Elmhurst, IL — With Halloween season fast approaching, GreenMan Theatre serves up a frightfully good theatrical treat with a new adaptation of Mary Shelley’s classic novel “Frankenstein.” The show was adapted and directed by Elmhurst resident Cory Sandrock. It opens Friday October 24 and runs for 3 weekends.
The production follows Victor Frankenstein, a science student obsessed with creation of life after death. Blinded by his own obsession, Victor has alienated himself from his family, his best friend Henry, and his fiancée Elizabeth in his pursuit of finding the ‘spark of life.’ Breathing life into a creature made from his own hands, he was not prepared for the consequences of his creation. Unable to run from it, Victor now seeks to stop the creature he once breathed life into before it is too late.
“What is most interesting to me about the novel are the parts of the story that most movies change or ignore. In the novel, for example, Victor is not an old, mad doctor, he is a college kid just learning about science. The Creature is also highly intellectual in the novel versus the green grunting fiend of most movies. What these and other differences do is push the tragedy to the fore instead of the horror and science fiction – to me, the novel is really about the mistakes each character makes and the horrible consequences that follow to impact everyone around them. That is the story I wanted to tell,” Sandrock explained.
BMO Harris Bank is a corporate sponsor for GreenMan’s first production of their 11th season. Following their very successful tenth anniversary season, this season looks to kick off with a production perfect for Halloween time. GreenMan is also getting into the spirit of the season by offering special rates for patrons. The opening weekend of shows–October 24, 25, and 26–all patrons who reserve tickets online and enter the promo code ALIVE will receive $3 off each ticket. The performance on Halloween starts a bit later in honor of the night, and all those who come dressed up in a costume will receive $5 off their ticket price. Demand for these dates is likely to be high, so interested patrons are encouraged to reserve their tickets now.
Becky Krause of Arlington Heights is making her debut with GreenMan Theatre and is excited about this project. “I relate strongly to my character Elizabeth; I understand the temptation to try and minimize conflict to make sure everyone is happy, which Elizabeth often does at the expense of her own happiness. In fact, I was surprised at how very relatable each character’s experience is. At heart this is a story about scientific advancement and it’s dangers, and the tension that a family feels when facing tragedy. I love stories that use the supernatural as a vehicle to surprise the audience with very human lessons and emotions. This is one of my favorite play experiences thus far, and I think people will really enjoy seeing the final product,” she said.
All performances take place in Asbury Hall at First United Methodist Church at 232 S. York in Elmhurst. Friday and Saturday performances begin at 7:30 PM and Sunday matinees begin at 2 PM. The Friday October 31st performance will begin at 9 PM and the Saturday November 1st performance will be a special matinee at 4 PM. Performances run from October 24 until November 9. Free parking is available at GreenMan Theatre.
Sandrock realizes that a central plot point in the novel and his adaptation was how Victor Frankenstein relates to those around him. “Victor has a challenging relationship with all of the other characters. I get the sense that Victor is highly intellectual and prone to focusing exclusively on one idea at a time without any regard for other people or their needs. He does this not to spite his family and friends, but rather because he gets pulled in by the intellectual puzzle each new problem represents – he must solve each riddle before he can move on or deal with other people. This also destroys his possible relationship with the Creature – Victor becomes convinced the Creature is evil and this decision sends him on a single-minded path to destroy the Creature, no matter what the cost,” he said.
Ben Armstrong, a Bensenville resident, appreciates the opportunity the portray the Creature in this production and reflected on his character’s place in the story. “Certainly, as rehearsal has gone on, I’ve been working to build my own sense of confusion about the character. I think this is important to drive home the questions the show is meant to raise: What is a monster? What does it mean to be human, or to be sentient, or to want or need or love?”
The cast features Erick Sosa (Franklin Park) as Victor Frankenstein, Carolynn Brusseau (Mt. Prospect) as Euphemia Frankenstein, AJ Andersen (Hinsdale) as William Frankenstein, Duard Mosley (Elmhurst) as Alphonse Frankenstein, Becky Krause (Arlington Heights) as Elizabeth Lavenza, Kiara Rose Wolfe (Winfield) as Justine Moritz, Frank Warpeha (Naperville) as Henry Clerval, Ben Armstrong (Bensenville) as The Creature, Brittany Welmers (Wood Dale) as Agatha De Lacey, Scott Surowiecki (Streamwood) as Felix De Lacey, Stan Kosek (Villa Park) as Ernst De Lacey/Judge, Lauren Visser (Lombard) as Sofia Maria Yanes, Valerie Meachum (Elgin) as Prosecution/Jailer, and Rachel Bright (Elmhurst) as Defense/Jailer.
Tickets are now on sale at www.ticketpeak.com/gmtt or by calling the box office to reserve them at 630-464-2646. Tickets are $17 for adults and $15 for seniors/students. More information about GreenMan Theatre and the production can be found at www.greenmantheatre.org.
Sandrock had a final word about the upcoming production. “I hope the audience leaves debating who is the monster and who is the man. You may enter with a preconceived opinion of who you align with, but my hope is that you see the other side over the course of the evening and maybe even switch your allegiance before the final curtain!”
GreenMan Theatre Troupe is a non-profit 501[c]3 organization whose mission is to provide a source of cultural enrichment and pride for the community by presenting diverse, quality productions and providing opportunities for personal growth in the theatrical arts. GreenMan has been presenting plays in Elmhurst since being founded in 2003 by Jill Perez, David Soria, and Carole Thorpe. Past productions include “Pride and Prejudice,” “Dracula,” and “Smoking Gun.” GreenMan also offers classes and workshops for members and the community and welcomes new members and participants in all aspects of theatre production. GreenMan programs are partially supported by a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency. Financial support also provided by the City of Elmhurst Community Grant Program.
Victor Frankenstein confronts the Creature in “Frankenstein” at GreenMan Theatre [L to R: Erick Sosa, Ben Armstrong