Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein in 1817, but its crossover appeal – part Gothic, part Romantic, part early science fiction – continues to fascinate readers.
A dramatic version of Frankenstein comes this summer to the theatre in Terre Haute, then travels to the Crossroads Repertory Theatre. Indiana State University faculty member Chris Berchild directs the show.
A Sort Of Gadget
One aspect of Berchild’s interest in theatre seems to be how much modern technology he can marshal to serve his vision of a piece. “I do have a strong interest in how technology can serve theatre. In fact, I’ve been accused of having a real love for the gadgets, though I do try to balance it.”
“Frankenstein is a show that’s just right for focusing my own interests because it’s actually about a sort of gadget. [Frankenstein himself is] a technical creation that grows into a human shape with a consciousness and perhaps a soul. In a way it might be a metaphor for one of my own approaches to producing a theatrical experience.”
A Delicate Balance
Jon ‘Buck’ Blue is an ISU graduate and Production Manager for the company. He and Berchild work well together. “Chris is a very hands-on director when it comes to [handling] all the elements,” Berchild says. “It seems that every day he’s come up with some new wrinkle or idea that can be worked into the production.”
Including so many elements has made for a complex piece. “Frankenstein is the most complicated show that we’re doing this season, so it is getting a lot of attention. But at the same time, it is a four show season so our efforts do need to be pretty carefully balanced.”