Schoolhouse Arts presents 'Dracula'

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STANDISH — As families in the Lakes Region prepare for Halloween, the Schoolhouse Arts Center is getting a head start on the spooky season.

From Oct. 6 through Oct. 15, the center will present “Dracula,” based on Bram Stoker’s memorable gothic novel. Performances are Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and and Sundays at 2 p.m.

The Stoker novel is the story of a young woman, Lucy Seward (Alexa Goodine from Buxton) who unwittingly gets involved with a very strange man called Count Dracula (Tom Ferent from Boston). Dracula is a vampire and Lucy is soon showing signs of having succumbed to his attractions. Her father, Dr. Seward (Ben Macri of Steep Falls) tries to help her overcome the symptoms and enlists the aid of a psychiatrist named Van Helsing (Dan Allard of Greene) to do battle against Dracula’s mysterious powers.

An odd little character named Renfield (Emily Eberhart from Buxton) adds occasional comic relief but cannot dispel the blood-curdling suspense. Also in the cast are Gerald Davis from Hollis as Jonathan Harker, Sophia Cartonio from Westbrook as attendant/Butterworth, and Crickett Cote from Monmouth as the maid.

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The play is directed by Danny Gay of Lewiston and assistant director is Christopher Roberts of Portland. Gay is a veteran actor and director in many Schoolhouse productions, such as “James and the Giant Peach Jr.,” “Mulan Jr.,” “Clue,” “The Butler Did It,” “Annie Get Your Gun,” and most memorably as Cogsworth the clock in “Beauty and the Beast.”

Roberts is a talented Schoolhouse veteran who is well remembered for numerous skillful performances in such roles as Reb Tevia in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Teddy Roosevelt in “Arsenic and Old Lace,” Jack Jerome in “Brighton Beach Memoirs,” and most recently as Ethelred in “Billy Goes to War.” He also played a key role in “Jekyll and Hyde” at the Biddeford City Theater.

Tickets are $14 for adults and $12 for students and seniors. The show is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French Inc.

Schoolhouse Arts Center is at 16 Richville Road (Route 114) in Standish, just north of the intersection of Route 114 and Route 35. For reservations go to schoolhousearts.org.

Dr. Seward (Ben Macri), Van Helsing (Dan Allard) and John Harker (Gerald Davis) surround Dracula (Tom Ferent) as Renfield (Emily Eberhart) hides out of sight in rehearsal of a scene from “Dracula,” to be presented from Oct. 6 through 15 at the Schoolhouse Arts Center in Standish.

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