, alongside Artistic Associate Miranda McGee as Lucy, Jim Hopkins as Van Helsing, Crystian Wiltshire as Jonathan Harker, Caitlin McWethy as Mina, Billy Chace as Renfield, and Kyle Brumley as Dr. Seward. All seats in the new Otto M. Budig Theater are less than 20 feet from the stage so audiences will be amazed at how close to the passion they will be!

British solicitor Jonathan Harker  falls mysteriously ill as he travels to the Carpathian Mountains to conduct business with his client, the wealthy and elderly Count Dracula (Giles Davies). Upon recovering, Harker believes that the terrible things he has witnessed at the Count’s castle are nothing but the hallucinations brought on by a fever. Meanwhile, Dracula has departed for his new home in England, where Lucy, the best friend of Harker’s fiancée Mina, has likewise become inexplicably ill. As Lucy slowly dies, Harker realizes that he must revisit his own terrifying memories of Dracula to save his beloved Mina from the deaths that follow wherever the Count goes.

“I have long been a fan of horror novels, horror films, and all things macabre,” says Brian Isaac Phillips, CSC’s Producing Artistic Director and director of Dracula. “To bring this script to life on the new stage at The Otto M. Budig Theater is a delightful Halloween treat – not just for myself, but for the whole city.” Stephen Dietz’s stage adaptation of the quintessential Victorian vampire tale is fast-paced and action-packed, utilizing frequent location jumps to create a narrative whirlwind. “As a Shakespeare company, we’re very well qualified to take on that format,” Mr. Phillips explains, “because Shakespeare does that so much, so we’re practiced in using storytelling tricks and techniques to make those transitions clear and exciting.”

Dracula runs October 13- November 4, with performances on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 2:00 PM, as well as Saturday November 4 at 2:00 PM. Preview performances are on Wednesday October 11 and Thursday October 12 at 7:30. The theater is now located at 1195 Elm Street in OTR, adjacent to Washington Park. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the CSC Box Office at 513.381.BARD (2273) ext. 1, or go online at www.cincyshakes.com.

Disclaimer:  I was provided with complimentary media passes for this show, but all opinions are 100% my own as always.  Photographs and press release were provided by Cincy Shakes.  The photos were taken by the fabulous photographer Mikki Shaffner.