For immediate release
September 5, 2018
People’s Light Opens its 2018/2019 Season with World Premiere of Such Things as Vampires, A Folk-Punk Dracula Inoculation
Conceived and Created by Zak Berkman, Stuart Carden, Jessie Fisher, and Mary Tuomanen
Directed by Stuart Carden
September 20 – October 31, 2018
(Malvern, PA) People’s Light kicks off its 2018/2019 Season with Such Things as Vampires, a highly theatrical folk-punk twist on the Dracula tale. Infused with lilting ballads, rock anthems, and melodious love songs, this concert-theatre event is an irreverent, bloody, and wickedly fun retelling of Bram Stoker’s 1897 gothic masterpiece. Such Things as Vampires runs September 20 – October 31 on the Steinbright Stage in Malvern. Tickets range from $30-$50.
At the forefront of Such Things as Vampires are The Preventers, a traveling band of musicians who arrive in town with a mysterious mission. They share “The Book of Mina” to ward off an encroaching, malevolent presence. The Book chronicles the great love between two young women, Mina and Lucy, and their encounter with The Beast, Dracula.
This is a first-time collaboration between People’s Light Producing Director Zak Berkman, Chicago-based director Stuart Carden, multifaceted Philly artist Mary Tuomanen, and musician and performer Jessie Fisher, known for her role in Broadway’s Once and currently starring in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
With Stoker’s source material as their inspiration, the creative team used the novel as a launching point to look more deeply at the nature of fear of the Other and the borders we construct to protect us from those fears. The Preventers are musical mavericks from the margins of society telling a story that, at its center, is a romance between two women. “It’s a riotous celebration of queer desire and female empowerment,” says co-creator Mary Tuomanen. “Imagine Bram Stoker in a blender with Riot Grrrl Feminism.
“It allows the audience a chance to consider transformative justice and asks how we might make a revolution for ALL of us, one that that is as gorgeous, fantastic, and rainbow-colored as we are. Because not only is that a wonderful idea, it may be the only way humans are going to survive.”
As a continuation of the theatre’s commitment to music-theatre innovation that includes this past season's acclaimed premiere of Lights Out: Nat "King" Cole by Colman Domingo and Patricia McGregor, Such Things as Vampires was conceived and developed through the People’s Light Harmony Lab, a program to incubate new music-driven projects supported by the Independence Foundation New Theatre Works program. “Though we have not produced many so-called ‘musicals,’ we’re eager to explore the different ways music and theatre can intersect. We hope to be a destination for new plays where music is central to how the story is told,” says People’s Light Artistic Director and CEO Abigail Adams.
The theatricality of music-theatre framed within a folk-punk concert gives theatregoers an exhilarating synthesis of art forms and musical styles. “Such Things as Vampires aspires to take modern storytelling modes and bardic traditions to a place that feels both ancient and cutting-edge,” explains co-creator Zak Berkman.
“It’s a fusion of sounds for a fusion of audiences – fans of gothic literature, those who seek out new and surprising theatre, or anyone whose music collections include PJ Harvey, Fleetwood Mac, and The Savages.”
Demos of the original Such Things as Vampires music are available to sample at peopleslight.org.
The cast of six includes Isa Arciniegas, Crystal Lucas-Perry, Alex Lydon, Daniel Croix Henderson, Sam Henderson, and Pearl Rhein, all making their People’s Light debut as The Preventers.
Co-creator Stuart Carden (The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane) directs the production and Macie Poskarbiewicz (2016 Dramaturgy Intern) returns as Assistant Director. Jamie Mohamdein makes his People’s Light debut as Music Director, Orchestrator, and Arranger, as do designers Arnel Sancianco (Set), Melissa Ng (Costumes), Isabella Byrd (Lighting), and Lee Kinney (Sound). Eli Lynn serves as Fight/Intimacy Director. Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale dramaturgs. Rebecca Kestel (Richard III, Three Musketeers (The Later Years), The Cherry Orchard, Row After Row) stage manages. Terrell Green and Amelia Parenteau join the team as EDI (Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion) Advocates.
People’s Light will host an LGBTQ+ Night on Friday, October 5 at 6pm, with a pre-show reception sponsored by the LGBT Equality Alliance of Chester County, as well as a post-show Glam-Vamp Halloween Bash after the October 31 7:30pm performance. Visit peopleslight.org for more information.
