Frankenstein is not, contrary to popular belief, the big green monster with the bolts in his neck.
Instead, Frankenstein is Dr. Victor Frankenstein the man who creates the monster. Though in the new production of Frankenstein by the Modesto Junior College theater department, we start to wonder if the man isnt really the monster after all.
The play, based on the classic horror story by Mary Shelley, comes alive starting today at the MJC East Campus Mainstage Auditorium. The cast and crew have been rehearsing for the fall production for about eight weeks. Each semester, the theater department puts on two productions.
MJC theater professor and Frankenstein director Lynette Borrelli-Glidewell said the plays spooky story fit perfectly with the Halloween season.
Most people think Frankenstein and think Boris Karloff and the big green guy, she said. This is more Mary Shelleys version. Were making the creature a little more human. And we go into the moral question of who is really the monster the creature or the man who made him?
The play also touches on everything from life and death to grave robbing and scientific advancement.
The cast of 13 includes Sean Trew as Dr. Frankenstein, Rachel Pearre as his fiancée, Elizabeth, Jon Cates as Frankensteins best friend and Marc Pratt as Frankensteins monster. An additional 20 students are on the crew working as designers, technicians and more.
The staging includes a variety of special effects to convey the grandeur and madness of Frankensteins quest to bring life to the dead. While the story was written in 1818, Borrelli-Glidewell said the issues it touches on about science and morality remain current.
With scientific advancement, sometimes you take three steps forward and two steps back, she said. At what price do we give up humanity in search of advancement? Even today its a current issue, whether it be cloning people or something else. Where do we draw the line of who is God?
Then theres the timeless scare of sewing together body parts and bringing them back to life; the doctors method has been borrowed from for countless stories, most recently the new season of the FX series American Horror Story.
Frankenstein will have a special Halloween night production at 10, complete with a costume contest before the show at 9.