East Lynne Theater Company presents “Dracula”

First day of rehearsal with the cast on the set of East Lynne Theater Company’s “Dracula.” Pictured are Thomas Raniszewski, James Rana, Matthew Lindsay Payne, Tara Reuter, Robert LeMaire, Evan Smilyk, Rachel Holt and Samuel Douglas Clark. Photo credit: Gayle Stahlhuth

The quiet, English countryside changed with the arrival of Count Dracula. Even local resident Lucy Seward is behaving so oddly that her father sends for Dr. Van Helsing. Van Helsing believes Lucy might be a victim of a ghost that sucks blood from its victims.

The award-winning Equity professional East Lynne Theater Company is proud to present “Dracula” from July 27 through Sept. 3. Based on Bram Stoker’s famous gothic novel, this adaptation is by John L. Balderston and Hamilton Deane, and directed by Gayle Stahlhuth.

Playing the title role is Samuel Douglas Clark who was in ELTC’s “Huckleberry Finn.” He’s performed in his native country, Australia, and in the States, including in TV’s “Forever.” Portraying Van Helsing is another ELTC favorite, James Rana. He’s performed in this country and in Europe, including at the Royal Shakespeare Company (UK). Three others who have trod the ELTC boards are Thomas Raniszewski, Evan Smilyk and Robert LeMaire.

New to ELTC are Rachel Holt, Matthew Lindsay Payne and Tara Reuter. Rachel’s credits include “An Ideal Husband” at the Walnut Street Theatre. Matthew recently performed “Hamlet” at Cohesion Theater Company in Baltimore. Tara’s performances include “Arsenic and Old Lace” at The Heights Players in Brooklyn.

On July 27, there will be an after-show opening night party at Pier House Restaurant, 1317 Beach Ave. “Dracula” runs four nights a week, Wednesdays through Saturdays, at 8:30 p.m. at The First Presbyterian Church, 500 Hughes St., Cape May. Meanwhile, “Rodgers’ Romance” runs through July 23 only. Reservations: (609) 884-5898 or www.eastlynnetheater.org.