Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein” Comes to Porter Theatre

Westmont College’s Repertory Theater presents Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein,” 8 p.m. Feb. 26-28 and March 4-6 with a matinee performance at 2 p.m. March 6 in Porter Theatre. The production, adapted and directed by Professor John Blondell, is a theatrical presentation based on the famous Romantic novel.

Begun in 1816, “Frankenstein” was completed in 1818 when Mary Shelley was but 19 years old. Though early response was mixed, the novel is now considered one of the most significant novels of the early Romantic period, as well as an icon of contemporary culture.

“The subject of countless journal articles and more than 40 films, the novel – though written nearly 200 years ago – is a fitting representation of issues dominating contemporary life,” Blondell said.

“Some read the novel as a cautionary tale about the dangers of experimental science; others interpret it as Mary Shelley’s re-working of the major themes of the Fall depicted in John Milton’s “Paradise Lost;” and still others read the novel politically, identifying the essential “monstrousness” that invades life in times of great cultural upheaval,” Blondell said.

“I am interested in all these interpretations. However, the central issue of the novel – a creator manufacturing a being who then turns on him – brings the play forcefully into modern times. Our production will couple a period rendering of the novel with comic parallels of how the Frankenstein myth plays out in our times,” he added.

The production features the work of Westmont faculty and students, including guest artist Omar Sangare, scenographer Michael Pearce, and costume designer Miller James. For more information call, the Theatre Arts Department box office at (805) 565-7040.