“Dracula Rides Again” will be playing at the Showtimers Community Theatre Oct. 7-16.
The synopsis of the comedy by Jeff Goode reads, “When Doc Frankenstein and the Count fall for the same showgirl, you’re in for an evening of showdowns and hoedowns that could turn Tombstone into a ghost town. A Halloween Western family entertainment in two acts. And the Mummy dances.”
Salem native and current part-time employee of the Salem Public Library Betsy Quillen is directing the production. She was cast in her first Showtimers show in 2015. She landed another role in 2018. Since then, she has been involved in at least one show a season, including as an actor, assistant director, stage manager and now as a director.
“If you dig really, really deep, I think you could say that this show is about discovering that even though you think you need a certain method to solve a problem or a certain person to save the day, the actual solution might be found somewhere else entirely,” she explained. “But mostly it is all about the humor and hilarity that comes when you join together characters and stories that we all know and love and twist them around in ridiculous ways until they can’t help but make you smile.”
The highlight of Quillen’s directorial experience has been working with the show’s cast. “They have each committed wholeheartedly to their roles and have been so willing to trust me and my ideas,” she said. “I’ve really enjoyed the process of working together to create something so ridiculous and fun. We’re still laughing every night at rehearsals.”
She said she’s also enjoyed working with the production team to bring the show to life.
The production has Salem and Roanoke County residents who are both a part of the cast and crew, including Salem residents Ashleigh Benois, stage manager, Gabrielle Shelton, Della, Dylan Trail, mummy/Frankenstein’s monster, and Teresa Killen, Marietta, and Roanoke County residents Deanna Sasser, sheriff, Robert Toven, mayor, and Gene Marrano, the count.
“We have a really fabulous cast including veterans of the stage and relatively new actors,” Quillen said.
The actors range in age from high school students to adults.
Quillen said, “Gene Marrano plays our gun-slinger of a Count, who has come to help Della, the girl-boss of the town of Tombstone, played by Abby Shelton. They are both at odds with the evil genius, Doc Frankenstein, played by Rafe Telsch. Deena Sasser plays the town’s Sheriff, and she has her gang of up-to-no-good deputies, the Clantons. And then we have all the good townspeople who make up the heart and soul of Tombstone – without whom there wouldn’t be anything worth fighting for. And then, of course, there is the Monster…and the mummies…but you’ll have to come see the show to find out more about them.”
Audiences can expect to see Count Dracula and Dr. Frankenstein like they’ve never seen them before, including a specially created monster for the town of Tombstone, Quillen noted.
“They can expect to be transported to the Wild West – but maybe not the Wild West from all that long ago,” she said. “Mainly they can expect an hour and a half of a really fun show that is sure to make them laugh.”
The Friday and Saturday shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Sunday matinees will be at 2 p.m. Tickets are $14 for adults and $7 for students 18 years of age and younger.