Playing with Fire (after Frankenstein)

Mary Shelley's classic tale of a modern Prometheus and the horrific creation he brings to life comes to Syracuse this weekend in Appleseed Productions' presentation of Barbara Field's Playing with Fire (after Frankenstein).

The production opened Friday, Oct 19 on Appleseed's Atonement Stage, 116 West Glen Ave. in Syracuse. Additional performances are scheduled for Friday and Saturday, Nov 2 and 3 at 8 p.m. The production does include mature themes, stage violence and lighting effects that may not be suitable for all audiences.

Taking place many years after the events Shelly's classic novel, an exhausted and dying Victor Frankenstein has finally tracked down his Creature in the lonely, frozen tundra of the North Pole. Determined to right the wrong he has committed by, at last, destroying the malignant evil he believes he has created, Frankenstein finds that he must first deal with his own responsibility and guilt.

As the two debate, characters and scenes from the past flash by and haunt them. Ultimately the exchange between Frankenstein and the Creature becomes a confrontation between parent and child, scientist and experiment, rejection and love, and even good and evil -- culminating in the Creature's agonizing question, Why did you make me?

Originally written for Minnesota's Guthrie Theatre in 1989, Appleseed's production marks the Central New York's debut of Field's captivating and thought-provoking adaptation of Shelly's story.

The production, directed by William Edward White and produced by Linda Lance, includes a cast of seven actors. Paul Gundersen is Frankenstein, with Alan Stillman as The Creature. Playing their younger counterparts are David Simmons as Victor and Mark Weatherup as Adam. Rebecca Brown is featured as Elizabeth, Victor's doomed fianc (c), with Michael Bolio as Professor Krempe and Jo D'Aloisio as The Bride of Frankenstein.

Tickets are $15 for adults; $12 students and seniors. Reservations may be made by calling the Appleseed Box Office at 492-9766. For additional information, call Appleseed Productions at 492-9766. Also, check out Appleseed Productions on the web at appleseedproductions.org.

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