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Northwestern Faculty Directs ‘Frankenstein’

Looking for something to do this weekend? Check out a new production of ‘Frankenstein’ produced by the Greenman Theatre and going on at Asbury Hall at First United Methodist Church at 232 S. York in Elmhurst.

Directed by Northwestern Finance Faculty Cory Sandrock, the show debuts Friday and goes through Nov. 9. “When adapting the new script I tried to remain true to the novel, so this production focuses on the tragedy of Victor and his family instead of rehashing the typical horror-movie-stuff,” Sandrock said in an email. “The actors are doing a great job creating a fast-paced show that I know will provide an enjoyable evening of theatre.” Below is Sandrock’s Director’s Note:

Most of us have found ourselves carried away at one time or another. We worked late at the office because we “just had to send one more email,” we “accidentally” watched 3 more episodes on Netflix instead of going to bed, we spent all weekend working on a project that should have taken “only 20 minutes, tops…” A little bit of mad scientist lives inside each of us, and it only takes the pressure of a deadline or passion for an activity to narrow our focus and exclude any other needs. The quintessential example of this archetype, Nikolai Tesla, spent hours testing his theories and often chose scientific purity over lucrative opportunities. He once said “I do not think there is any thrill that can go through the human heart like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success…such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything.” I gave this quote to Victor in my adaptation of FRANKENSTEIN because it highlights an often ignored aspect of the original novel: Victor is a college kid when he brings the Creature to life. He is not the greying scientist we see in movie versions of this tale, he is simply a student pursuing his new passion for discovery with the blind intensity of youth; with each accomplishment he pushes a little farther, pursues another idea, and attempts one more experiment.

After his creation comes to life, the real tragedy of FRANKENSTEIN begins when Victor chooses to run away and abdicate his responsibility. Are we to blame the Creature for striving to find his way in the world without guidance? Should we blame Victor for trying to ignore the Creature and reclaim a normal life? Why do seemingly small decisions often lead to horrible and unforeseen consequences? We all think we know this story, but I encourage you to experience FRANKENSTEIN today with fresh senses: see each face transformed by pain as the tragedy races to its conclusion, hear each debate between Victor and the Creature, and feel each impact as the emotional bonds between characters are ripped apart. Only then can you answer the key question: who is the man and who is the monster?

For tickets and more information about the show, click here.