By: Adam Enz
On Friday 27 of October night fell around 6:30, but the stars did not come out until 7:30, right as the first scene of IC’s TheatreWorks production of Frankenstein began. The brightest stars shone from the stage of the Sibert theater. They were shown all the brighter due to the excellent background and effects that the stage crew worked so hard to perfect.
The play was directly adapted from the 1818 masterpiece of Mary Shelley by the play’s director, Professor Aasne Daniels. She does more than a fair job of shaping the massive story, fitting it into the parameters of a two hour play. Not only does she fit the most crucial and telling scenes from the nearly 300 page novel, but her decisions leaves us with many nuances for the actors to work with in building their characters.
The tone was eerie yet familiar and became thrilling with the first of many blood curdling screams that would leave the lungs of so many of the actors. I loved the atmosphere fostered by the odd music played before the play began and in-between the scenes. I think it was familiar because the music seem to hint back to the creepy essence of the old Frankenstein film. Whatever it is it hits the right note and adds endlessly to the experience.
On top of all that, the greatest boons this play had was the two main characters. First there is Victor Frankenstein played by Maximillian Valdez or as you may know him “that crazy guy everyone loves to talk to.” From the very first scene to the very last, Valdez is on stage in character. I dare say he has less off stage time than any other actor, and does not waste a single moment of the audience’s attention. Off the stage he is known for having a lot of energy and he uses this to full effect. You have to be a pretty charismatic person if like Frankenstein you want to fly in the face of all mother nature. The end result of Frankenstein and the love hate relationship with nature brings us to our second character the Creature, played by Andrew Kinsel. Who I formally only knew as the guy with a beard, accept where is the beard now? The missed facial hair aside, Andrew plays a dream come true that quickly evolves into a nightmare run rampant. His time on the stage brings balance to the acting of Valdez as the two characters carry on a dialogue of words and actions that led the play to it’s ultimate conclusion.
Frankenstein as a play does more than bring a creature to life. This play brings an entire story back from the dead and lays lessons of vengeance and obsession bare for us to witness.
Adam E. Enz, from South Jacksonville, Illinois is a junior majoring in Communication and Women & Gender Studies. Adam is the Photo Editor for the Rambler. Adam has enjoyed running for IC Cross Country the last few years as well as working for the IC Archives.