Randall Theatre presents 'Dracula'

Peter Wickliffe keeps a close eye on Bram Stoker's novel
Kendra Taylor (Mina Harker) and Robin Downward (Count Dracula) appear in Randall Theatre Company's production of a new script based on Bram Stoker's novel.Bob Pennell

Peter Wickliffe's new stage adaptation of Bram Stoker's "Dracula" stays nearly true to the original 1897 textaaaa7#46; "Stoker's story is a brilliant piece of writing," Wickliffe says. "It's one of the classic pieces of literature that has survived the centuries. I wanted a script that would bring out the author's words, not one that is more modern or hip."

Wickliffe's "Dracula" will premiere Friday, Oct. 12, at Randall Theatre, 10 E. Third St., Medford. Performances also are set for Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 13-14, and Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 18-21. Curtain is at 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturdays and 1 p.m. Sundays. A performance to benefit Rogue Valley Family YMCA will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday.

If you go

What: "Dracula"

When: Friday through Sunday, Oct. 12-14, and Thursday through Sunday, Oct. 18-21; curtain is at 7 p.m. Fridays, 1 and 7 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. Sundays and 7 p.m. Thursday.

Where: Randall Theatre, 10 E. Third St., Medford

Tickets: Admission is pay-what-you-want at the door; reserved seating costs $12

Call: 541-622-5795 or see www.randalltheatre.com

Admission is pay-what-you-want and available at the door. Reserved seats cost $12 and are available at www.randalltheatre.com or by calling 541-622-5795.

Randall's production of Wickliffe's "Dracula" will be presented in the colors black and white, from set to costumes and makeup.

"It will give the play more of that classic feel," Wickliffe says. "It's designed to have an older look, like the 1931 film with Bela Lugosi or the 1922 silent film 'Nosferatu.' It helps bring the classic elements to life."

The set, costumes and makeup give lighting designer Greg Coldman a blank canvas to be creative with whatever colors he wants, Wickliffe says. The lighting progression begins with simple, soft colors. As the cast and crew get further into the production, Coldman starts to introduce bits of red lighting here and there.

"The red lighting builds to that point where Dracula reappears in the story," Wickliffe says. "It heightens the drama."

As in Stoker's Gothic novel, Dracula makes an appearance in the first act, then, though he is central to the story, only references are made to the character.

"Dracula doesn't really show up again until later in the second act," Wickliffe says.

Wickliffe also points out that the love affair between Dracula and Mina doesn't exist in Stoker's novel.

"I've stayed with the vein of the novel, but I did add scenes that connect to Francis Ford Coppola's 1992 film," Wickliffe says. "They provide some narrative as to why Dracula pursues Lucy and Mina."

This adaptation of "Dracula" isn't the first script Wickliffe has written. He penned "Spotlight on the USO," staged early this year at Camelot Theatre. He also appeared in Camelot's "1776," playing the courier who sang "Mama Look Sharp," and in "Woody Guthrie's American Song" as the young Woody Guthrie.

With "Dracula," Wickliffe says he took on a little more heft than he anticipated. Along with writing the script, he built the set and directs the production.

Wickliffe, 24, is a graduate of Jewell High School near Seaside.

"When I was in high school, I saw some plays at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival," he says. "After graduation, I took a few classes, but I already knew what I wanted to do."

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