New ‘Dracula’ play to bring creative blood to Utica stage

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published October 14, 2015

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UTICA — Utica High School theater students are counting down the days until they perform a unique play based on the characters from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.”

The school will perform “Dracula,” by Utica alumnus and playwright Jake Feeman, Nov. 5-7. The production will be an additional time that an original Feeman composition has been presented at the school, with another being “Lovely Lovely Valentine” last school year.

Utica High School theater director Joel Kaczmarczyk said he asked Feeman to write a production, and he gave him some suggestions and parameters to work within.

“I said to Jake, ‘I’ve always wanted to do a production of ‘Dracula,’ but I’ve never found a script I was happy with. I didn’t like certain types of scenes. If you have some ideas, will you write it for me?’” Kaczmarczyk said. “And he jumped on it.”

According to Kaczmarczyk, Feeman’s adaption doesn’t closely follow the storyline of the original 1897 book. Instead, it takes place in a location just outside of New York City during the Victorian era, and Dracula invites some characters from the original story to dinner.

“It seems like it’s rather harmless, and they are friends,” Kaczmarczyk said. “But as the plot develops, you start finding some other things out.”

Kaczmarczyk said the play has 14 characters, and the cast is excited to do something original, interesting and challenging.

Utica senior Anna Hoffman will play the role of Lucy Westenra. She said this production is more serious and challenging than a Dracula-themed production that the school did a couple of years ago.

“In the past, I played characters that are a lot more fluffy and girly than the character I’m playing,” she said. “In this play, (Lucy) is more sassy and stands up for herself.”

Hoffman also praised the cast and crew, adding that some of the younger underclassmen “have really stood up and done amazing things.”

Utica senior Jon Memcevic is playing the role of Vlad Dracula, and he said his favorite thing about the part is the character’s confidence and “almost ominous” true intentions.

“He knows what he wants, even though it’s a mystery to everyone else,” he said.

The Utica High School theater department will present “Dracula” at 7 p.m. Nov. 5-7 at Utica High School, 47255 Shelby Road in Utica. Adult tickets cost $8, student tickets cost $7, and tickets for children 12 and younger cost $5. Order tickets by visiting www.showtix4u.com starting Oct. 19. Tickets may be available for sale at the door one hour before curtain.

Learn more by visiting www.uticak12.org or by calling (586) 797-1000.

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