TORONTO, Oct. 2, 2023 – From Morris Panych, co-creator of the landmark movement piece The Overcoat, and internationally acclaimed composer David Coulter, the thrilling new work Frankenstein Revived begins performances at the Stratford Festival’s Avon Theatre. Panych will direct the production on the Avon stage, with Movement Choreographer Wendy Gorling and Dance Choreographer Stephen Cota.
Frankenstein Revived tells the story of the storyteller herself, 18 year old Mary Shelley as she writes the most celebrated work of horror in English literature, exploring the big question at the heart of her work, “what does it mean to be human?” This exuberant and passion-filled theatrical movement-based piece brings thrill and terror to the stage through a powerful fusion of theatre and dance, without any text whatsoever.
Gorling co-created The Overcoat with Panych and created the choreography for the 2008 Stratford production of Moby Dick, as well as for Trojan Women that same season. Cota returns to Stratford for his 15th season. He most recently served as choreographer for 2021’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, assistant choreographer and assistant director for Little Shop of Horrors and associate choreographer for The Music Man and Billy Elliot the Musical.
For this world première adaptation, Panych, Coulter, Gorling and Cota are joined by Set Designer Ken MacDonald, Costume Designer Dana Osborne, Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell, Sound Designer Jake Rodriguez and Supervising Fight Director Geoff Scovell.
“What attracts me to the story—aside from its pure theatricality, is its capacity to reclaim for its audience a sense of power and of self. What is a person, and what is that person made up of? We are all parts of each other, after all—bits and pieces,” says Panych. “We try to tell the story in our own way, to communicate without words, not only because actions can speak louder but also because they expand outward the dimension of storytelling. We want the body to express what it means to come alive. To exist, and to exist together.”
Frankenstein Revived features Charlie Gallant as Doctor Victor Frankenstein, Laura Condlln as Mary Shelley and Marcus Nance as The Creature with Eric Abel, Sean Arbuckle, Carla Bennett, Devon Michael Brown, Amanda De Freitas, Josh Doig, Mateo G. Torres, Eddie Glen, McKinley Knuckle, Bethany Kovarik, Aaron Krohn, Gracie Mack, Ayrin Mackie,Anthony MacPherson, Heather McGuigan, Garrett McKee, Spencer Nicholas McLeod, Kyla Musselman, Trevor Patt and Jason Sermonia.
This production is dedicated to the memory of designer Patrick Clark, whose exquisite work was seen in almost 30 Stratford productions over 40 years and whose creative influence has enriched theatres across the country.
This production is also dedicated to the memory of director, playwright, actor and producer Daniel Brooks, whose fearless, boundary-pushing legacy will have an impact on Canadian theatre for generations to come.
Frankenstein Revived has its official opening on August 24 and runs until October 28 in the Avon Theatre. Tickets are available at stratfordfestival.ca or by calling 1.800.567.1600.
The 2023 season also features King Lear, Rent, Much Ado About Nothing, Les Belles-Soeurs, Monty Python’s Spamalot, A Wrinkle in Time, Grand Magic, Richard II, Wedding Band, Casey and Diana, Women of the Fur Trade and Love’s Labour’s Lost. For more information, visit stratfordfestival.ca.
Production support is generously provided by The Fabio Mascarin Foundation, by Jody & Deborah Hamade and by Martie & Bob Sachs.
Support for the creation of Frankenstein Revived is generously provided by The Foerster Bernstein New Play Development Program.
Proud Season Partners: BMO Financial Group and RBC.
By Morris Panych
Music by David Coulter
Based on Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
World Première Adaptation
FRANKENSTEIN REVIVED CAST (in alphabetical order)
Eric Abel Element, Student, Grave Digger, Townsperson, Servant
Sean Arbuckle Professor 1, D’Lacy, Captain
Carla Bennett Element, Gossip, Townsperson, Bird, Guest, Passenger
Devon Michael Brown Element, Henry Clerval
Laura Condlln Mary Shelley
Amanda De Freitas Element, Gossip, Townsperson, Agatha, Guest
Josh Doig Swing
Mateo G. Torres Element, Sailor, Student, Townsperson, Felix
Charlie Gallant Doctor Victor Frankenstein
Eddie Glen Element, Father, Professor 2, Townsperson
McKinley Knuckle Element, Student, Grave Digger, Townsperson, Guest
Bethany Kovarik Swing
Aaron Krohn Understudy
Gracie Mack Element, Mother on Train, Townsperson, Bird, Guest
Ayrin Mackie Element, Landlady, Townsperson, Bird
Anthony MacPherson Element, Sailor, Merchant, Professor 3, Grave Digger, Townsperson, Guest
Heather McGuigan Element, Nanny, Townsperson, Guest
Garrett McKee William
Spencer Nicholas McLeod Helper
Kyla Musselman Element, Elizabeth, Townsperson
Marcus Nance The Creature
Trevor Patt Element, Student, Townsperson, Guest, Police Officer, Pallbearer
Jason Sermonia Element, Sailor, Student, Townsperson, Guest, Soldier, Pallbearer
lead photo Marcus Nance as The Creature with members of the company in Frankenstein Revived. Stratford Festival 2023. Photo by Cylla Von Tiedemann.