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Washington Voices

Education Notes: ‘Frankenstein’ a modern, dark tale

Thu., Jan. 5, 2012

Students at Gonzaga Prep will entertain audiences with their winter production of a modern-day “Frankenstein” beginning at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 13 in the Kubiak Theater. Performances will continue at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14 and 2 p.m. Jan. 15.

The play, an adaptation by Philip Pullman, is set in the “right now,” according to the Rev. Kevin Connell, Prep’s principal and the play’s director. Victor Frankenstein ( Aaron Burns) is a 21st century college student who fills his lab with computers to pursue the technical power he needed without considering his responsibility for what he created.

The Monster (Jim Grover) is also very contemporary, sporting an iPod to go along with his terrifying nature – almost zombielike and enormously tall and powerfully built. Grover shaved his head for the role, to make his character more monstrous.

But, The Monster is intelligent, sensitive and capable of speech and reason. Pullman tells a dark tale, describing an evil and cruel being. Prep drama students will show how The Monster was treated horribly by everyone he meets. Connell said of his students’ production, “There are some surprises. Is The Monster bad by nature or because of his environment?”

Connell recruited Taylor Pedroza, a Gonzaga University junior, to choreograph fight scenes between The Monster and the “thugs” – all Prep football players. In the end, the story begs the question, who is the monster, Frankenstein or his creation?

Other cast members include: Kyle Collins as Henry Clerval; Bailey Osborne as Elizabeth Lavenza; David Yake as Felix; Jennifer Phan as Agathe; Crystal Murray-Weston as Justine; Sean Andrus as Mr. Lieberman/police officer; and Sarah McMaster as The Monster’s mate.

Tickets for the 90-minute show are $5 for adults and $4 for students and may be purchased at the door. “Frankenstein” holds a PG-13 rating due to violence and complicated subject matter for children.

Rainey Coffin can be reached at (509) 927-2166 or via email at

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