McCarter Theatre Presents Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein

Courtesy of Liz Lauren

An eerie evening of ghost stories crackles to life as Mary Shelley spins her tale of love, horror, power, and unholy experimentation. This visceral new adaptation from Lookingglass Theatre Company brings together inventive staging, acrobatics, and a unique in-the-round experience to McCarter’s Matthews Stage.

Mary Shelley herself (played by Cordelia Dewdney) rests at the core of Catlin’s bold theatrical adaptation. Ahead of her time in more ways than one, the author was only eighteen when she conceived of Frankenstein. Shelley experiences a lifetime of love and passion, of tragedy and loss, all of which unfolds on page and stage as her characters navigate a new age of science and unintended consequences. Two hundred years later, this cautionary tale looms large as we grapple with the ramifications of synthetic biology, AI, and ever-invasive algorithms.

“I’m fascinated by the blur between Mary Shelley’s story of creation, rejection, and destruction and her own life of love, loss, and abandonment. How does the human heart survive desolation and misery?” notes director/adaptor David Catlin. “This is a story that continues to unsettle us.”

McCarter Theatre Center Artistic Director and Resident Playwright Emily Mann added, “When I heard that David Catlin was adapting Frankenstein through the lens of Mary Shelley’s life and experience, my heart started to pound because it was such an exciting idea. The artistry of Lookingglass plus the genius of Mary Shelley seemed to me to be a perfect marriage. I believe that this story’s extraordinary power will blow the roof off of this theater.”

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