Bloodthirsty in Blowing Rock

Article Published: Oct. 27, 2011 | Modified: Oct. 30, 2011
Bloodthirsty in Blowing Rock

Ensemble Stage artistic director Gary Smith, left, demonstrates foley techniques to the cast of ‘Dracula,’ a staged radio drama coming to Blowing Rock Oct. 30.

Photo by Jeff Eason

Ensemble Stage will present the staged radio broadcast of “Dracula” at 7 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 30, at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium.

The original script contains elements of three different versions of the classic Bram Stoker story and revisits the 1938 Orson Welles-produced radio play version, according to director Gary Smith.

The production will feature local actors, giving the show drama, horror and lots of fun sound effects.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students. For more information, call Ensemble Stage at (828) 919-6196 or (828) 414-1844 or visit

The cast of Ensemble Stage’s radio production of “Dracula” includes Frank Ruggiero as the Announcer and Mate, Derek Gagnier as Orson Welles and Dr. Seward, Mark Suggs as the captain and Prof. Van Helsing, Steve Rauchfuss as Hand 1 and Williams, Victor Rivera as Hand 2 and Renfield, Mark Woodard as Jonathan Harker, Linda Campbell as Teller, Lucy and Vampress 1, Genie Starnes as Birdie, Woman and Vampress 2, Meredith Roberts as Mina and Vampress 3, Buzz Berry as Dracula, and Jon Greene as stage manager.

“Dracula” is Ensemble Stage’s third annual homage to the golden days of radio. Previously, the company has presented Halloween stage productions of the Orson Welles radio show, “War of the Worlds.”

In stark contrast to the Welles’ version of “Dracula,” the Count isn’t moving to merry old England in the Ensemble Stage production. He has, instead, purchased the Mayview Manor in Blowing Rock in the late 1930s, and he’s on his way here to impose his terror on the unsuspecting villagers. But there is hope, in the form of Prof. Van Helsing from Chapel Hill.

As guests settle into their seats at the Blowing Rock School Auditorium, they will be transported by sound effects and voices to a Russian cargo ship bound for the port at Wilmington.

On board, a strange, mysterious cargo of only four large wooden boxes, smelling of rotten earth and curiously shaped like coffins. A look at the ship’s manifest shows the boxes’ final destination: Blowing Rock.

And so the story begins.

The 12 member cast will not only portray 22 characters, but will also be creating all the sound effects, or foley work, live on stage, just the way it was done in the 1930s.

The show will also be broadcast Monday at 8 p.m. on WATA 1450 AM.

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