Crosby ‘alive!’ with Midcoast Actors’ ‘Frankenstein

Oct 11, 2017
Photo by: Leah Bannister From left in Midcoast Actors' Studio’s “Frankenstein” are Tyler Johnstone as Victor Frankenstein, Julia Clapp as Elizabeth and Dakota Wing as Henry.

Belfast — The Crosby Center, 96 Church St., will open its doors for a live theater experience for the first time in years when Midcoast Actors' Studio presents “Frankenstein” the last two weekends of October.

Performances will be Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 2 p.m., Oct. 20 through 29, at the Crosby Center Theatre.

“Frankenstein” was written by Mary Shelley in 1818. Director Erik Perkins has spent the last year adapting the classic spooky story of re-animation. People sometimes refer to the creature as Frankenstein, but it's actually named for Victor Frankenstein, the young scientist who creates the grotesque monster.

Shelley's book is a bit different from the Universal movies of Frankenstein made in the 1930s with Boris Karloff as the green grunting monster with neck bolts. This production stems from a discussion Perkins had with MAS Founding Artistic Director Jason Bannister a year ago.

"We were discussing potential horror stories to stage at the Halloween season," said Bannister. "We found some other adaptations of ‘Frankenstein,’ but in the end, Erik had his own ideas."

"I wanted something that was very true to the source material but still had a good pace and some broader appeal," said Perkins. "I'll write my own adaptation. How hard could it be?"

Quite hard indeed. It has taken him more than eight months, multiple drafts and consultation with local writers Danielle Bannister and Richard Sewell. The final “creation” has life imitating art, with Perkins playing the role of a playwright Frankenstein of sorts.

Playing Victor Frankenstein is MAS regular Tyler Johnstone. Belfast City Councilor Eric Sanders plays the creature. The large cast includes Julia Clapp, Dakota Wing, Gwen Elise Higgins, James Clayton, Matt Shelton, Olivia Andrews, Wiley Fowler, Jay Rosenberg, Jay Holland, Chris Groden, Jessica Moore, Linda Leppanen, Jakob Sutton, Ivy Lobato, Phoebe Norman and Melora Norman.

The large crew is helmed by Greg Marsanskis as stage manager. The set and costumes are designed by John and Elaine Bielenberg, with the creature costume by Nell Moore. Jay Rosenberg designs the sound, Juniper Purinton the lighting. The laboratory is designed by Joe Wassam. Additional set decor by Ginny Ford, Sonia Vazquez. Lincoln Clapp and Macy Burgesss will operate the sound and light boards. Diane Collier Wilson and Meg Nickerson are the makeup artists. Bryan Spaulding and Jordyn Brewer round off the costume run crew.

The MAS production will be the first of its kind held at Crosby since the former school building was bought by Kiril Lozanov last year. Larraine Brown, producing artistic director of the Crosby Center, said she is delighted that Midcoast Actors' Studio chose to stage the “first” theater production on the Broadway-sized Crosby stage.

“The Crosby Center has come alive once again,” she said. “Excellent theater is of great interest to all of Belfast and beyond!"

Tickets are $18 for adults and $13 for students. Seating is general admission with tickets sold at the door 45 minutes before curtain. For more information about the production, visit midcoastactors.org or on Facebook; email midcoastactors@gmail.com; or call the MAS box office at 370-7592.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at (207) 594-4401, ext. 115; or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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