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The Journal Gazette

  • Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette Brittney Bressler, playing Frankenstein's creature, strangles Zach Hunnicutt, playing Victor Frankenstein, while Vince Rainelli, playing Igor looks on as part of IPFW's upcoming production of “Frankenstein: An Act of Creation.”

  • Hunnicutt checks out the contents of a bucket as Rainelli watches.

Friday, October 06, 2017 1:00 am

'An Act of Creation': IPFW devises Frankenstein story

If you go

What: “Frankenstein: An Act of Creation”

When: 8 p.m. today, Saturday and Oct. 12, 13 and 14; 2 p.m. Sunday

Where: Williams Theatre, IPFW, 2101 E. Coliseum Blvd.

Admission: $16 adults; $14 seniors; $5 for IPFW students, high school students and children younger than 18; $12 other college students; 481-6555, IPFW box office or IPFW.edu/tickets

The title of IPFW's new production, “Frankenstein: An Act of Creation,” doesn't just refer to the titular creature.

The production itself is a devised piece, which is a relatively new way of looking at theater not often seen in Fort Wayne, says director Jeff Casazza.

“It's a way of generating material as opposed to starting with a play,” he says.

Using Mary Shelley's “Frankenstein” as a jumping-off point, more than 60 people – including the show's cast and crew – were involved in the devising of the production. Everything from dialog to sets and props were worked out in a process that took weeks.

Groups would break off to work on scenes, improvising and experimenting. When something came together that would work for the show, it went into an outline and eventually to the final script.

“When we're inspiring each other, I think magnificent or magical things start to happen,” Casazza says. “So it's been a very exciting process for me.”

It's a process Casazza has been involved in as an actor, but never as a director, which is a goal he had in mind. For many years, the IPFW associate professor has also been thinking about the “Frankenstein” story as a framework for a larger question, “What is the responsibility of the creator to the created?”

In the story, Victor Frankenstein abandons his creature shortly after giving it life. It must learn to fend for itself, sometimes with dire consequences. About two-thirds of “An Act of Creation” explores the Frankenstein story, but the production expands outward to examine the idea of creation in many forms.

“We're exploring basically the creation of the universe through the end of time,” Casazza says with a laugh. “In 90 minutes!”

– Corey McMaken, The Journal Gazette