An Interview with East Lynne Theater Company’s Dr. Van Helsing

Samuel Douglas Clark as Dracula and James Rana as Van Helsing in East Lynne Theater Company’s production of “Dracula.”

Now that “Dracula” has reached its final week, after enjoying sold out evenings and ovations, the actor playing Abraham Van Helsing, James Rana, had time to answer a few questions asked by Gayle Stahlhuth, East Lynne Theater Company’s artistic director who also directed this spellbinding play.

Asking about the play, Rana responded, “I consider ‘Dracula’ very operatic. The stakes are high from the start. Van Helsing is an early form of the “new age doctor.” I am reminded of visionary scientists of that period, such as Tesla, but specifically the German silent film shaman Dr. Caligari.”

As for his favorite line, he said, “It’s the one that best describes Van Helsing, which is ‘The superstitions of today are the scientific truths of tomorrow.’ How interesting that so many physicians today are leaning towards new age approaches over standard medicine.”

Rana has extensive stage and film credits and his television work includes “Third Watch” and “Chicago Fire.” Recently he shot a guest role on the new USA series “Falling Water” which airs in October.

“One of the most interesting roles I’ve done was on ‘Law & Order: Special Victims Unit,’” he explained. “I played an Arabic journalist in an episode called ‘Hate’ about racial profiling. It was one of their most popular episodes with quite a few air dates.”

“Dracula” runs through September 3 at 8:30 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May. Tickets are $17-$32; ages 12 and under free. For reservations, call (609) 884-5898 or visit www.eastlynnetheater.org.

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