TRU alumni adapts classic horror tale for new audience

Chimera Theatre opens their doors to local adaptation of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein

The Creature (Brendan Law) embraces his dying lover, the Female Creature (Karra Brotherton), in this scene of Frankenstein. (Emily-May Photography)

Chimera Theatre opened their adaptation of the classic tale of Frankenstein, originally written by Mary Shelley. The adaptation was the brainchild of Thompson Rivers University alumni, Andrew G. Cooper.

The production showcased the talent of many current TRU students as well as notable TRU theatre alumni. Current students include Karra Brotherton (Justine Moritz), Laine Gilles (Elizabeth Lavenza) and Brendan Law (The Creature). Among the alumni, the audience was entertained by Brooke Ballam (Henry Clerval), and Taran Waterous (Victor Frankenstein).

Chimera Theatre’s production of Frankenstein opened their first show on Wednesday, Feb. 28 with a few rocky lines and choreography, but nothing that another show wouldn’t fix. It was clear how much time and energy went into practice, character development and the overall set.

Cooper stressed during the aftershow Q&A, that these actors are semi professionals who are balancing the craft of theatre on top of full time work and school. During the Q&A, the audience was invited to ask all the questions they had from watching the opening night’s show.

Cooper explained that on top of a list of reasons why to choose this production to be adapted for the Kamloops stage, 2018 is the 200th year anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.

“I really like looking at the darker side of humanity,” he said.

Cooper said that he took the classic tale of Frankenstein and altered the story and characters to best fit with the 21st century audience in North America.

“You always have to balance sticking to the classic and making it good for today’s audience,” Cooper said.

Noticeable changes can be seen in the character of Justine Moritz. Cooper explained that the conception of this adaptation took place during the height of the #MeToo movement and he focused his energy on depicting Mortiz’s relationship with men in power as an ode to the movements and stories of today.

Cooper aimed to keep the general theme of scientific recklessness and later explained in the Q&A that these ideas are still relevant in today’s social sphere with the rise of artificial intelligence and climate change.

Chimera Theatre’s rendition of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein is a chilling look at the dark downsides of science. The production will leave you questioning who is the true monster?