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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

October 24, 2008

Preparing for the Role of Victor Frankenstein by Resident Actor Andy McCain

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 5:34 pm

I am incredibly fortunate to be playing the role of Victor Frankenstein.  At this point in the early stages of my professional career as an actor, this role has been a dream.  In preparation, I read various publications for character development.  I looked at Frankenstein: A Cultural History by Susan Tyler Hancock.  From this book, I learned everything from the myths surrounding the experimentations within the book, to the difficulties in publishing the novel to the political symbols regarding the Monster

            By looking at Robert Barton’s, Style for Actors, I was guided through the period movement and the cultural beliefs of the 1820s-1830s, a.k.a. Romanticism.  The main theme I took from Mr. Barton was, “A true hero is often forced to stand outside society in order to live life as passionately and fully as it should be lived.” This pretty much sums up Victor Frankenstein for me.  Frankenstein attempted to show the world his great idea of creating new life from old; however, in the end, his experiment goes horribly awry.

I also came across fictional Secret Diaries of Victor Frankenstein. These journals contained true historical facts of what would have inspired Victor Frankenstein’s quest for reawaking life itself.  I read about ancient medicine, the scientific method, the theory of life, the beginnings of electricity, Science and God, and the scientific equipment and material used during the time period.  I was overloaded with so much information it drove me mad! …If that’s not melodramatic for you, I don’t know what else to do.

Finally, I viewed James Whale’s 1931 film of Frankenstein.  I must say I laughed a great deal of the way through the movie, mostly because this was considered the scariest icon in 1931 media, and when watching the Creature attempt to speak, I just found myself in tears of amusement. Seeing this film made me really appreciate Mr. Julian Wile’s script right away because the Creature evolves completely as well as Frankenstein.

Creating this character every day in rehearsal was a challenge, without a doubt, but I am so thankful for this wonderful opportunity. 


(Resident Actor Andy McCain as Victor Frankenstein) 

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