There Are Such Things
review and photos by Eric Jackson
The Theatre Guild isn’t putting on idolatry for kids this Halloween. There will be neither sermons about nor sacrifices to The Great Pumpkin. October of 2016 is dedicated to horror, which is not recommended for little kids who won’t understand sexual themes but will lose sleep over the thought of a bitten neck in the middle of the night. Playwrights and directors Simon Tejeira and Alfonso Grimaldo bring us an original take on part of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.
This is an extraordinary play. The main actors, Yoel Winner as the count, Allen Shor as ambitious young lawyer Jonathan Harker and Monica Porras as the woman Harker would marry, performed beautifully in the press night performance. The story line, the acting and the direction, however, were not the only remarkable things about this work, perhaps not even the main things to notice, as important as they are.
The eerie lighting, the costumes and the incorporation of contemporary dance — the shadows and Dracula’s brides — were huge leaps for a Theatre Guild production. That the shadows, who also moved stuff around during set changes, were not acknowledged as dancers and that Simon Tejeira, who plotted their movements, was not billed in the program as a choreographer, understates the importance of this part of the cast. Far more than the usual Theatre Guild play, There Are Such Things is an outstanding bit of art in multiple media.
Do we want to get into who bites whom and when? Naaah — that’s for you to go see. Bwahahahahahaa!
There Are Such Things
an original play based on the first part of Bram Stoker’s Dracula
Written and directed by Simon Tejeira and Alfonso Grimaldo
Artistic director Stephanie M. Sanz
Producer Giancarlo Benedetti
Count Dracula – Yoel Willner
Jonathan Harkler – Allen Shor
Mina Murray – Monica Porras
Luis Alberto Muñoz
Assistant director – Levys Mon Calderon
Stage manager – Cedric Carrere
Assistant stage managers – Kelly Walsh, Andres Diaz & Adriana Valdez Vargas
Set design – Stephanie M. Sanz
Set construction – Cedric Carrere, Dean Hopster, Stephanie A. Sanz, Doug Bennett, Rob Getman, Regis Hanna, Tito Vallarino, Rafa Leonard, Harmodio Harris & Carlos Aleman
Lighting design – Tomas Cortes Rosselot
Associate lighting designer – Juan de la Guardia
Costumes – Stephanie M. Sanz & Dayana Moreno
Props – Stephanie M. Sanz
Makeup and hair – Dayana Moreno
Sound – Levys Mon Calderon
Check out the context
Now that Panama has its unique take on the Dracula legend — let’s take a look back at some of the other classic renditions, through these video links:
The Geman silent classic, in its entirety — Nosferatu
A scene from the Bela Lugosi flick that set the American standard
Trailer from the Mexican classic with German Robles, El Vampiro
There are African-American vampires, too — like Blacula
Chrisopher Lee, the Brit who also played Dracula, talks about the role
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