By Alyssa Fant
The Amarillo College theatre department will perform an online production of “Dracula” this week. “Dracula” is a radio play about Count Dracula moving to England in search of blood and spreading the curse of the undead. The play by Philip Grecian, features a narrator in a radio-style play with characters and live sound effects.
The performance will be held virtually on March 4 through 6 at 7:30 p.m. and on March 7 at 3:00 p.m. Tickets can be reserved online at https://teachtix.com/amarillo/dracula-the-radio-play. Adult tickets are $10, Family tickets are $25, students or seniors are $8, and theatre students are $6.
Ray Newburg, the theatre program coordinator, has gotten help from a variety of talents to help him pull off the show. “The student that designed the scenery did so for this play that is set up to be a ‘radio drama’ a la 1940’s,” he said. Evelyn Ruvalcaba, the scenic designer, found a way to make the production COVID safe. “[she] has developed a series of eight ‘sound cubicles’ for each performer to be inside while performing the shot.
“The clever part of this arrangement allows for the performers to be socially distant from each other yet performing at the same time. As such, Dracula will be streamed ‘live’ versus what we had to do last semester where we recorded the production of The Bacchae for patrons to watch on-demand.”
“Working on this has been interesting because we have to figure out ways to make it safe for all involved,” said Monty Downs, the show director and theatre professor. “Our set designer designed individual booths for each actor so when the actor is in her/his booth, the mask can be removed (absolutely not something we can do right now with a live audience).
“This also means that each actor will be on her/his own camera and microphone, and since the service we are using can only have nine cameras max, we have had to be creative in using cameras for more than one person. However, we cannot have them sharing mics because it would have to be wiped down between each performer.”
Edgar Camarena is a theatre student. “Since it is a live radio play, it is helping us to stay socially distant,” he said. “This year we’ve had to adapt to the virus and get creative with how we put on shows. This past December we recorded the show ‘The Bacchae’ and streamed it instead of doing it live like we normally do. While I do enjoy getting to experience new ways of putting on shows, I hope soon we will get to perform in front of a live audience.”