Cast ready to put bite into ‘Dracula’ at Westfield Playhouse

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It seems natural that Robert Webster Jr. would get to dress up as a vampire on the eve of Halloween.

“I’m a huge Halloween nut,” he said. “I’m the Clark Griswold (‘Vacation’ movies) of my neighborhood. I have the most lights of any house, so when I saw the opportunity to audition for ‘Dracula,’ I said, ‘Sure.’ I hadn’t read the script and hadn’t read the book since I was a kid.”

When offered the role, the Indianapolis resident jumped at the opportunity.

“It’s an iconic character,” Webster said. “Everybody knows Dracula.”

Webster is playing the title role in Main Street Productions’ presentation of “Dracula,” which runs from Oct. 7 to 17 at the Westfield Playhouse. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m. The Sunday shows are at 2:30 p.m.

Brand Davis is directing Steven Dietz’s adaptation of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula.” The set is in 1890 with period costumes.

Webster said he avoids seeing other productions before the show and will try to put his own spin on the role.

“One time I went to audition for ‘Harvey’ (and) I made the mistake of watching the move,” Webster said. “I went into the audition and did Jimmy Stewart dead on. I was so mad at myself because I didn’t do me.”

The biggest challenge for Webster is getting the character’s Romanian accent just right.

Kelly Keller, a Fishers resident, is playing Van Helsing.

“When this first came up and they announced their season, I was very excited,” Keller said. “Growing up, it was a story that I read and I really liked it. Van Helsing chases Dracula around and is ultimately responsible for his death. He’s the guy that has some background in vampire hunting. This one is very close to the novel.”

Lawrence resident Sabrina Duprey portrays Mina Murray.

“She is one of two main girls targeted by Dracula,” Duprey said. “She is a very proper Victorian lady. She wants to put her fiancé at ease and get to the bottom of what is going on.”

Durprey said maintaining the British accent for the role is always a difficulty.

“I have to get used to the physicality of it as well,” she said. “Modern women are able to slouch or stand however they want. Victorian London women, (there) are certain ways they won’t act. It’s been a fun challenge.”

Noblesville resident Nathaniel Taff plays Murray’s fiancé, Jonathan Harker.

“I get a lot of good spooky scenes with Dracula. That’s what I love about it,” said Taff, a 2012 Noblesville High School graduate.

Indianapolis resident Shannon Clancy, who plays Lucy, graduated from Noblesville High School in 2016. She spent her first two high school years at Westfield.

“This is my first real play production,” Clancy said. “I’ve usually done musicals or Shakespeare plays.”

In the play, Lucy is bitten by Dracula and comes back from the dead.

“This show is a lot of firsts for me,” Clancy said. “This is my first stage kiss, my first time dying on stage and also one of the first times I’ve played a lead. It’s all becoming really fun being able to act monstrous and crazy and also pure and nice all at the same time.”

Lawrence resident Xavier Jones plays John Seward. He said the British accent is the most challenge thing for him.

“Other than that, I’m trying to mesh with other characters and have a good chemistry on the stage,” he said. “That is coming along pretty easily.”

For more, visit westfieldplayhouse.org

Blood drive set

Fittingly, a blood drive will be conducted inside Versiti Blood Center Indiana’s mobile unit from 2 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 13 in the parking lot of Westfield Playhouse, 220 Union St. Anyone who donates will receive one free ticket good for any Main Street Productions show in the 2021-22 season. To register, visit westfieldplayhouse.org/special-events.


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