Theatre Atchison's presentation of Dracula was quite a surprise to me. You see, I have never been a fan of Dracula or any other vampire tales, so I wasn't as excited about going to this play as I have been to some others, say a comedy. If you feel this way too, my advice is to throw those ideas out the window and go! I was really impressed with the play.
This is a very complex story to tell in a short time on a small stage and guess what, Theatre Atchison did it justice. The cast is excellent. It never ceases to amaze me at how much talent this community has. Christopher Chase, David Benitez, Allison Handke and Kurt Schlanker are the good guys, i.e. vampire hunters, Katherine Pulliam a victim and Jordan Kruger is Count Dracula. These actors really did a great job and brought the story to life, or maybe death, or maybe undead, I'm not sure. Anyway, wow!
These characters are aptly supported by Jyll Chase, Marci Lutz, Tim Walters, Kristopher Benitez, Brenda Henson, John Neiderhiser and Jennifer Roland.
Jared Roland does a great job as a possessed, slightly crazy Dracula follower. I also liked the three brides of Dracula, Karis Dolenz, Felicity Crossland and Tamara House. Their make up was good and their actions, hisses and screams were very believable.
Jordan Kruger as Count Dracula was impressive from the accent to the make up to the acting. Chris Chase and David Benitez did great jobs with their characters. These three young men are really talented.
Because the play takes place in many different settings, there were a lot of prop changes, so some down time in the play. I must say though, that I really don't know how they would have done it any differently given the size of the stage. Even with these prop changing interludes, the audience did not seem to mind and it did not bother in following the play.
I urge you to attend Dracula. It is really entertaining and a great way to get into the Halloween season. I would not recommend this play for any young children. It is scary. If they aren't old enough to read or watch the Twilight series, I wouldn't take them to this particular play.
All in all, I was very impressed and I applaud Theatre Atchison for branching out and tackling this play. No small feat for a community theater, but done with true talent and professionalism. Bravo!