Sweeping sickness limits progress on Dracula production

Samuel Mitchell, Reporter

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The theater department’s production of Dracula has hit a cough in the road as actors and technicians are suffering from a sickness sweeping over the department.

“We were ahead of schedule thankfully, so this has only set us back to a normal pace,” Addrian Gaut, theater senior, said.

While the production isn’t behind schedule, he believes it is unfortunate that they no longer have the extra step they did before. Gaut plays the role of the Seward in Dracula.  He is the latest to be hit by the sweeping sickness, one that involves fever, headache, body ache, and fatigue missing three separate rehearsals. While it is still progressing, the process has definitely slowed, despite minimal cancellations.

“We’ve only had to cancel one rehearsal,” Christie Maturo, Dracula director, said. “But it is rare that we have the entire cast at rehearsal.”

Not being able to have a full cast each and every night they get together has made it hard to be as efficient as need be. Having at least one character out every night makes it difficult to build a scene, or to even build chemistry between the cast members. The department ran into the same problem, though not as widespread of one, in the spring production of Urinetown when lead actor Shannon Howerton was only able to perform one of the six shows.

“I’ve never had to deal with a cast as sick as this one, so it is a new challenge for me to face,” Howerton said.

The theater scene shop is having its own struggles at the same time. Ben Ashton, shop leader, has had his own troubles with illness and has missed two days of set building because of it. One of the shop leaders under him, Seth Angelino, said he has been struggling  a broken foot from a skating incident which occurred over the summer.

“It’s just another leader in the shop for these incoming freshmen that can’t do what they’re supposed to,” Angelino said.

Technicians and actors are working hard to prepare for the show’s opening. With the cast having the script memorized for only a day, and plenty of construction to be completed, the show is on its final stretch.

Dracula opens Oct. 4 and runs through the weekend and again during the next.

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