Playhouse’s DRACULA opens to full houses and critical acclaim | SHOWS SELLING OUT

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JOSHUA TREE, CA – Experience Bram Stoker’s masterpiece, DRACULA, like never before as the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s prestigious Hi-Desert Playhouse theater division presents its most spectacularly frightening (and fun) production yet!  With full houses, critical acclaim, and a recommendation from THE DESERT SUN its opening weekend, this production is filled with state-of-the-art special effects, spectacular costuming, an imaginative set, and cinematic surround sound.

“The Hi-Desert Cultural Center presents technically advanced shows…. this is an immersive experience.”Bruce Fessier, Entertainment Critic, THE DESERT SUN

Fessier continues, “Director Shangraw… presents the play like a 1930s horror film – part melodrama and part Broadway theatrics. Veteran stage, film and TV actor [Derrik] Lewis embodies that style as Professor Abram Van Helsing, who discovers the Dracula vampire has come to prey on England…. Young actors such as Grace Morgan, as Lucy, and Arthur Pembrook as Renfield, give performances that help make this classic show as engaging as it is fun.”

Bringing to life William McNulty’s stage adaptation of DRACULA is a cast and crew of highly recognized actors and technicians under the direction of this year’s most nominated individual in the Desert Theatre League and winner of the coveted “Outstanding Director-Musical-Professional” award, Playhouse Artistic Director Howard Shangraw, with Stage Manager Morgan Jago.  The award-winning all-star cast of talent includes Scott Cutler (Count Dracula), Derrik Lewis (Professor Abram Van Helsing), Arthur Pembrook (Robert Renfield), Christopher Schoonover (Dr. Thomas Seward), Juan Gutierrez (Monster), Grace Morgan (Lucy Westphal), Amy Angel (Mina Grant), Scott Clinkscales (Jonathan Harker), Dawn Davis (Margaret Sullivan), Daniel Graff (Robert Briggs), the “Brides” Kat Johnson, Haley Kooyman, Elizabeth Schmelling, and Jasmine Shaffer, and Mackenzie Naylor (The Child).  Lighting, sound, and special effects are designed by the Cultural Center’s award-winning Director of Technologies, Matthew Garrett, with set dressing by the award-winning Doran Ray, and costumes by the Cultural Center’s award-winning Director of Costume Design, Amy Angel, with Sheri Bay-Hardy.  As part of their theater studies in the Cultural Center’s after school program, high school students Aidan Bosworth and D.J. Briggs provide backstage, technical, and special effects assistance.  Under the guidance of the director and costume designer, specialized hair and make-up is provided by students from Elite Cosmetology School in Yucca Valley.

The final four performances of DRACULA run this Friday through Halloween Night, with all performances beginning at 7pm at the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s state-of-the-art Blak Box Theater in Joshua Tree. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the Box Office at 760.366.3777, visit the Box Office in person weekdays 1-5 pm or from 5-7 pm before a show, or purchase tickets online CLICK HERE.

The HI-DESERT CULTURAL CENTER (DBA) is a fully recognized non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation: “HI-DESERT PLAYHOUSE GUILD, INC.” Federal Tax ID# 23-7425816, California Department of Justice Charity Registration #008976.  Donations to it are deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

PICTURE CAPTION (From LEFT): Dracula Brides Kat Johnson, Lizzie Schmelling, Haley Kooyman, and Jasmine Shaffer hold up Dracula love interest Lucy Westphal (played by Grace Morgan) in the Hi-Desert Cultural Center’s critically acclaimed Playhouse production of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, now playing through Halloween Night.


GREAT NEWS FOR SEASON PACKAGE TICKET HOLDERS! Should your schedule change and you find yourself needing to attend a performance on a different date — if you give the Box Office at least 48 hours notice prior to your ticketed performance, management will attempt to exchange your ticket for a different performance of the same show!