BERNARDS TWP., NJ _ The Lord Stirling Theater Company is scheduled to perform “Dracula” in the English Barn Theater at the Farmstead Arts Center, 450 King George Road in Basking Ridge between Oct. 4 to 13.

“Dracula” is scheduled to open at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Oct. 4, with additional performances at 7:30 p.m. on Oct, 5 at 7:30 p.m., at 4 p.m. on Oct.  6, at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 11 and 12; and at 4 p.m. on Oct. 13. Tickets are $20 general admission, $18 for seniors (65 and over) and students (under 18), and $15 for Farmstead Arts members.

Tickets may be purchased online at http://farmsteadarts.eventbrite.com or at the door (cash only).

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“Dracula” is the first authorized stage adaptation of Bram Stoker’s classic 1897 vampire novel. Written by Hamilton Deane in 1924, then revised by John L. Balderston in 1927, the play was produced on Broadway in 1927, with Bela Lugosi in the lead. Lugosi went on to immortalize the role in the 1931 film, which was based on the play. “Dracula” returned to Broadway in a 1977 revival starring Frank Langella. It won the Tony Award for Best Revival and led to another movie version in 1979, also starring Langella.

Lucy, Dr. Seward's daughter and John Harker's fiancée, is suffering from the same mysterious illness that took the life of her friend Mina. Dr. Seward has called his old friend Abraham Van Helsing, an expert on strange illnesses and forgotten lore, to help diagnose and treat her. The terrible dreams that Lucy has been having, her anemia, and the two red pinprick wounds at her throat, lead Van Helsing to believe she is the victim of a vampire. He suspects their charismatic new neighbor from Transylvania, Count Dracula. To protect Lucy from transforming into a vampire herself, Van Helsing, Dr. Seward, and Harker must kill Dracula with a stake to the heart.  

The Lord Stirling Theater Company’s production of “Dracula” is directed by William Ward of Basking Ridge. The cast includes (in order of appearance): Matthew Gochman of Jersey City as John Harker, Eileen McShane of Bernardsville as The Maid, Bob Scarpone of Flanders as Dr. Seward, Allen L. Roberts of Maplewood as Abraham Van Helsing, Adam S. Gelles of Waldwick as Renfield, Lee Grabelsky of Monroe as The Attendant, Cheryl Bear of Montville as Lucy Seward, and Maxwell C. Blackriver of Mendham as Count Dracula. “Dracula” is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc., a Concord Theatricals Company.

“Dracula” closes The Lord Stirling Theater Company’s sixth season at the Farmstead Arts Center, which also featured a production of Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” that received the 2019 NJACT Perry Award for Outstanding Costume Design of a Play and was nominated in six other categories, including Outstanding Production of a Play. Past production seasons include “Treasure Island” and “Othello” in 2018, “Arsenic and Old Lace” and “Of Mice and Men” in 2017, “And Then There Were None” and “The Dresser” in 2016, “The Tempest” and “Frankenstein’s Fate” in 2015, and “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” in 2014. A dynamic community of creative artists based in Basking Ridge, the group is committed to presenting innovative theater for diverse audiences, through readings and full productions of classical theater and new works, as well as exploring the American experience through compelling productions that illuminate and celebrate our history, culture and literature. The theater group fosters the next generation of theater artists and audiences by providing unique hands-on educational programming and training in all aspects of theater production.

The English Barn Theater is wheelchair accessible. Anyone anticipating the need for additional accessibility services please send an e-mail in advance to farmsteadartscenter@gmail.com.

Funds for these events have been made possible in part by the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, through the State/County Partnership Local Arts Program Grant administered by The Somerset County Cultural & Heritage Commission.