St. Stephen’s University students to perform “Frankenstein” in Saint Andrews at the W.C. O’Neill Arena

Barb Rayner/Courier St. Stephen's University students will be performing "Frankenstein" at the W.C.O'Neill Arena Theatre in Saint Andrews Saturday and Sunday evening, at 7 p.m. Admission is by donation only. Pictured (from left) are cast members Cadi Hardy, Matthew Rachinski, Bethany Fuller, Anna Davis and Alex Novakowski with director Tyrrell Hiatt in back.

Saint Andrews – Students from St. Stephen’s University will be performing Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” at the W.C. O’Neill Arena Theatre in Saint Andrews, Saturday and Sunday evening.

The play, which involves about 25 students, is directed by fourth year English student, Tyrrell Hiatt, who explained that this is part of his studies.

“I have a passion for theatre, and story and place, and bringing it to life. This is the first time SSU has done this at the arena theatre. We usually do things at the school, but I said I wanted to put it on in a real theatre.

- Advertisement -

“I wanted to do the play justice. There is something about performing in a play with all the lights and sounds. It is authentic. There is something about live theatre. You are in the moment where the audience is seeing you. Movies can’t do that.”

They have been rehearsing since January. Hiatt said he and a couple of other students went to see a filmed production of the play performed by the National Theatre of London, starring Benedict Cumberbatch.

“That was in November. I was awe-struck by the beauty of the play. I said, after watching that, wouldn’t it be amazing to do that play, and my professor and I had the idea to do a directed study.”

Hiatt said he searched for the script online and, because they don’t have the rights to the play, they will be using it but not for financial gain. Admission will be by donation, and the play will start at 7 p.m.

“That way, we can have fun, and not have any legal troubles. It is a beautiful story. It gets at the heart of what it means to be human. I thought the play was magical.

“Mary Shelley’s voice is still ringing out in 2017. She still has something to say to us. It is a production of our times because it involves themes of prejudices.”

Hiatt will graduate from SSU in June, but will then be doing a class tour to Europe from May to July, visiting the U.K., France, and Italy, and he hopes to visit Shelley’s grave while in England. A native of Edson, Alberta, he said he would love to go into theatre after university.