By Joey Yazell–
From gunshots to blood curdling screams, the Actors Theatre of Louisville has done it once again. When you’re not laughing, you’re teetering on the edge of your seat. The collective of Dracula veterans that have taken the stage could not be any more fitting. Randolph Curtis Rand as Dracula embodies the whole persona of the undead, blood craving, Count. William McNulty acts in and directs this magnificent play that he has been perfecting since first putting it on in 1996. The annual seasonal treat has kept Louisville’s heart racing for the past month, closing the curtain with its final performance on Halloween night.
Q: What does it take for Randolph Curtis Rand to become Count Dracula?
A: Well, I think at this point, it’s the fourth time I’ve done it here (at Actors Theatre), so it’s really just about getting into the makeup.
Q:It almost comes naturally for you?
A: Yeah, I mean it takes me about a half hour to forty-five minutes to get into makeup, so by the end of that time I’m ready to go.
Q: So you’ve been Dracula four times now, have they all been here at Actors theatre?
A: Yes; I have done it here four times and actually have done it once in Mississippi, the fifth time I’ve played Dracula, but the fourth time here.
Q: So you’re pretty much a professional Dracula at this point?
A: It seems to be that way, I certainly didn’t plan on it, but it has worked out that way.
Q: So you’ve been Dracula four times at Actors Theatre now, how has your past performances helped or affected your performance during this last showing?
A: Sure, I’ll tell you something about Wendy, who runs the theatre program here and is our vocal coach. She has been here ever since I’ve been here, and she commented that this time seemed to be a deeper performance. So I take everything that I’ve learned from past performances that has just seemed to sink into me and use it to improve each time. The last time I did it was 2009, so it’s been a few years since I’ve done it and that probably helps it a bit too. It’s a different perspective, time away always helps; I think anyway.
Q: So what is it about the character Dracula that appeals to you the most?
A: I’ve read the book a couple of times, the first time I read it I was in oh, about 5th or 6th grade, and it had a big impression on me. I think now what appeals me to is that Dracula is old school you know? He’s not “Trueblood”, or “Twilight”, Dracula is really a monster, and I like returning to that and reminding people that, it’s not so good to be a vampire.
Photo courtesy Allan Simmons/Actors Theater