‘Playing with Fire (After Frankenstein)’ opens Nov. 1

From left, Josh Winscott as Professor Krempe, Jacob Alexander as a younger Victor Frankenstein and Joe Clark as older Victor Frankenstein in "Playing with Fire (After Frankenstein)." The play opens Thursday.

COOKEVILLE –Those who attend the Backdoor Playhouse performance of “Playing with Fire (After Frankenstein)” will see a different perspective of the creature and its creator, Dr. Victor Frankenstein.

The play opens Thursday, Nov. 1.

“This year is the 200th anniversary of the book’s publication,” director Mark Creter said.

The play, which is adapted by Barbara Fields from Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, shows a different side to the creature that people may be more familiar with through the Boris Karloff 1931 movie adaptation.

“There’s no flat head, bolts through the neck or droopy eyelids,” Creter said, describing the stage version of the creature. “This creature is very vocal, poignant and has an obvious anger.”

It takes place years after Shelley’s novel when an exhausted and dying Frankenstein finally tracks down his creation in the lonely, frozen tundra of the North Pole.

“This play focuses on the main relationship between Victor and his creature,” Creter said. “The audience will see memories and flashbacks from when Victor and the creature were younger, from when Victor’s mother died and how he came to the idea to stop death in its tracks.”

As part of this final confrontation, Frankenstein has to deal with his own responsibility and guilt for abandoning his creation.

“The dialogue between Victor and the creature explores questions of why he created it and why he abandoned it,” Creter said. “The creature just wants to be loved, but more than anything, it wants to be loved by its ‘father.’”

Creter started looking at various scripts in the spring with the intention of doing a Frankenstein play.

“There are so many adaptations of ‘Frankenstein,’” he said. “This one has a smaller cast, so the audience can connect better with the characters.”

There are only six cast members: young and old Frankenstein, young and old creature, Professor Krempe and Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s love interest.

Joe Clark plays the older Frankenstein, while Jacob Alexander plays the younger Frankenstein. James Alder plays the older creature while Aaron Tapley plays the younger creature. Elizabeth is played by Michaela Crawford and Professor Krempe is portrayed by Josh Winscott.

Show times are Nov. 1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 9 and 10 at 8 p.m., Nov. 8 at 10 p.m. and Nov. 10 at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15 general admission, $12 for seniors, and $5 for students. Tuesday, Nov. 6, is Tennessee Tech employee appreciation night, so tickets are $5 with ID.

Tickets can be purchased at the door.

For more information about the Backdoor Playhouse and upcoming performances, visit www.tntech.edu/bdph.

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