Horrors! Dracula performances are scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 3

Horrors! Dracula performances are scheduled for Oct. 31-Nov. 3 Like a legendary monster that prowls for victims in the black of night, community theater has been resurrected and is alive and well once again in Vermillion.

The classic horror tale Dracula, presented by the Vermillion Area Arts Council, will open Halloween night and run through Nov. 2 with a special matinee performance on Sunday, Nov. 3.

Unlike most movies and plays of the same name, this version, written by Seattle playwright Steven Dietz, restores the gothic suspense and sensuality of the original Bram Stoker classic to the stage.

Rich with both humor and horror, Dracula is a passionate tale of the triumph of good over evil in Victorian London.

But it is also a story of the power of darkness to strike even the purest of hearts, the ability of faith to overcome fear, and the strength that lies within each of us to journey into the unknown to find answers to life's greatest mysteries.

Directed by Mike Kohn of Yankton, the play will be staged in the Vermillion Area Arts Center, a converted church that provides a dramatic and atmospheric setting.

USD faculty members Teri James Bellis and Jim Hollerman portray Mina Murray and Jonathan Harker, the two young lovers who must battle the forces of evil before finding happiness.

Kerry Hacecky and Greg Kniffen of Yankton play the ill-fated Lucy Westenra and Dr. John Seward, head of the lunatic asylum.

In a bold casting move, the insect-eating maniac Renfield is played by Vermillion Area Arts Council president and USD School of Medicine professor Evelyn Schlenker.

Yanktonite Lynn Curtis provides a fresh interpretation of Professor Van Helsing and Count Dracula is brought vividly to life by Vermillion resident Tim Bellis.

Rounding out the cast are Cynthia Curtis, Christina Harlan, and Jamie Helm.

Because seating is limited, theater-goers are encouraged to buy their tickets early.

Tickets may be purchased at Nook 'n Cranny and The Coffee Shop Gallery on Main Street.

So come. Face your fear. And don't forget the garlic.

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