Such Things as Vampires previews begin on Thursday, September 20 at 7:30pm and run through Tuesday, September 25. The play opens on Wednesday, September 26 at 7:30pm and runs through Wednesday, October 31.
Standard single tickets start at $40. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
$30 Community Night tickets are available for the Thursday, Friday, and Tuesday preview performances on September 20, 21, and 25 at 7:30pm.
8-play subscriptions are now available for the 2018/2019 Season and start at $196. Productions include Such Things as Vampires (September 20 – October 31, 2018), Cinderella: A Musical Panto (November 14, 2018 – January 6, 2019), Sweat (January 16 – February 10, 2019), Nina Simone: Four Women (February 27 – March 31, 2019), For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday (April 10 – May 12, 2019), Endgame (May 15 – June 9, 2019), Mud Row (June 26 – July 28, 2019), and Our Town (July 31 – August 25, 2019). Visit peopleslight.org or call 610.644.3500 to order.
Actors, prices, productions, performance dates and times are subject to change. Additional service charges will apply. Contact the Box Office for more details.
CONNECT, ENGAGE, INTERACT AT PEOPLE’S LIGHT
ACCESSIBILITY & ENGAGEMENT
LGBTQ+ Night is October 5 at 6pm. The LGBT Equality Alliance of Chester County sponsors a pre-show reception, followed by the 7:30 performance.
The October 31, 7:30pm performance of Such Things as Vampires will be immediately followed by a Glam-Vamp Halloween Bash with seasonal drinks, gourmet desserts & light fare, and a costume contest. Event tickets are $60 and include a ticket to the performance, entry to the after party, including food and entertainment, and one free drink voucher. Please note: this event is 18+.
People’s Light will host an American Red Cross Blood Drive on Monday, October 1 from 1-6pm. Check-in will be in the Steinbright lobby. Contact Marcie Bramucci at email@example.com for more details, and register here.
Open Caption performances will be October 16 at 7:30pm, October 17 at 2pm & 7:30pm, October 18 and 19 at 7:30pm, October 20 at 2pm & 8pm, and October 21 at 2pm. At these performances, an LED screen near the stage displays the actors’ lines simultaneously with the action of the play to assist patrons with hearing impairments, as well as those who are learning English. Audio Description and a pre-performance Sensory Tour are also available at the October 20 2pm performance.
Service animals are welcome at all performances at People’s Light. The theatre offers a designated relief area and water bowl for their comfort.
Join Resident Dramaturg Gina Pisasale and a member of the artistic team for Scoop on Wednesdays (October 3, 10, 17, and 24). Participate in a lively pre-performance discussion about the world of the play and the context behind the production, starting at 6pm. Now only $5 and available for purchase online.
Stick around for AfterWORDS, informal post-performance conversations after Thursday evening performances (September 27, October 4, 11, 18, and 25).
BISTRO & FARMHOUSE
Enjoy prix fixe Dinner & A Show packages at the Farmhouse Bistro prior to select Wednesday through Sunday performances. Pay $82 for a Wednesday evening, Thursday evening, Saturday matinee, or Sunday evening package, or $91 for a Friday evening, Saturday evening, or Sunday matinee package. That's a savings of up to 15% off the single ticket price. Call the Box Office at 610.644.3500
Located next to the Bistro is a full-service catering venue, The Farmhouse at People’s Light, perfect for weddings, corporate events, and special celebrations. Contact the Farmhouse Sales Team at 610.647.1631 x156 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
ABOUT PEOPLE’S LIGHT
Now in its 44th season, People’s Light, a professional, not-for-profit theatre in Chester County, Pennsylvania, makes plays drawn from many sources to entertain, inspire, and engage our community. We extend our mission of making and experiencing theatre through arts education programs that excite curiosity about, and deepen understanding of, the world around us. These plays and programs bring people together and provide opportunities for reflection, discovery, and celebration. Founded in 1974, we produce eight to nine plays each season, in two black box theatres with 340 and 160 seats respectively, mixing world premieres, contemporary plays, and fresh approaches to classic texts. Through two new play initiatives, New Play Frontiers and the Harmony Lab, People’s Light currently has seven active play commissions. Of our 444 productions, over a third (167) have been world or regional premieres.
For more information contact:
Director of Marketing and Communications
Box Office: 610.644.3500