Sex, drugs, violence: Elements of a psychological thriller that help make a familiar horror story scary once again. Tennessee Repertory Theatre will present Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde as adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher from the classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson Oct. 13 – Nov. 3 at Tennessee Performing Arts Center’s Johnson Theater (with preview performances Oct. 11 – 12).
On the fog-bound streets of Victorian-era London, Henry Jekyll experiments with exotic “powders and tinctures” have brought forth his other self — Edward Hyde, a sensualist and villain free to commit the sins Jekyll is too civilized to comprehend. As Jekyll himself falls prey to Hyde’s control, the audience is taken along for the moral questions that arise as sympathy for Hyde and contempt for Dr. Jekyll challenge the traditional roles of good and evil.
The timeless tale about the good doctor and his dark echo is brought to the stage in a fiercely theatrical adaptation by Hatcher with a new and shocking version of Stevenson’s classic tale of depravity, lust, love, and horror. Peering into the hearts of men and seeing the evil that lurks there, this smart and suspenseful adaptation of the classic novella remains true to the original while evoking the sensuality and darkness in a way that only live theater can.
Peter Vann makes his Tennessee Rep directorial debut with this production.
“I am overjoyed and humbled by this opportunity to step in as a director for the first time with Tennessee Rep,” Vann says. “The script is a tight, fluid, dark, electric ride through Victorian London as six actors portray over twenty characters; four of them rotating in and out as Jekyll’s lurid alter ego, Hyde. It really interests me that this script calls for the same type of physical technique and theatricality we used a couple of years ago in Tennessee Rep’s production of The 39 Steps. It’s the same sort of frantic pace and energy, but this time it is as seen from the dark side of the force. I could not be more excited about working with the richly talented, consummately professional cast and crew at Tennessee Rep in bringing to life this classic tale of the strange and macabre… and just in time for Halloween”
Samuel Whited, who stars as Dr. Jekyll, says, “As an actor, I’ve devoted my life to studying and adapting the literary sketches of others into rounded, identifiable personalities. As a fellow traveler on this planet, I’ve long been fascinated by the seemingly endless, interconnecting facets of individual personalities.
“I can readily accept a man who longs to find that bolder side of his self to strengthen his resolve. I can identify with a man who wishes to harness and utilize his passions to do the work of his intellect, unencumbered by doubt or hesitation. But when does that self-interest become dark? Where is the line drawn between self-enrichment and egoistical abuse? How do these drives and appetites bend our purpose and intents to something we might call evil? As we strive to understand our places in our social circles, how much “self” should we (can we) serve?
“As for Jekyll, I’m fairly certain I know what sparks his quest — where he starts his journey. For Sam, I’m incredibly excited to join my talented friends and find out where the journey takes us.”
In addition to Whited, the production stars Chris Bosen, Matthew Carlton, David Compton, Jamie Farmer, and Amanda Card McCoy.
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde adapted by Jeffrey Hatcher, based on the classic novella by Robert Louis Stevenson
September 13 – November 3 at TPAC’s Johnson Theater (Previews: Oct. 11 – 12)
Thursday, Oct. 11, 6:30 p.m. (PREVIEW)
Friday, Oct. 12, 7:30 pm (PREVIEW)
Saturday, Oct. 13, 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 16, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 17, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 18, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 19, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 20, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 24, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Oct. 25, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Oct. 30, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Oct. 31, 6:30 p.m.
Thursday, Nov. 1, 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 2, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, Nov. 3, 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Tickets (Starting at $42.50; starting at $11.50 for students with valid ID, some restrictions apply) are on sale at the TPAC Box Office (at 505 Deaderick St.), by phone at (615) 782-4040 or www.tennesseerep.org.
*Photos by Shane Burkeen courtesy Tennessee Repertory Theatre.