I first had the idea of crafting a new version of Bram Stocker’s famous novel in 1978. I was directing the famous Hamilton Dean and John Balderston stage version of Dracula in Billings, Montana. While I enjoyed the rehearsal process, I was continually struck by this adaptations’ lack of theatricality and dramatic action. It was just too Victorian and sexless for how I envisioned the story.

Time passed and although many new film versions of Dracula emerged the Baldertson/Dean version continued to be the most popular choice for theatrical productions, even enjoying a revival on Broadway in the 1980’s. This production which featured campy acting by Frank Langella and sets by Edward Gorey only fueled my desire to rework the novel.

I had placed this idea on the back burner until last year when as we were choosing the new season the title Dracula surfaced. Blessed with a brilliant set of collaborators led by my Head of Design Gary Hoff at Tennessee Repertory Theatre, I knew that I had the creative talent to finally act upon the original impulses that I had experienced in 1979.

Quickly, I called my friend and collaborator Robert Neblett. Robert had just worked with me on my new adaptation of The Taming of the Shrew; Shakespeare Rattle & Roll and I knew that besides being an expert on the bard that he was also well-versed on vampire lore. A few conversations later and the journey had finally begun.

Eight months and thousands of e-mail and phone conversations later, Robert and I are pleased to present for your enjoyment Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream. We have had a blast creating our “film noir” version of Dracula and hope that you will enjoy watching it as much as we have enjoyed creating it for you. For me, it was worth waiting these 24 years.

David Grapes

Director - School of Theatre
University of Northern Colorado.

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