Tuesday, October 11, 2011

It's alive, it's alive! My DRACULA e-play adaptation...

Come on, you KNOW you want to read it...

No, not Frankenstein's monster....my new Kindle e-book on Amazon!  Just in time for Halloween reading...THE JOURNAL OF MINA HARKER is now ready for purchase for only $2.99.


Since a few of my friends have asked, I thought I'd write a bit about the background of this play, and how I came to write it.

A few years ago,  I was looking for a classic book to adapt into a serious, literary play, suitable for high school students. I decided to do Bram Stoker's DRACULA since I grew up watching (and loving!) the old DRACULA movies with Bela Lugosi and other vampire movies of the time.

Look deeep into my eyes...

Although the Lugosi movie was loosely based on the book, it didn't completely follow along with the original story.  I didn't know that until I actually sat down and read the book.  Once I started, I was mesmerized by the language, the imagery, and the story.  And I was fascinated to learn that a lot of the things we think we know about vampires didn't come from the novel; they came from the movie.

Turns out, the book is told through a series of journal entries, some by Jonathan Harker (Daniel in my story), and some by his wife, Mina.  Some of it comes through letters sent back and forth between the main characters (Jonathan even collected recipes that he sent home to Mina).  When I read it, I was astounded to learn that it really was Mina's story that she had pieced together from all these letters.  So I decided to tell it from her viewpoint.  Since it is a play, I had to shorten it so I choose to leave out a few of the original characters and scenes.  I do mention Holmwood and Texan Quincey Morris, but they don't show up in the play as real characters.

So, if I started out writing a serious adaptation, what happened?  LOL.  Well, the characters took over.  When I write fiction or a stage play, it plays in my head like a movie. When Dracula first enters and stumbles and almost falls, it occurred to me that he was "blind as a bat."  Hmmm.  I tried to ignore that, but  later, when poor Mr. Renfield ran into the room with his underwear over his head, spouting his Renfield rap---in Latin, no less--he's a really bad poet---I knew it wasn't going to be a serious adaptation.  Mina started wearing the most ginormous hats,  Daniel got a craving for an onion tart, and the Count demanded to know if his new home had nice curtains. After that, the characters took over and it became a comedy.  What else is an author to do?

Let's just say, it ain't Bela's DRACULA.  :-)  Sorry, Bela!

 (And with apologies to Bram.)

(And this hilariously fun play still needs a production.  Run time is approximately an hour.  E-mail me if interested.)

bobbi c.

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