Lake Braddock Secondary School DraculaBy Cappies • May 9th, 2011 • Category: Cappies
A series of blood-curdling screams engulfed the auditorium as the life was sucked out of the victim’s neck, the blood being drained by the vampire that started it all. Lake Braddock Secondary School’s production of Dracula brought to life one of the greatest vampires of history in a terrifyingly violent way.
Originally written in 1897 by Abraham (or more commonly Bram) Stoker, the story follows the two couples who’s lives are inadvertently thrown into the mix when Dracula (Jimmy Day) takes a fancy to and drains the blood of the two female protagonists. Aided by vampire hunter and doctor Dr. Abraham Van Helsing (Bob Sayed), the two men fight to stop the transformations of their beloveds and save them from a hellish end. Using the script adaptation created in 1996 by Steven Dietz, Lake Braddock Secondary school brought the story to the stage.
As the devious and dastardly vampire, Jimmy Day seemed to maintain his Transylvanian accent, oozing the stereotypical portrayal of the famous Dracula, whether by flourishing his red and black cape or commanding his victims to do his bidding. Playing one of the first characters to fall prey to Dracula’s clutches, Ilana Naidamast as Miss Lucy Westenra performed fantasticly, managing even to make lines out of silence during the doctor’s proposal scene. And when she finally succumbed to her vampire-tic urges, the transformation from a girl crossed in love to a blood-thirsty monster was believable in every way. To lighten the mood of a very dark play, C.J. Tragakis played Mr. Randolph Montgomery Renfield, bringing laughter into the show with his quick mood changes and pitiful groveling. Bob Sayed as Dr. Van Helsing was able to use his voice to command the attention of both actors and audiences alike without the typical screaming of an angry man. In all, the actors and actresses seemed to find the energy of the show in each other, exuding emotion and believability when interacting amongst each other.
Lighting in the show created great shadows on the cast, throwing some characters into darkness when their evil began to show through. Though some actors seemed to step out of the light on occasion, the heightened impact of lighting during the second act, the use of lighting to create a silhouette to the dark monsters of the story and as a red sunset as Dracula awoke, overshadowed the rare mistakes.
From screams to heartbeats, from the sound of the sea to the cry of a baby, sound effects added to the show, bringing an added layer to scenes while hardly ever being overbearing to the actor’s voices.
As a monster of legend who’s story has been adapted almost as many as one could count, Lake Braddock Secondary School’s rendition of the classical tale Dracula did well to present an old story in this new world.
by Rebecca Henenlotter of Oakton High School
Photos by David Massarik
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