Although many teenage girls may argue that Edward Cullen from the “Twilight” novel series is the epitome of a vampire, James Doan, professor in the Division of Humanities at the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences, believes Count Dracula embodies the true bloodcurdling essence of a vampire.
Doan recently wrote “The Irish Dracula: A Melodrama in Five Acts”, a play based on the 19th century novel “Dracula” by Bram Stoker. His play focuses on Stoker and his relationship with Henry Irving, an actor and director at the Lyceum Theater in London. The play is set in London and County Sligo, Ireland in 1888.
Doan said the play “examines the colonial Anglo-Irish politics of the era and psychosexual elements implied in the original text.”
Many people know Dracula solely as the pop culture Halloween icon found on candy wrappers and featured in cartoons, but Doan’s play, like Stoker’s original novel, explores the deeper culture surrounding Dracula and the society he lived in.
Doan and Daniel Gelbmann, assistant professor in the Division of Performing and Visual Arts, teamed up to create a series of five workshops that will use Doan’s play to teach students about script development, set creation and costume design. The free workshops will take place on Wednesday nights, Mar. 13 to Apr. 10, 6 to 8 p.m.in the second floor auditorium of the Mailman Hollywood Building.
The workshops will culminate in a final dramatic reading of the play on Apr. 13. Doan and Gelbmann are hopeful that the workshops will generate enough interest in the production to create a full production next year.
Doan and Gelbmann have applied for a grant that would enable them to collaborate with students, Farquhar faculty, professional musicians and actors to put on a special production in Feb. 2014 at the Southern regional meeting of the American Conference for Irish Studies in Fort Lauderdale.
This production would, according to Doan, be “accompanied by the rarely performed instrumental music written by Arthur Sullivan for an 1888 production of ‘Macbeth’”, which he feels would resonate well with the play.
For more information or to participate in the workshops, contact James Doan at 954-262-8207 or Daniel Gelbmann at 954-262-7926.