Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde | Director's Note
Peter Vann | In the Director's Chair
A few words from Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde's director, Peter Vann...
I have been thrilled and honored throughout this process to be making my Nashville Repertory Theatre directorial debut with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This cast and crew is amazingly talented, and the story, woven together here by Jeffrey Hatcher, is simply stunning.
Originally written in 1886 by Robert Louis Stevenson as a novella, it was an instant success and immediately adapted for the stage. Since 1908, there has not been a period of longer than five years without a new stage adaptation of the story; there are over 123 film versions, not including radio, as well as a number of parodies and imitations. Like those other haunted Victorians, Ebenezer Scrooge, Dracula, and Dorian Gray, the two-faced Jekyll/Hyde has ascended to the status of cultural archetype, becoming a permanent figure in our mental landscape.
Part of the story’s staying power comes from its inextricable linkage to another bit of history from the same period. On August 4, 1888, Thomas Russell Sullivan’s acclaimed dramatic adaptation (assistant stage managed, incidentally, by Bram Stoker!) premiered in London. On August 31, 1888, the first mutilation murder, attributed to Jack the Ripper, terrorized London’s East End, and during the next seven weeks there were at least four more Ripper murders. Since then, the two tales have been forever intertwined in the public’s consciousness.
Hatcher has taken all of this into consideration in his treatment and added to it the uniquely theatrical element of Hyde being portrayed by four different actors, creating a fast and furious psychological thriller. It has something for everyone: blood, guts, romance, and a call for introspection to anyone who has ever struggled with the good and evil potential inside of us all. My hope is that you will come away with a stronger appreciation and respect for the good, for the evil, and for the need for harmony between the two.
This is where I might say, “Sit back, relax and enjoy the show,” but if you use more than the edge of your seat and are able to relax anytime soon, then we haven’t done our job. Happy Halloween, and enjoy the show!
Play Synopsis: On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll experiments with exotic “powders and tinctures” that have brought forth his other self—Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain, free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. As Jekyll himself falls prey to Hyde’s control, the audience is taken along for the moral questions that arise as sympathy for Hyde and contempt for Dr. Jekyll challenge the traditional roles of good and evil. Which one will you sympathize with?
Looking for things to do this weekend? Come out and support professional theatre in Nashville, TN and get spooked out with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde! Nashville Repertory Theatre’s production of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde plays October 13 – November 3, 2012 with preview performances October 11 & 12, 2012.
Rated: High School and above Visit http://nashvillerep.org/dr-jekyll-mr-hyde to get you and your bad self’s tickets today! Or call the TPAC box office at (615) 782-4040