Focus on Community/Arts
Classic "Dracula" Tale Comes to TPAC

Posted on Wednesday, November 02, 2005

WYE MILLS - A dark tale of intrigue will entertain Shore audiences when the National Players bring the drama "Dracula" to the Rufus M. and Loraine Hall Todd Performing Arts Center (TPAC) at Chesapeake College on Sunday, Nov. 20 at 7 p.m.

Stakes have been driven through his heart, silver bullets shot at him and crucifixes have been thrust at him, but he won´t let go. The legendary Count Dracula survives, of course, in the time-honored adaptation of Bram Stoker´s popular novel. This National Players production is the early stage version that brought actor Bella Lugosi to fame.

The legend of Dracula, as it is known today, comes from an actual figure in history. Vlad III Dracula ruled Wallachia, a region of Romania, during the 15th century. He had a reputation as a vicious ruler who impaled enemies and criminals on spikes for the smallest infraction. One story says that Vlad would impale people and then drink their blood. Today, however, despite his reputation, Vlad is looked upon by the people of Romania as a folk hero for driving out the Turks.

The legend of Dracula was immortalized in Bram Stoker´s 1897 novel of the same name. Stoker, a native of Ireland, and author of sensational stories, first heard the story of Vlad the Impaler in 1890, and he began to study the history of the Romanian prince. However, his novel contains almost none of the actual history; rather, the story is a fictional account based on myths and legends. His novel has become famous the world over and has helped to perpetuate the popular mythic view of vampires. Stoker´s novel has been turned into several plays and movies. It was adapted into a play by John Balderston and Hamilton Deane in 1927; however, their play adaptation is quite different from Stoker´s novel. The relationships of many of the characters were changed. Perhaps best known is the 1931 film version starring Bela Lugosi as Dracula.

TPAC audiences in past seasons have enjoyed National Players productions such as "Julius Caesar", "Twelfth Night," and "The Scarlet Letter".

Currently a program of Olney Theatre Center, the National Players have earned a unique name8 and place in the American theatre world. This remarkable acting company has given more than 5,800 performances and workshops of plays by Shakespeare, O´Neill, Moliere, Shaw, Kafka, Sophocles, Aeschylus and Tom Stoppard. The troupe has performed in 35 states and 10 countries, reaching audiences that are isolated geographically or economically. Since 1992, the group has been the company in residence for the Department of Theatre at the University of Maryland.

Tickets for the show are $15 for general admissions and $10 for students/senior citizens. For more information, please call the TPAC Box Office at 410-827-5867.

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