190816_hwnews_haats

The Hiawatha Area Arts and Theatre Society has issued a casting call for “The Vampyre — A Penny Dreadful Stage Thriller in Two Acts.”

Production dates are just in time for Halloween with performances set for Oct. 4, 5 and 6 at the Memorial Auditorium, 611 Utah.

Auditions are set on three separate dates: From 4-7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23; 2-6 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24 and 2-4 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 25. Practice schedules will be provided at the casting call. Roles available are six female and six male spots, age range upper high school to mid-40s.

THE STORY: Lord Ruthven, a charming but vicious vampyre with a taste for gambling, gains the confidence of Aubrey, a weak-willed young man who is dazzled by Ruthven’s worldliness and urbanity. Through him Ruthven gains entrance to the stately country home of Aubrey’s aunt, the rich but sharp-tongued Lady Harwood. As he draws Aubrey ever more deeply into debauchery and debt, the others try to loosen his hold on the impressionable youth, but to no avail. Before the evil Ruthven has “sated his thirst,” murder, terror and mounting excitement rule the stage.

None of the pretty young women in the household (Lydia, Melissa and Constance) are able to resist his sinister charm, nor can any of the men defeat him. Eventually Lord Ruthven claims Aubrey’s all-too-willing sister as his bride, despite the growing, and well-founded, fears of the others that her very life may be in danger.

Filled with those “penny dreadful” elements that audiences love — chills, thrills and black humor — this lively adaptation is both simple to produce and filled with well-balanced roles and climaxed with a final scene which is truly startling and electrifying.

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