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East Side News

NEWS: School sinks teeth into darker performance with “Dracula”

Corwin Townsend
Cast and crew take their final bows at the closing night of “Dracula”

A girl stricken with an unknown illness, a man fevered with thoughts of the supernatural, and a strange pale foreigner never seen in the sun:

Plainfield East High School Theatre Department brings Tim Kelly’s adaptation of the famed “Dracula.”

Play director Jenna Jeffirs utilized an earlier performance to change the typical performance.

“If we ever wanted to explore a more ‘spooky’ theme, now was the chance to do it,” said Jeffirs.

Junior Carter Murphy states how this new type of performance gives students a chance to step out of their comfort zones. 

“The roles I’ve had before have been easier because they play to a part of my personality,” said Murphy. “This role is very different and completely reliant on me being able to act and not just say lines in a different voice.”

In the past, Plainfield East Theater Department put on various cheerful and goofy performances, from “Puffs” in 2021 to “James and the Giant Peach” in 2022. 

Each of these productions were lighthearted and fun, appealing to a typically younger audience. On the other hand, “Dracula” is meant to appeal to an older audience with an older-fashioned nature and dramatic aspects. 

With a performance like this, Jeffirs talks about the variety of new acting skills needed to put on this performance. After years of the same performance genre, students are given a chance to grow and learn new skills.

However, to develop these skills, students need to work together. 

“Now, as a director, theater means so much to me for the valuable social skills it builds, like communication, confidence, and empathy,” said Jeffirs. 

Similarly to sports, theater helps people see the importance of teamwork. Whether on stage or behind the scenes, teamwork is essential. Those more experienced help those new to theater and assist in developing the right skills, inevitably leading to a tight-knit, supportive community. 

When putting on a show, there are inevitable hiccups. 

When putting together a production, communication is needed between each group. Tech requires the director’s vision, knowing resources, and planning the perfect set. While the set is constructed, actors need to know where everything is located to perfect their movements.

This communication is done over months of rehearsals, long hours after school, and weekends. This work is then summed up to 4 days of performances, showing off each person’s dedication to the production. 

In the words of the director, Jenna Jeffirs, “I hope you enjoyed the show!”

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About the Contributor
Luna Kenneally, Photographer
Hello! My name is Luna, and I’m a sophomore. I enjoy reading, writing, and photography! Aside from Newspaper Club, I’m part of GSA and Tech Crew. I’m excited to help work on the school’s newspaper, and to start a new chapter here at East!

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