Marianne and Sean and I had a great experience the other night. We saw actor Josh Hitchens put on a one-man version of Dracula in West Philadelphia. The script, written by Hitchens himself, was a condensed and streamlined version of Bram Stoker's classic novel -- and it brilliantly conveyed the eerie and terrifying qualities of the original.
As an actor, Hitchens was mesmerizing, playing all the major roles with great verve and conviction, in a variety of convincing voices.
It was the venue that made the evening of theater so powerful, though -- or, rather, the way the venue intensified both the script and the acting. The play was put on in the living room of Kyle Cassidy and Trillian Stars, with a minimum of props (a chair and a book) and a single small spotlight, in front of an audience of twelve. The intimacy of the space made the story particularly compelling -- you've probably never seen an audience so rapt and still.
The effect was of being in a psychic space midway between theater and storytelling. IWhich is to say, terrifying and wonderful. Very much what it must have felt like on that long ago night outside of Geneva when Dr. Polidori first told the tale which introduced vampires to the Western canon.
It was an evening of dark glamor. I felt privileged to be there.
My friend Victoria Janssen wrote a more detailed account of the evening on her blog. You can read it here.
Kyle's LiveJournal account is here.
And Trillian's is here.
Above: Kyle Cassidy took this picture during the performance. With his cellphone! The guy is amazing.