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Frankenstein comes to life at Clarkston High

Clarkston High School Drama Club's Frankenstein cast; left to right, back row, Maggie Schroeder, Dakota Miller, Alex Lanker, Alberto Carlesimo, Michael Arkwright, Conor Foley, Josh Bittick, Kendall Kotcher; front row, Trevor Torres, Katie Hokanson, Nathan Larkins, Ruthie Hutchons and Stephanie Burnham. (click for larger version)
April 20, 2011 - Conor Foley landed on his back from the throw and stood up on his feet quickly.

"Again," he said approaching Nathan Larkins during rehearsal last Thursday.

Foley plays Dr. Victor Frankenstein and Nathan Larkins is the Creature in the Clarkston High School Drama Club's presentation of "Frankenstein," adaptation by Victor Gialanella based on the book by Mary Shelley.

"The Frankenstein we are performing is not the traditional adaptation most people associate with it with the bolts and the green makeup," said Foley. "It is much more of an organic story. It is a lot more down to earth."

Foley described his character as a mad scientist obsessed with his work, especially with his newest project - the creation of life, bringing a man to life from the dead.

"I am very emotionally invested in my science rather than other aspects of my life," added Foley.

The investment causes a problem for him because he has a fiancée and lives with his family.

His best friend Henry, played by Michael Arkwright, is called in for an intervention.

"My role is to provide the voice of reason to Victor when he is doing his crazy experiments," said Arkwright.

Instead he gets caught up in the madness.

His creation also has his own problems trying to cope with what is going on around him and his emotions.

"I start out not being able to talk at all and using a lot of grunts," said Larkins. "It is like being born but in an adult body. I am very emotional. I lash out a lot, everything is very big. I am a very angry guy."

"Just like his daddy," Foley added.

As the audience is swept into the dark tale of Dr. Frankenstein and his creation they will encounter plot twists and find themselves invested in the characters.

"It is very engaging," said Foley. "It makes you think, more so than a comedy might."

"At the end you will definitely be impacted by it," added Kendall Kotcher, student director and plays the Bride of the Creature. "Anyone can relate to the relationships and the story of it."

It is the first horror the high school has performed and the cast said the experience has helped them grow.

"Every day you bring everything you have," said Arkwright. "You don't just learn how to act better but carry yourself."

"With the physical and emotional output of the show I have personally learned how to enjoy naps," added Larkins.

Foley placed it as one of the best experiences he has had so far.

"It is the most talented group of people I have ever worked with," he said. "It is the most interesting play I have ever done. Because it is so different and unique everyone puts everything into it from the very beginning. It hasn't been work, it's been fun."

Frankenstein performances are Friday, April 29 and Saturday, April 30 at 7 p.m. at the Clarkston High School Performing Arts Center. It is rated PG-13 because of the dark subject matter and violent situations and is not suitable for children.

For ticket reservations, please call 248-623-4024. Tickets are $6 for students and senior citizens and $7 for adults. All unpaid tickets are sold 30 minutes before showtime, box office opens at 6 p.m.

"It's unique and it's good," said Foley.

"Plus Conor and Mike are supergeniuses so it adds to the adventure," Larkins added.

Wendi graduated from the University of Michigan-Flint with a degree in communications. She wrote for the Michigan Times college paper and Grand Blanc View before joining The Clarkston News in October 2007.
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