Dangers of Obession in the Play Gialanella Essays

Dangers of Obession in the Play Gialanella Essays

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In 1981, Victor Gialanella adapted Mary Shelley’s novel Frankenstein to create a Victorian two act stage play meant to entertain the audience and spark the imagination. In his own words Gialanella claimed that Frankenstein was meant to be a fairytale, a story to be told well, not a ‘theme’; a story that, if told well, would make its themes heard in the telling. Certainly the Rome Little Theater’s Halloween production of Gialanella’s adaptation is a story told well with a message that is heard despite our preconceived notions of the tale. Gialanella’s version of Frankenstein dispels the B-grade movie characters that have become accepted by modern culture, particularly the block headed, intellectually deficient ‘monster’ and the mad scientist and his hunchbacked assistant. This adaptation is a study in the dangers of obsession and the deeper, more profound definition of words like life, creator, friend, companion and love.
The story is set in Switzerland in the 1800’s at the Chateau Frankenstein. The play consists of two, five scene acts that are set in a variety of places, including a cemetery, various rooms and grounds of the Frankenstein estate, the Tower Laboratory and DeLacey’s forest cottage.
While the story has its own moral and intellectual message the sets present a visual and practical challenge for production. Director Michael Hillman’s bold vision for this production was brought to a fantastic reality by Set Designers Tiff and Becky Magruder and Stage Manager, Evan Brackett. Gialanella’s play gives the audience a glimpse into the life and mentality of Dr. Victor Frankenstein whose obsession with re-animation of life steers his life down a course of death and destruction. The backstory is told through voiceover readings ...


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...acey’s relationship with The Creature establishes an emotional bond and sense of family that could lead him to retaliate against his dear friend’s murderers.
If there weren't enough reasons to go see this production, the makeup alone is worth the trip. The creature's scars very clearly progressed from fresh to hardened, and their puckered appearance was something to behold. It was fascinating to watch the evolution take place almost before our eyes.
It's tough to make a staged fight appear realistic, but Hower's choreography was well done. While the choreography was good, it did lead to one detraction that stood out significantly. Twice a knife was used, and neither time did we see blood on the blade afterward. As trivial as it sounds, it did take away from what were otherwise believable struggles.
With original music by Watson, Frankenstein will keep you engrossed.

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