Actors’ Theatre of Columbus will perform “Frankenstein” in celebration of the novel’s publication 200 years ago.
“The reason we chose this particular adaptation is that we know from (author) Mary Shelley’s journals that she actually saw this play performed in 1820 and greatly enjoyed it,” said Philip K. Hickman, artistic director of German Village-based troupe.
Actors’ Theatre never has performed the play “and there are no records indicating that it has ever been performed in Columbus,” Hickman said.
The play is scheduled to open at 8 p.m. Thursday, June 21, in Schiller Park, 1069 Jaeger St., and will be performed Thursdays through Sundays through July 15.
Hickman said the theater company chose the version adapted for stage by Richard Brinsley Peake.
“Frankenstein has remained popular because it is a landmark novel of science fiction, full of profound questions about creation, responsibility, rejection and human purpose,” Hickman said. “Many times, what people know about Frankenstein began with monster movies and there is less connection with the novel.”
“Frankenstein” fits in well with this season’s theme, which is “Monsters & Men,” Hickman said.
“Frankenstein is the classic story posing the question: Who is the monster, the creature or the man who created him?” he said.
Andrew Trimmer, who plays the monster, said the play is dark, intense and very physical.
“I don’t have any lines I don’t speak at all,” Trimmer said. “It is every actors dream to be on stage a lot and never have to memorize a line.”
That dynamic has forced Trimmer to explore other aspects of the play on how to approach the character. The monster constantly seeks compassion but is rebuffed at every human interaction.
Trimmer said the role has been one of the most challenging “but far and away one of the greatest.”