MNSU Theatre’s Frankenstein brings the monster to life

In the spirit of Halloween, the MNSU theatre department’s latest show is Frankenstein, a play version based on the famous novel by Mary Shelley.

As Victor Frankenstein is nearing the climax of his secret experiment, he discovers that a significant part of its construction is less promising than it first appeared. But as time is running out and it becomes too late to turn back, his creature is born. Though it seemed impossible to everyone, he was able to create life. As Victor’s experiment is fully revealed to his peers, they realize their lives can be in danger. Will the monster discover the good in its potential, or will it continue to destruct?

The tale of Victor Frankenstein and his monster is one known by many, but this version heightens the tension to many new levels. This particular production actually features an all-female cast, creating a new and riveting perspective of the story. The cast in question is chock-full of talent, from both experienced and new students, and is led by senior Alyssa Johnson in the role of Victor Frankenstein. Director Heather Hamilton is back in the department after being on sabbatical for the past year, and her much-anticipated return has resulted in this amazing show.

If you’re a fan of spooky designs, this shows exceeds in every aspect of it. Presented in-the-round (audience is on all four sides of the stage, creating a small arena), the actors use the playing space very nicely. When they are lurking in the voms (open areas next to the seating sections where actors come on and off stage), you can always feel a presence of someone watching. The only main set piece is a large platform accessed only by ladders on each corner that act as Victor’s laboratory. As it is made of black metal and covered in wires, it gives the set almost an electric feel to it, adding to Victor’s idea that life can be created from the power of electricity. The costumes are very dark overall, and the eerie, ghost-like makeup (think along the lines of The Addams Family) compliments them well. The monster is especially curious, as it is made up of a large puppet controlled by three actors, making noises through a distorted sound system and emphasizing on its movements. Also, prepare for lots of dry ice to add even more eeriness to the story. In fact, there was so much fog a couple nights during the first weekend of its run that it caused the fire alarms to go off after the performances had finished!

So if you need a fix of spookiness this October, go and see Frankenstein this weekend. The remaining shows are on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night at 7:30 p.m., and on Saturday and Sunday afternoons at 2 p.m. Tickets are $11 for MNSU students and $15 for guests. They can be purchased at the MNSU Theatre box office in the Performing Arts building, either from 4-6 p.m. Monday-Friday or an hour before each show. But be sure to hurry, as many performances have been selling out. Also, while you’re at the box office, be sure to ask about The Two Henrys and Carrie: The Musical, the last two shows presented by the department this semester, both coming up next month.

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