'Blacula' hits the Bryant-Lake Bowl for Halloween

'Blacula' hits the Bryant-Lake Bowl for Halloween
Photo by Brooke Dirtzu 

If you're looking for something fun and raunchy to do on Halloween, head over to Bryant-Lake Bowl to see Blacula: Young, Black, and Undead, a new play by Reginald Edmund. The piece, inspired by the 1972 Blaxploitation film, opens concurrently in Minneapolis and Chicago. 

'Blacula' hits the Bryant-Lake Bowl for Halloween
Photo by Brooke Dirtzu 
Edmund wrote the play in May with the idea that he wanted to try to take one show and see what happens when it simultaneously performs in two different cities. He also wanted to do something that was a fun night of theater. Edmund, who recently moved to Chicago for a three-year fellowship with Chicago Dramatists, was previously a Many Voices Fellow at the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis. 

Blacula is a sendup of the original film, but with a modern twist. The plot follows the main character, Franklin Park (Adam Western), who discovers that the love of his life (Shavunda Horsley) is dating an ancient African vampire (Darius Dotch). When no one believes him, he gets a vampire slayer (Rachel Austin) to help him save his girl -- and the world. Along the way there's plenty of funk music, fake blood, wild costumes, and "raunchy humor," Edmund says. 

Not only is this Edmund's first full-length comedy, it's also the first time he's dealt with the horror genre. "This is my first big science experiment," he says. "Most of my stuff is really on the darker, dramatic side of things." He hopes that if it goes well, he'll be able to bring it back next year for a full run.
'Blacula' hits the Bryant-Lake Bowl for Halloween
Photo by Brooke Dirtzu 

Wednesday's Minneapolis performance is directed by Harry Waters Jr., whom Edmund has worked with previously through the Playwright's Center. "He's a brilliant artist to observe," Edmund says. 

Waters says that Edmund's script contains lots of references to the African cultural diaspora, from ancient Africa to the 1970s Blaxploitation to the present day, with jokes about everything, including hipsters, Facebook, and the history of black vampires. Waters characterizes this production as "an advanced staged reading" because it's still in process, and the artists are hoping to get feedback from the audience. They also encourage attendees to come in costume. 


7 p.m. Wednesday, October 31
Bryant-Lake Bowl
810 W. Lake St., Minneapolis
Doors open at 6 p.m.
$8/$10 the day of the show
Call 612.825.8949 for tickets
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Bryant-Lake Bowl Theater

810 W. Lake St.
Minneapolis, MN 55408


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