Mount Carmel School’s Theatre Club staged another hit production with its recent production of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. The production was received by two sold-out shows and much acclaim for the creative approach to Shelley’s Gothic masterpiece. Held on the school campus in a special inside theater designed just for the production, this original stage adaption of Shelley’s novel was written and directed by school president and dramatist Galvin Deleon Guerrero.“Although we had some sound issues, we are very pleased with the outcome,” said Deleon Guerrero. “It’s been a dream of mine for quite some time to bring this story to life, and having this kind of turnout and response means a lot, especially since we took some risks with our approach to a story that has been retold so many times.”
One of those risks was to highlight some aspects of Shelley’s novel that are often underplayed or ignored in many film adaptations. For example, one entire scene was devoted to a trial in which Justine Moritz, a close family friend of the Frankensteins, is framed for murder yet still found guilty and sentenced to death. In the original novel, this aspect of the story is very important as it was Shelley’s way of criticizing the criminal justice system of her time, hence the play on the name “Justine” for “Justice”. This scene was featured prominently in the Theatre Club’s production.
The production also made innovative use of videos to transition between scenes. Quotes from literature that inspired Frankenstein were shown on a screen above the main stage, along with video clips that moved the story along, including clips of KSPN2 News’s Brad Ruszala as an anchor for the Geneva News Network.
The two lead actors, Markel Toves and Sam Soledad, were very happy with how the show turned out. Toves, who played Dr. Victor Frankenstein, said, “I’m honored to be in this play. It’s been a great experience that taught me a lot of about drama and acting.” He particularly appreciated the approach taken by this production. “I never thought it would go this way, which is far beyond what I predicted.” He added, “This production was brilliant!”
Soledad, who played Frankenstein’s Creature, worked hard to deliver a strong performance. He said, “I hope I got my character down and scary enough.” But that hard work paid off. “It was a great show and I liked how it helped you sympathize with all the characters, because everyone has a good and a bad side.”
With Frankenstein, the school’s Theatre Club continues its string of performance successes. In December last year, the club sold out both shows of its adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night. Earlier this year, the club helped with the school’s Save the Stage campaign by staging Disney’s The Little Mermaid, which brought in over 400 audience members. And most recently, this past summer, the club sponsored a six-week Kids Drama Camp, which culminated with a standing-room-only audience for Shakespeare Meets Disney, which featured abridged children’s versions of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, Hamlet, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Since the club was founded in 1996, it has staged over 35 productions, including plays by Shakespeare, Disney musicals, and several original plays.
The MCS Theatre Club thanks the following individuals and groups who contributed in one way or another to the success of Frankenstein: Ed Javier, Chong’s Corp., IT&E, Jamika Reyes and her T Galleria by DFS make-up team, James “Bodig” Guerrero and Northern Marianas College, Whispering Palms, Joeten Shopping Center, Ace Hardware, National Office Supply, Modern Stationary, Unity Dress Shop, Pena House, Chay Aspa and R&M Printers, Jun Mamporte and Island Apparel, Brad Ruszala and KSPN2 News, Zaldy Dandan and Marianas Variety, Thomas Manglona II and Saipan Tribune, and Frank Gibson and Friends of the Arts, John Blanco, Steven Johnson, and John Del Rosario. (MCS)