Hayswood Theatre counts on The Count
‘Dracula,’ perennial favorite of the stage, will be bringing his supernaturally light step to Hayswood Theatre in Corydon this weekend. The cast includes veterans and newcomers in the roles of Bram Stoker’s enduring characters which seem to become more mysterious and authentic with age.
Fresh face Pascalle Ballard is Lucy Seward, a young woman doomed by the timeless script to be afflicted each fall with a mysterious anemia when the curtain rises. Her father, Dr. Seward (Charlie Swarens), the physician in charge of a sanitarium near London, calls on an old friend, Dr. Van Helsing (Ray Robinson), a specialist in obscure diseases, to help solve the mystery of Lucy’s illness. Swarens and Robinson are fixtures of Hayswood.
Through countless productions of ‘Dracula’ and readings of Stoker’s work, Van Helsing has educated the masses in the appetites, strengths and vulnerabilities of vampires. His character’s combination of science and superstition, and his disciplined application of both faith and fact, have made him an inspirational representation of the positive.
Van Helsing suspects Lucy’s illness is the work of a vampire, a creature who according to legend is an ugly soul, grave-bound by day but capable of wandering the earth at night to sustain its life with the blood of innocent victims.
And so the vampire hunters set out, aided by John Harker (Corey Long), Lucy’s beloved, to destroy Dracula (veteran Greg Bone) and stop him from stealing Lucy’s soul and the show.
One can hardly forget the supporting cast which in some cases, like that of the elusive and allusive inmate Renfield (Tyler Patterson), are as ominous as the Count. His care is an unfortunate task for the attendant (Joseph Proctor) for not even walls can contain Renfield.
A maid (Christol Sweeney-Smith) with secrets of her own, and strange creatures (Lorna-Mae Ward as Mina; Shelley Hanaver & Stephanie Hoehn as Brides of Dracula) that roam the night provide the nails in the coffin of a cast you can’t keep a lid on.
The production marks the Hayswood directorial debut of Ellen Hanaver and 18-year-old Stephen Glaspie.
Hanaver is the drama coach at Corydon Central High School. She has assisted with the drama program for five years and took the helm last year. Glaspie is a CCHS senior and drama student, and he has performed in several Hayswood productions.
‘Dracula’ opens Friday night at 7:30, and will be given Saturday at 7:30 and Sunday at 2 p.m. The same schedule will be followed the second weekend.
Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens and children under 12. For reservations, call Magdelena’s Restaurant at 738-8075.