Photo by Cindy Freeman.
The audience was captivated by the set design and by the actors’ performance.
On Friday, Feb. 16, students from Lewis debuted the historical novel “Frankenstein.” This year is the 200th anniversary for Mary Shelly’s original novel. “Frankenstein” is a popular story, making the performance appealing to audiences of all ages. The theatre department performed Mary Shelley’s, “Frankenstein,” with an adaptation by Austin Tichenor.
After weeks at sea, the crew of Captain Robert Walton’s ship find Victor Frankenstein floating in the water. He tells his tale of loss and heartbreak. In his isolation, Frankenstein successfully gives life to a powerful man he calls the Creature, who is composed of multiple deceased persons’ parts. However, he realizes that his experiment is a mistake and seeks to destroy his creation. The actor embodies the passion of both an exiled monster and a relentless creator.
The actors maintained the audience’s attention during each scene. For example, Victor Frankenstein, acted by Zachary Abu-Shanab, conveyed his character as intelligent and impulsive. The emotion he presented on stage brought audience members to the edge of the seats. Other cast members, such as Andrew Wainscott, who played Henry Clerval, presented comic relief to a few moments of heavy dialogue.
Stage lighting focused on either one or two characters at a time, drawing viewer’s attention. At times there was a bright spotlight on one character and a dimmer light on another, indicating the character in dimmer light was not to be seen by the other character or it represented bi-location of characters. Stage crew members expertly adjusted sound elements when it came to weather, such as rain and thunder. However, the actors lacked microphones, and the sound was occasionally overpowering. The costumes reflected the 1800s and were personified by make-up and hairstyles. Most of the women wore long flowing dresses with their hair piled up in intricate buns or worn down in long waves. The men wore knee high boots and trousers with tucked-in Victorian style blouses covered in long, coats. The set displayed a three-tiered set for most scenes.
Overall, the play was directed and performed incredibly well, no doubt the efforts and relentless practice of the actors, stage crew and director. “Frankenstein” was captured in a distinct light that was memorable for all viewers. In the program, Jo Slowik, Director and Theatre Manager, wrote, “––you already have an image, memory or experience of “Frankenstein.” That’s the beauty and our challenge of creating a monster!” Presenting “Frankenstein” with renewed vigor was a challenge, but the theatre department successfully offered a fresh perspective. Though the play is dark, dramatic and eerie, the comical touches offered some relief. Congratulations to the full cast, crew and assistants for this production of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein.”