Eight actors from New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, and one extremely overworked sound technician (all that thunder and wolf howling) came together through Zoom for The Theater Project's production of Dracula, The Radio Play, as it might have been done in the Lux Radio Theater in 1932 at the time of the original film’s Depression era premiere. The show, recorded live last year, will be available on demand Halloween weekend, from 6:00pm Friday to midnight Sunday, October 29-31.
In one form or another, Dracula has fascinated audiences for generations, as a novel, a play, and too many movies about the Count to count. With so many holiday traditions still in flux, The Theater Project is offering some comfort food for Halloween: audiences enjoy the thrills and chills of the vampire legend in the safety of their own homes, minus all the bloody visual effects of some of the recent film adaptations.
“It’s a tongue-in-cheek treatment,” says Bill Mesce, the script’s adaptor. “We wanted to play with the styles of old-time movies, radio, and horror films, which were scary but not too scary to bring the kids. They often included a lot of humor, which we’ve done here.”
Dracula is played by Kevin Sebastian, a familiar face to Theater Project audiences. Kevin graduated from Ramapo College and started his professional theatre career with New Jersey companies, The Theater Project included. Since then, he's performed in New York and around the country. On-screen, Kevin has starred in numerous films, some appearing at the Cannes Film Festival and Tribeca VisionFest. He has appeared in CBS's Blue Bloods, Saturday Night Live, the Murphy Brown reboot, and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. “We are always happy when Kevin has time to come back to his roots,” says Dracula director Mark Spina. “We warn our audiences to catch the rising stars here before they have to pay Broadway prices – those are REALLY scary.”
The Dracula cast includes Will Budnikov (Matawan), Gary Glor (Union), Barbara Guidi (Scotch Plains), Kevin Sebastian (New York), Anna Marie Sell (Philadelphia), Scott Cagney (Los Angeles), Jim Clancy (Basking Ridge), and Matt McCarthy (Chatham).
The Theater Project, an award-winning company with a 27-year track record, had relocated to Union Township just before theaters were shuttered due to Covid-19. The company has since shifted virtually all its programs to virtual platforms, and has several online events planned for the holiday season.
TOP PHOTO: Will Budnikov (Matawan), Gary Glor (Union), Barbara Guidi (Scotch Plains), Kevin Sebastian (New York), Anna Marie Sell (Philadelphia), Scott Cagney (Los Angeles), Jim Clancy (Basking Ridge), and Matt McCarthy (Chatham).