Vamps After Midnite
During the rainy summer of 1816, Mary Shelley and her lover (and future husband), Percy Bysshe Shelley, visited Lord Byron at the Villa Diodati by Lake Geneva in Switzerland. The weather was cold and dreary, so the group retired indoors until dawn.
The company amused themselves by reading German ghost stories translated into French from the book Fantasmagoriana.. Byron proposed that they each write a ghost story, but he couldn't finish anything. His personal physician, John Polidori, took Byron's scraps and turned it into The Vampire. Finished in 1819, the work is regarded as the first romantic depiction of the undead. It was terrible, but it was a hit in Germany, where it was the genesis of two different opera, one called Der Vampyr, the other Der Wankyre. The plot of the two operas bore only a passing resemblance to the novel....or each other.
In 1912, with World War I looming in the near-distance, burlesque impresario W. R. Athskellar was searching desperately for a property to turn into a theatrical hit. He came across a copy of the largely forgotten opera. Inspired, he spent over ten thousand pounds ($1.42 million in 2021 ) developing it into a burlesque show, "Vamps After Midnite!". It was a spectacle of special effects, a 70-piece orchestra, a flock of trained bats, and two black panthers.
The show closed after three performances and sank into well-deserved obscurity...until now! BeauTease Burlesque recently received a what may be the only extant copy of "Vamps After Midnite" from an unknown donor. We are so excited to be bringing it to life in front of a modern audience, exactly as performed over 100 years ago (with some modifications for modern sensibilities, budgetary reasons, and several federal and state laws). With a treasured work like this one, what could possibly go worng?
Vamps After Midnite will be performed the last two weeks of October at The Plaza Theater at The Boston Center for the Arts. Tickets go on sale September 7. Members of our email list get early access!
- Thursday, October 21 @ 8:00 p.m. Preview followed by Q&A with Cast
- Friday, October 22 at 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, October 23 at 8:00 p.m.
- Sunday, October 24 at 7:00 p.m.
- Wednesday, October 27 @ 8:00 p.m.
- Thursday, October 28 @ 8:00 p.m.
- Friday, October 29 @ 8:00 p.m.
- Saturday, October 30 @ 8:00 p.m.
We're Looking for Staff
T.B.S.T.G.W. rehearses in Kenmore Square on Wednesday and Sunday evenings, with possible additional rehearsal times as we approach opening. Load-in is at The BCA Plaza Theater on Monday, October 18th, with build and tech rehearsals from 10/18 , 10/19, and 10/20. We are currently in need of the following:
Scenic Designer/Lead Carpenter: These could be two different people. Work closesly with director to create a versatile set than can reepresent 3-4 distinct locations. Familiarty with turntables is useful. Access to a large vehicle is usefule. Familiarty with the BCA Plaza Theatre is useful.
Stage Manager/Properties Manager: These could be two different people. Work with producer/director to create schedules; Organize rehearsal schedule and conflicts, keep rehearsals on-track; source props; keep track of props backstage and set them out by act; move set pieces during performance. We're going to be utilizing the new StageSource Props Library which is in Worcester, so access to a car is helpful.
Costume Designer/Wardrobe Manager/Costumer: Could be the same person or multiple people. Work with director to source and create approximately 25 costumes for show (cast of 11-12 with changes); fit extant costumes; organize and inventory costumes for performances; launder and repair as needed.
Lighting Designer/Board Operator: Could be same person. Work with director and Lead Engineer to create plot hang and cue sheets. Hang lights. Program board. Run board during performances.