Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde at Stage Center Theatre

Melissa Brand

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Photo by Melissa Brand

Photo by Melissa Brand

The second theatre production for the 2012/2013 season at Stage Center Theatre at Northeastern Illinois University (NEIU) opened Nov. 15 with Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. This story is based on the novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson and adapted by Jeffery Hatcher.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde takes place in 1800s London and shows the ups and downs of battling with addiction, alter egos and love. If you are unfamiliar with the story of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, you might end up looking around at the audience to see if anyone else seems confused or lost. That is, until you realize that the 3 men and 1 woman are all manifestations of Mr. Hyde. They did a great job at showing the different thoughts of Mr. Hyde, while Dr. Jekyll stood on the side in somewhat of a trance.

The stage setup and props were minimal, but very well used. The main door opening, closing and turning changed the scene from outside on the street to the inside of their home. It also changed characters from Dr. Jekyll to Mr. Hyde.  The street lamps at the top of the walkways and the large creepy tree in the backdrop gave the feel of an old London village. The Victorian style costumes were nicely done. There was smoke and strobe lights used during the show for added effects.

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde was directed by Dan Wirth, a long time instructor at NEIU. Wirth has directed several shows for Stage Center Theatre, Children’s Theatre and Summer Transition Program Drama Workshop. NEIU instructor, Jeff Wade did a great job as Dr. Jekyll. Mr. Hyde was played by Daniel Ochoa (Hyde #1), Tony Gasbarro (Hyde #2), Mark Dodge (Hyde #3) and Elizabeth Krahulec (Hyde #4). They all worked well together and had their own Hyde personalities. Lily Stephens who played Elizabeth did a nice job being the love interest of both Hyde and Jekyll. The cast also included Yim Chiu, Nickolena Sellen and Michael Slas. All cast members except for Wade, played in two or more roles. At times it was confusing but it flowed smooth once you realized what was going on.

The final performances of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde will be Nov. 28 – 30 and Dec. 1 at 7:30 p.m. For tickets to this show, call the box office of Stage Center.

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