On Oct. 21, a blood drive benefiting the American Red Cross was hosted by Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT) in honor of Dracula: A Rock Opera. “We thought this would be a great opportunity to partner with the American Red Cross,” said Nathan Gwartney, director of marketing with GVT. The blood drive was held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. in front of the theatre. As an incentive to encourage people to donate, Greenbrier Valley Theatre gave two free tickets to each blood donor.
“Blood giving is the great equalizer,” says Scott Hill, coordinator for the American Red Cross team centered in Roanoke. “We encourage everybody to give blood because every two seconds someone in the US has a need for donated blood.” The Southern Regional division of the Red Cross serving the Appalachian region collects 8,000 units of blood a year.
Vampire actors were in costume during the blood drive to highlight the partnership with the Red Cross and the need for blood donations. Costume designer Jenna Fawn Brown spent six months researching, designing and putting together the 32 pieces of “steampunk” inspired costumes, which she said is best defined in the illustrative artwork of John Coulthart (look him up). Steampunk is defined as a mix of mad scientist/ inventor/baroque styling blended with the Victorian era/industrial revolution of steampowered airships.
Dracula: A Rock Opera’s original songs were composed by director John R. Briggs and Dennis West. The music feels as if it could fit easily into the landscape of classic rock of such bands as Styx, Pink Floyd, or even The Who. However, the music and style of the show is more directly inspired by opera, as the plot is conveyed primarily through song. Performances will run from Oct. 25 through Nov. 16. For more information, call the GVT Box Office at 304-645-3838.