Ever since Bela Lugosi uttered those famous lines – “I am Dracula. I bid you welcome.” – the night has never been the same. In 1931, Bram Stoker’s gothic classic Dracula got the full Hollywood makeover, bringing the story of the undead to a whole new audience, and ushering in a new horror sub-genre—vampire films. Though not the first film to dabble in the undead—the silent film Nosferatu is still eerily creepy even after 90 some-odd years—Dracula was by far the most popular of the early versions, with Lugosi quite possibly being the model vampire (though these new iterations have drastically separated themselves from the silver screen classic—see True Blood, the Twilight franchise). The story of the Count and his nemesis, Van Helsing, will be infused with new blood, albeit in an old-timey sort of way, on October 22 and 23 when Arts Garage’s Radio Theatre brings the high-horror drama to stage.
From its heyday, with Orson Welles inciting terror as The War of the Worlds played out on a live broadcast, to noir classics like Dragnet and “Guy Noir” of today, radio has held a special place on the mantel of Americana. Moments engrained in the fabric of the country’s history rang through the airwaves, piping statements like “a date which will live in infamy” into homes. Radio’s power—the ability to inform and entertain—united living rooms from coast to coast.
Times have changed. And though screens now dominate our main source of media/entertainment consumption, there is still something captivating about hearing a voice carried by unseen radio waves. Radio Theatre transforms this once unseen production style into live, visual entertainment by adapting classic film scripts into radio performances. Using specially designed sound-effect devices and live actors voicing the lines, the nostalgic experience of listening to a story takes on a new dynamic.
In Dracula, Count Dracula has traveled to London after leaving his castle in Transylvania. Upon arriving, he finds himself drawn to Mina Seward, the daughter of a doctor and engaged to John Hawker. After being discovered as a vampire, and source of a rash of killings and attacks, Van Helsing and Hawker vow to remove the undead from Carfax Abbey (not that CarFax) with lethal force. Ready for a scare? Join Radio Theatre for the full tale.
- Admission costs $15-$20; $5 more at the door.
- Showtimes are October 22 and 23 at 7:30 p.m.
- For more information, visit artsgarage.org.
- Each Radio Theatre play is recorded for audiences to enjoy long after the curtain has fallen. Visit facebook.com/artsradionetwork for more information.
- And as always, it’s B.Y.O.W.—Bring Your Own Whatever.