BTI sinks teeth into ‘Dracula’

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Stirling Matheson can take a bite out of this juicy role for a second time.

Matheson, a Carmel resident and Ballet Theatre of Indiana artistic director, is reprising his title role in the company’s production of “Dracula” Nov. 1 and 2 at The Tarkington at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel.

One of his victims in the performance is Megan Noonan, a 2012 Carmel High School graduate, who plays Lucy Westenra. She previously played one of Dracula’s brides in 2017.

“She’s alive and then she turns into a vampire,” Noonan said. “It’s fun I can play on the vampire bride’s side that I did before.”

Noonan said most of her dancing is in consecutive scenes.

“I dance all this time and then I have to run around because I’m excited. I’m engaged,” Noonan said. “Then, I’m frightened because I get attacked by Dracula. It’s a lot of (activity) in a row. I’m kind of glad I get to lie down and die on stage. I rest for an uncomfortable amount of time as the theater will go dark.”

Noonan said there is a great deal of acting as well as dancing along with action scenes with fighting.

“It’s a good show even if you are not familiar with ballet,” she said. “I know my dad loved it.”

Noonan said she is excited to perform the show at The Tarkington. “Dracula” was performed at the Atheneum in 2017.

Jonathyn Carey portrays Dr. John Seward. Simon Pawlak plays Jonathan Harker and Cole Companion is Abraham Van Helsing.

Alexandra Tarnowski plays Mina and Cheyanne Darnielle-Elam is Miss Renfield, an asylum patient, in a role normally played by a male.

“There wasn’t anything that needed to be male about the character,” Matheson said.

When San Francisco’s Bay Pointe Ballet folded almost two years ago, Matheson said his company acquired its “Dracula” costumes and set design pieces.

“It’s going to look a little more lavish than it did last time,” Matheson said. “Our costumes for the garden scene and the female leads are going to look a lot nicer. Our men’s costumes, we actually rented from Bay Pointe Ballet, so they will be exactly the same, except we own them now.”

Matheson said the scary fall shows around Halloween have been successful.

“Last time we did it, it was three acts of choreography from scratch,” Matheson said.  “This time, it feels like a comparative leisurely pace because we can set it more quickly. I’m confident it’s going to be a really top-notch show.”

The performances are set for 7 p.m. Nov. 1 and 2 and 7 p.m. Nov. 2. For more, visit btindiana.org.


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