Sunday, September 23 2018 6:29

Such Things as Vampires

Written by Gina Pisasale

At People’s Light through October 31


With a high-octane drumbeat, People’s Light opens its 44th season with Such Things as Vampires, a folk-punk retelling of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This highly theatrical world premiere is part rock concert, part play and part vampire thriller. Filled with lilting ballads and rock anthems, the show puts a new spin on the bloodsucking beings we think we know all about.

What could be more frighteningly fun and fitting for Fall?

This concert-theater event is framed by The Preventers, an enigmatic, roving band of musicians who’ve been drawn to Malvern by a mysterious threat. They draw audiences into their rite of protection through music, ritual and a story of the love between two women—Mina and Lucy—pivotal characters in Bram Stoker’s Gothic masterpiece.

Such Things as Vampires is one of the first projects to emerge from People’s Light’s Harmony Lab, a new play-commissioning program pairing musicians with playwrights to create pieces with music as a major component of their storytelling.

The team creating this spine-tingling polyphony includes musician-performer Jessie Fisher (from Broadway’s Once and currently starring in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child), multifaceted and award-winning Philadelphia theater artist Mary Tuomanen, playwright and People’s Light’s Producing Director Zak Berkman, and Chicago-based devisor-director Stuart Carden.

Carden is known for his highly imaginative style of storytelling that breaks down barriers between audience and performers in exhilarating ways, often in moments of stunning simplicity. In this kind of artistic playground, seemingly disparate elements get to play with each other, creating something unique in a fantastical brew of theatrical alchemy.

Such Things as Vampires aspires to take modern storytelling modes and bardic traditions to a place that feels both ancient and cutting-edge,” explains Berkman. “It’s a fusion of sounds for a fusion of audiences—fans of Gothic literature, those who seek out new and surprising theater, or anyone whose music collections include PJ Harvey, Fleetwood Mac and The Savages.”

This thrilling synthesis of diverse art forms, genres and musical styles offers a wide welcome for all who thirst for new-fanged—wait, that’s new-fangled discoveries. Don’t be scared. Yet …

~Gina Pisasale


If You Go:

Where: People’s Light’s Steinbright Stage, 39 Conestoga Rd., Malvern

When: September 20–October 31

Tickets: $40-$50; Community Nights are $30; other discounts available


Tagged under: People's Light, Theatre