I have been thinking a lot about love and mercy these days as I enter the rehearsal hall for Dracula. There is still the blood--and of course endless questions of how we squeeze the 40 plus scenes (in more locations than I care to count) on to our stage. Frankly, these are the things I expected to be thinking about. But love? Mercy? In Dracula? Like many people, I was not as familiar with Bram Stoker's original novel as I was with the many spin-offs, stereotypes, and cultural myths about this famous character. When Lyric Arts asked me to direct Steven Dietz's stage adaptation, I grabbed a copy of the novel and spent a summer week winding my way through this remarkable story. By the time I was through I was hooked. This wasn't a monster story--this was a human story. Dracula evokes a beautiful and seductive world where our desires may destroy us--or our love may lead us to the light. It arises out of the suppressions and whispered secrets of a Victorian culture that only heightened human longings. It is about unspoken lust, unfulfilled revenge, unrequited love, unadulterated passions all cloaked in the corsets and manners of the late 19th century.
I've always loved stories where people join together on a great adventure and discover friendship, belonging, and maybe even their heart's desire. Dracula is one of those stories. And it gives us a few screams for good measure. Over the next few weeks we'll be sharing some news and reflections from the rehearsal hall as we prepare to meet you all at the theater in October for a good fright and a tale of great love.
A little bit about Mark: Mark Hauck is very excited to be joining the fun at Lyric Arts. He has directed or designed over 100 productions including work at Public Theater of Minnesota, Workhouse Theatre, Park Square, Mixed Blood, Eye of the Storm, and Theatre Latte Da. Mark was a co-founder of Great River Shakespeare Festival. This spring he will be guest directing at the U of MN/Guthrie Theater BFA Actor Training Program.