Communist Dracula Pageant
by Anne Washburn
directed by Anne Kauffman
originally produced at American Repertory Theatre,
October 18, 2008
through November 9, 2008
The Communist Dracula Pageant: by Americans, for Americans, with
hallucinations, phosphorescence, and bears is a hilariously provocative new play that dramatizes the final, surreal days of the Ceausescu dictatorship in Romania. A blend of fantasy and historical fact, the play examines the relationships among politics, power, national mythmaking and the media.
Anne Washburn’s Communist Dracula Pageant dramatizes the downfall of Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, the autocratic rulers of Romania from 1965 – 1989. What makes Communist Dracula Pageant unique, however, is its blend of the historical and the fantastical. Dialogue taken directly from historical transcripts is often followed by absurd events such as a bear prowling outside a courtroom. Additionally, fantasies and flashbacks disrupt the play’s chronology, creating a non-linear narrative. Communist Dracula Pageant is subtitled “by Americans, for Americans with hallucinations, phosphorescence, and bears.” Washburn wanted to write a play about the consolidation of political power, and while she chose Romania for her subject, she did so knowing that the foundation of tyranny is the same in any time and any place. We believe the timing of the production, during the U.S. Presidential election season, will be especially relevant for our audiences.
Director: Anne Kauffman
Set Design:Mimi Lien
Lighting Design:Tyler Micholeau
Sound Design:David Remedios
Costume Design:Christal Weatherly