Next up at Cumberland Theatre. Just in time for Halloween.

The Cumberland Theatre will continue their 31st season with their next main stage production, Dracula based on the classic gothic novel by Bram Stoker. The show will run October 10th – 27th with Thursday – Saturday shows at 8:00 pm and Sunday shows at 2:00 pm.

Produced in regional theatres throughout the county, this adaptation of the tale of the vampire from Transylvania was penned in 1996 by American playwright Steven Dietz. Closely following the plot of the novel, the play chronicles Count Dracula’s journey to England through a series of journal entries and flashbacks. Almost all of Stoker’s famous characters are represented including Dracula’s muse and the eventual heroine of the story, Mina Murray, scholar and vampire hunter, Abraham VanHelsing and the deranged lunatic R.M. Renfield. As Count Dracula begins to exert his will upon the residents of London, they try to piece together the clues of his appearances—in a valiant attempt to save themselves from a hideous fate.

Leading the production is guest director Sam Little of Maryland Entertainment Group in Hagerstown. As an actor, stage combatant, and stunt performer, Little spent most of his career in Florida performing at numerous venues including Orlando Shakespeare Theatre, Orlando Rep., and Universal Studios. He has also worked with the Pennsylvania Renaissance Faire in a variety of stunt, comedic and musical shows and served as Casting Director for the past two years and Lead Performance Director for the past three years. In Maryland, Sam has directed for Authentic Community Theatre, Hub Opera Ensemble, and Hagerstown Community College. He has also been featured on AMC's Making of the Mob, Fox News' Legends and Lies, and Investigation Discovery's Evil Step Mothers. Dracula marks his first time working at the Cumberland Theatre.

The cast features a group of veteran CT actors from throughout the region and east coast. Cast in the title role is Yury Lomakin who last appeared on the CT stage as Gerald in the absurdist comedy Meteor Shower. As is adversary, VanHelsing , Jim Wicker, a Florida-based actor, returns to Cumberland. Wicker has been seen previously as Selson in Noises Off and Ray in Yankee Tavern (also written by Dietz). Playing Mina Murray will be Courtney Feiman who has appeared at CT as Sophie in Mamma Mia, Chutney Wyndham in Legally Blonde and Poppy in Noises Off.

Cast as Mina’s fiancé Jonathan Harker and making is CT debut will be Brady DelVecchio. A graduate of the John’s Hopkins Peabody Conservatory, he has appeared as Don Ottavio in Don Giovanni, Tony in West Side Story, and most recently NankiPoo in The Mikado.

Other principal cast members include Matt Baughman as Dr. Seward, Kimberli Rowley as Lucy Westenra and Rhett Wolford as R.M. Renfield. Baughman’s recent CT appearances include Kyle the UPS Man in Legally Blonde and Gary/Roger in Noises Off. Rowley is the Co-Artistic Director of the Cumberland Theatre and was last seen as Corky in Meteor Shower and Paulette in Legally Blonde. Wolford is also a Co-Artistic Director. His recent on stage appearance include Ralph in Reefer Madness and Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde.

Rounding out the cast in featured cameo roles will be Tim Bambara, Emily Haworth, Connor McCabe and Leo Wollan. The performances will feature live musical accompaniment composed, compiled and played by Chris McCabe. The design team includes Alexander Mulder (lighting design), Jennifer Clark (costume design), Brendon McCabe (sound design) and Wolford (set design). Sara Usary is the production stage manager with Bambara serving as assistant stage manager.

Tickets are available at or by calling 301.759.4990. A dinner theatre package option in partnership with the Churchill Pub in Cresaptown is available for the Oct. 17th – 20th performances. Group rates are available for parties of 10 or more. Following the official opening performance on Friday, October 11th, there will be a wine and cheese party in the theatre’s lobby where patrons can meet the cast and crew.

Dracula is being sponsored by Dawn’s Family Practice and produced in cooperation with Dramatists Play Service of New York. The show contains some moments of violence and intimacy. Parental discretion is encouraged.

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The Cumberland Theatre is holding a Paint & Sip with artist Beth Hilliker in the theatre's lobby on Friday, September 27th at 7:00 pm.

The theme for the painting will be "welcoming fall" and a large portion of the proceeds from the evening will be donated back to the theatre to support the fall and winter programming, which includes Dracula, Frosty the Snowman and Miracle on 34th Street the Musical.

Wine and cheese will be provided and all arts supplies are included in the ticket price. Come out and enjoy the perfect girls night out and help support the Cumberland Theatre!

Tickets are $40 and includes cheese board, first glass of wine, and all art supplies.

To reserve your spot, call 301.759.4990 or email

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This review appeared today in the Mineral News Tribune

by Tom Valentine

“Meteor Shower “ streaks across the stage at The Cumberland Theatre with a small galaxy of acting stars. The comedy, by Steve Martin, continues this weekend with shows slated for Friday and Saturday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm

Martin, better known as the “wild and crazy guy” from “Saturday Night Live”, does not fill the play with banjo playing or white suits. Nor are there big nose glasses and arrows through the head. However, there are enough jokes and funny situations for even the most casual sky gazer. Martin is the only comic who would (and can) make us believe that, “eggplants are really omens”.

Director Michael Hood, recently retired as the Dean of Fine Arts at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, brings a tightly paced and choreographed show to the local stage. The rotating set (as always, a perfectly designed by Rhett Wolford), keeps the action moving quite literally. We watch the plot develop  in the living room of a loving and staid couple, Corky and Norm - then rotate to the outside patio where the weather ( and the action) gets steamier.

Set Design by Rhett Wolford

Yes, the show is not for the young ones. There are adult situations, sexual content, adult language, half clothed individuals, drugs and alcohol use, and even a pre show warning that the play includes, “scenes of intimacy”. Welcome to our new society where we have to be warned that DANGER - there are intimate scenes ahead!

The “small galaxy of stars” includes Off-Broadway actor, Matt Kurzyniec, as a neurotic normal Norm; northeast regional actor Yury Lomakin as Gerald the cad; DC based actress Katie Culligan as a sexy and vampy Laura; and local actress and Co-Artistic Director Kimberli Rowley as the perfect party hostess wifey. The meeting of these two couples is like “Who is Afraid of Virginia Woolf” on steroids.

The devious duo of Gerald and Laura are the most unwelcomed guests of dull Norm and Corky. As the celestial fireworks continue in the sky, they also illuminate the passions and feelings of the characters. If meteors really hit the earth millions of years ago creating life - or destroying most of it including the dinosaurs-  will it do the same for a marriage?

Kimberli Rowley as Corky and Katie Culligan as Laura

Culligan and Lomakin are particularly good as the swinging couple out to seduce the unknowing couple-next -door. Rowley and Kurzyniec are perfect playing the naïve duo who likes to confess their inner feelings and be open with each other. However, they get to show an alternative side or alter ego as the play concludes.

Or does it?? The scenes bounce back and forth and even repeat themselves with a different perspective and interpretation. We rewind the story and  get to view the action in a whole contrasting universe of possibilities. Or as the playwright tells us, “If you don’t deal with your subconscious, your subconscious will deal with you”.

Some “very heavy thinking” for such a comical piece of theatre. You might want to ponder that the next time you gaze at the summer sky and watch those meteor showers doing their old, criss -crossed journey through the sky…..or polish the car until you really see yourself.

Tickets are available by visiting

Photos courtesy of Wolford Photography

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