The Case of the Silver Scream' puts new spin on Dracula

By Tony Carroll
Madison Academic, Jackson, TN

Screams. Fog. Death. Blood.

As Halloween draws nearer and nearer, these things are becoming more commonplace. All Hallows Eve has long been associated with benevolent events such as trick-or-treating, costume parties and jokes.

Teenagers, however, are often frowned upon when it comes to trick-or-treating, and don’t engage in the pillaging of candy from not-so-unsuspecting people, with it being primarily a fun thing for younger kids to do. Costume parties are fine and dandy, but they involve preparation and sometimes “dressing up” just isn’t that fun for some kids. Plus not everybody can take a fake-severed-hand joke and still be on speaking terms with you.

So what’s a teen to do when the Halloween spirit creeps its way into their daily lives? This year, searching for answers to this deep, ponderous question is not necessary any longer.

The Jackson Theatre Guild is presenting the play “Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream” from Oct. 13 through Oct. 16.

The name “Dracula” is often synonymous with screams, fog, death and, most importantly of all, blood. And “Silver Scream” is certainly no different.

“Dracula” is a timeless tale of an evil vampire lord that sucks blood from young women to gain immortality. It has been told numerous times in both cinema and theater. So why come to see some rehashing of a dead horse?

“I was looking for something seasonal, you know, to get the holiday spirit,” said the play’s director, Billy Worboys. “This adaptation gives a new flair to the classic story of Dracula.”

“The Case of the Silver Scream” is truly different than any other Dracula tale ever written. Instead of having the classic setting of Eastern Europe in the early 1900s, it takes places in Los Angeles in 1948.

There is no humongous, eerie castle in the foreground of this play, but rather a hastily constructed movie set in a financially troubled sanitarium. This is a drastic spin from Bram Stoker’s original story of a real estate agent meeting the vampire lord, Dracula, and having his fiancé wooed away from him by the evil prince.
overs of the classic story need not be alarmed, however. The play still features most of the characters, such as Count Dracula, Jonathan Harker, Mina Murray (though in this adaptation her role is switched with that of Lucy), Jack Seward and Abraham Van Helsing, just in a different setting and different roles.

For example, Jonathan Harker is an egomaniacal B-movie director seeking to gain a foothold in Hollywood. Van Helsing is not a professor, but instead a film noir private eye. Lucy Murray is an actress in the play’s movie, and Dracula is a wealthy benefactor from Europe. There are a handful of other characters as well.

There is also plenty of suspense, drama, biting, bleeding and murder in “The Silver Scream.”

So. if you’re looking for a treat this Halloween season, definitely make plans to see “Dracula: The Case of the Silver Scream.” You won’t be disappointed.

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