By Lexi Schneider
“I will suck your blood” has been a common phrase in the Performing Arts Center for the past few weeks. But don’t worry, our students haven’t turned into vampires just yet. The chilling feel in the air is due to the drama club rehearsing for their upcoming fall performance of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. The play, originally written in 1897, has been adopted into a high school performance, ready for Upper Dublin’s stage.
Dracula is directed by a new Upper Dublin faculty member, Nicole Gerenyi. Mrs. Gerenyi, on her recent switch to UDHS, declares,“I am really loving my time so far! My students and actors are very enthusiastic and talented.” Gerenyi is directing three plays this year, as well as teaching theater classes during the day. “ Everything has been a little bit of a whirlwind, getting the show up and preparing for the other two this year as well.” She explains, “ It is really wonderful to see my cast come together and learn their roles, but also see them performing different work in class.” The enthusiastic teacher began preparations with the students 4 weeks ago, in the second week of September. Once parts were cast, rehearsals began. Rehearsals work differently each day, depending on what needs to get done. Mrs. Gerenyi explains, “Sometimes we need to work a scene or moment in the show before we run the act or entire show, other times we begin with notes or reminders and I give a few minutes to the group to get settled and ready. We are beginning to add tech elements and sets/props to the show now so it is all becoming very “real” that a show is happening next week.” The play has been growing into its full potential, with much thanks to Gerenyi, who describes her work as a director by saying, “It is like any other teacher who has another hat in their closet that says, “coach”, except mine says something like, “sparkle” or “end scene”. We are here to see our students thrive and succeed.”
The horror show, however, could not go on without the wonderful, energetic, and teachable students that Upper Dublin has to offer. Stars of the play include Sam Tracton as Dracula, Jessica Anninos as Lucy Westphal, Riley Tollen as Abram Van Helsing, Jason Pohl as Dr. Seward, Sam Caplan as Jonathan Harker, and Elizabeth Isaacs as Renfield. For all the students in the play, acting is a deep passion. Jessica says, “Personally, I enjoy acting because it’s really interesting to take on the persona of someone else. It can be challenging but it’s really rewarding when the show comes together and you’re really in your moment as the character.” The young actors’ and actresses’ commitment can be recognized with the time they have been putting in. Rehearsals occur almost everyday from 3:30 to around 7:00. Its all worth it in the end, says Riley, “When costumes, lines, blocking, makeup, and the tech aspects all mesh [and] I really fall into character.”
Dracula is a teeth chattering horror that is sure to keep you on your toes. The play runs from November 12 – 15 at 7:30 PM in the Upper Dublin High School Black Box Theater. Go watch the show, or you better watch your neck!