The Count’s Curtain Call

The crimson curtains rise. The boundaries of reality dissolve. Time stands still, leaving only the haunting echo of one name… Dracula.  

In Bram Stoker’s timeless masterpiece, Dracula, a mesmerizing fusion of horror, seduction, and eternal longing awaits, beckoning the audience into a world where the line between life and death is blurred. Many students participated in the play including senior Jett Holbert as Dr. Seward, junior Matthew Lamb as Professor Van Helsing, junior Nicholas Connel as Renfield, and senior Owen Fraley as Count Dracula. 

Fraley hadn’t performed in theater until this year. “My first time doing theater was playing King Triton in [the Mount St. Mary production of] The Little Mermaid,” he said. “It was a new experience for me, but I ended up really enjoying it so I decided to try out for the spring play.”

Fraley originally wanted to play Renfield, a mental patient who becomes Dracula’s minion. “I felt that I would be best suited to play Renfield,” he said. “He’s a really crazy guy, so I thought it would be fun to play him. However, no one could really do Dracula’s Transylvanian accent except me, so Mrs. [Carrey] Reynolds cast me as Dracula. At first, she was unsure about having a ginger playing Dracula. No one had ever heard of [a red-headed Dracula] before. But it ended up working just fine.”

Mrs. Reynolds had initially intended for the play to be Mr. Roberts, a comedy. However, because of casting issues, she switched the play. “Back in 2020, Mrs. Reynolds wanted to do a play called Mr. Roberts,” said Fraley. “They had already started rehearsing but couldn’t perform it because of the pandemic. Dracula has such a small cast, Mrs. Reynolds was really surprised as to how many people tried out. She felt conflicted because she obviously wanted to cast a lot of people. As a result, she decided to switch the play to Mr. Roberts, which had a big cast. So we had all those people cast, and we were wanting to do a read-through of the play, but the people didn’t show up. So Mrs. Reynolds switched it back to Dracula.

“Believe it or not, we were actually pretty behind,” said Fraley. “We were at school every single day from when we were cast, in February, until the actual play at the end of April. I had to quit my job because it was so intense; there was no time for anything else.”

Another important member of the play was senior Mason Walsh. He worked on the sound and spotlight. “I enjoyed working with the cast; I thought they were good people,” he said. “A long time ago when we auditioned, I wrote that I’d be willing to help with the sound. I kind of like to help with behind-the-scenes types of stuff. And this wasn’t too technical, so it was kind of fun.”

Walsh recalls a funny moment from the play. He said, “My favorite memory was when Miles [Tillemans, who played Butterworth] dangled the rat and dropped it on opening night. I think that part is the funniest scene in the play, and Miles dropping it made it even funnier.”

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