This weekend is the last chance to see Comtra Theatre’s fun production of Varney the Vampire or The Feast of Blood by Tim Kelly.
“The Comtra is perfect for this production,” said director Ellie Pfeuffer. “It really enables us to feature all the different exits and entrances."
The audience is kept on the edge of their seats while howls and screams are heard, fog rolls in, and actors appear and disappear through many entrances, exits, and balconies throughout this theater.
“It’s just like a haunted house, except that you are sitting and all the action takes place around you,” an audience member said.
Playing the part of Varney, Eric Snyder gives a spectacularly spooky performance as a vampire having emotional conflicts.
“This is one of most emotionally complex and fun characters I have played,” Snyder said. “Varney is one of my favorite roles.”
Varney, like the Grinch, discovers he still has a heart and that love can change his evil ways.
Varney is based on a series of penny dreadful novels written in the mid-19th century, possibly based on events that actually occurred in the mid-18th century. It is claimed that Varney is the first mention of a vampire in Western literature, and the basis for better known vampires such as Dracula.
Tim Kelly’s play pokes fun at both the badly written novel and community theater in general.
Starring as Varney’s love interests are Ellen Kalik as Flora, Maria Newton as Lady Cynthia and Rachel Dranko as Amelia.
Rounding out the cast are Bryan Tippet as Richard, Jonathan Krouse as the Inspector, Angela Lawler as Signora Bell, Kayleigh Ruiz as Inez (Pfeuffer plays the role on Friday), Sue Baxter as Miss Anderbury, Faith Kraynik as Carla, Jenna Fetterman as Jenny and Rodney Boyers as Gino.
The play is produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. and runs at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Admission is $12 cash; no reservations are required.
For additional information about the theater and upcoming productions and auditions, visit www.comtraplayers.com.
The Comtra Theatre is located at 20540 Route 19, Cranberry Township, about a mile north of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Cranberry Exit (exit 28).