The blood. Oh, the blood!
Dracula, the legendary novel by Bram Stoker, first published in 1897, is considered one of the greatest horror novels ever written. The novel examines the concepts of lust, sex, gender roles, and society's fears of the unnatural during late 19th and 20th century Victorian society. Today, we accept the reality of vampires. In Stoker's time, they were but myth. Nobody knew what they were, or how to deal with them. Over time, the focus of its many interpretations has come to be how evil abnormality can evolve from one source and infect the surrounding society with discord and misfortunes. Dracula, the vampire, infects others with his evil.
Stoker, an Irish writer and theatre manager, drew inspiration for his novel from tales of Vlad the Impailer, or Dracula, born 1431 into a noble Transylvania family. His father was called "Dracul" because he belonged to the Order of the Dragon in Romania. "Dracula" means "son of Dracul." Therefore, Vlad was known as "son of the dragon" or "son of the devil" which may have been the beginning of the legend that he was a vampire.
As a warrior, Vlad was known to impale people on stakes and leave them to die. He was reported to have once dined among his victims, and to have eaten bread dipped in their blood. Killed in 1476, Dracula's head was cut off and displayed in Constantinople. In 1931, archaeologists exhumed his grave and took the skeleton to the History Museum in Bucharest, where it disappeared, leaving many mysteries about Prince Dracula unanswered and thus contributing to the legends surrounding Dracula.
On 11 July 1938, the The Mercury Theatre on the Air broadcast Dracula as a radio drama and contributed to keeping these legends alive. Directed by and starring Orson Welles, as both Count Dracula and Doctor Seward, the cast also included Martin Gabel, Agnes Moorehead, George Coulouris and Ray Collins.
The performance was notable, but quickly forgotten as the cast and crew of the Mercury Theatre began immediately working on upcoming performances. Following the broadcast of The War of the Worlds, 30 October 1938, perhaps the most famous radio broadcast of all time, Welles noted the earlier performance of Dracula to defend the production of realistic tales of horror.
Postponed by COVID-19. Watch for rescheduled date.
The Re-Imagined Radio script for Dracula is now dormant . . . buried in a box of dirt. . . waiting. When the time is right, we will revive the script through arcane galvanic sciences and careful administrations of elixirs and tonics and present it with the intent of sending a skittering up your spine!
Re-Imagined Radio presented a live performance by Metropolitan Performing Arts actors and other community volunteers at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Audience count: 172. Streamed live on KXRW-FM, Vancouver's community radio.
This performance was recorded live.
Director, Producer, Sound Designer
“I thought that was perhaps the best radio-drama presentation I've seen
at Kiggins. Thoroughly fun and really chilling! Congrats!”
— Scott Hewitt. Email to John F. Barber, 27 Sep. 2018.
Hewitt, Scott. Live (undead) onstage: Re-Imagined Radio revives a scary classic live at Kiggins Theatre. The Columbian, 22 Sept. 2018, p. D1.
Wade, Adeena Rose. "Re-Imagined Radio: Sound-Based Storytelling for the Digital Age." Northwest Crimson & Gray, Fall 2018, p. 8.
Photography by N.E.H. Photography
Re-Imagined Radio presented a live performance by the Willamette Radio Workshop at Kiggins Theatre in downtown Vancouver, Washington. Audience count: 270. Based on the script from the 1938 performance by Orson Welles and The Mercury Theatre on the Air.
Cast and Crew
Patricia Blem, James Dineen, Carole Oberholtzer, Scott Jamieson, Atticus Welles Mowry, and Sam A. Mowry
Martin John Gallagher
David Ian and Dino de AElfweald with Patricia Blem and Atticus Welles Mowry
Cynthia J. McGean
Hewitt, Scott. Kiggins Presents Radio-Drama Production of Bram Stoker's 'Dracula'. The Columbian, 22 Oct. 2016.