“The Gravedigger” flips expectations

“The Gravedigger” flips expectations, performances begin Oct. 27


Marissa Getschman, Arts and Entertainment Editor

After a vigorous two months of rehearsals, the cast of the “Gravedigger; A Frankenstein Play” directed by Michael Alan Herman is ready to draw back the curtain for a spectacular tale revolving around what it means to be human. 

Written byMichigan-based writer Joseph Zettelmaier and based on the original Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein novel, the play takes place in a 1700’s graveyard in which a lone gravedigger finds none other than Frankenstein’s monster hiding in a fresh grave. Neither man is yet to know of their connected past…

“This play will take audiences on a journey with the monster after its creation, trying to navigate a world it knows nothing about while also learning about the complexities that are human emotion and relationships,” said lead actress Brooke Kaufman. 

“The Gravedigger” already breaks many norms simply by telling the other side to a well known story, but the Schoolcraft production has something exciting in store. 

In our version, the monster is played by a woman, which hasn’t really been done before. Even though we cannot change the script pronouns written, I think the concept of being [a] ‘man’ is explored more in what it means to be ‘human,’” said Kaufman. “Anton (The monster) is stronger than anyone else in the show, and as a woman playing this role, it has made for some cool juxtapositions with the other castmates.”

Each cast member has a different level of experience which is really refreshing to see. Kaufman in particular has been doing live theatre since she was eight years old, graduating from Western Michigan University with a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Opera. Now she works at Schoolcraft as the Client Relations Specialist for the PTAC in the Business Development Center. She’s played many notable roles, including Bonnie in “Anything Goes,” Mabel in “The Pirates of Penzance” and Elizabeth Proctor in “The Crucible.”

“One thing I want the audience to remember is to come into this show forgetting everything you THINK you know about this creature…” said Kaufman. “This show is full of action, discovery, friendship, humor, love and it will be so much more enjoyable for audiences if they come prepared to see something brand new.”

 Kaufman took a break for a few years after an accident in 2017 left her with injuries that led to her not knowing how it would affect her talent and skill. Nonetheless, “The Gravedigger” presented the perfect opportunity for Kaufman.

“I saw the ad for this show, and as a huge fan of Mary Shelley’s original book and the character of Frankenstein’s monster itself, I thought this would be the best time to try and jump back into what I love!”

This show is the perfect activity to compliment any Halloween tradition and runs on Oct. 27, 28, Nov. 4, and 5 at 8 p.m. or on Oct. 30 at 2 p.m. With the Halloween spirit in full swing, Kaufman hopes to see the Schoolcraft community at this spooky seasonal spectacular known as “The Gravedigger: A Frankenstein Story!”’

Tickets for the Gravedigger are available for $20 online at https://schoolcraft-college.ticketleap.com/ or at the door of the James R. Hartman Theatre in the Liberal Arts building (LA 500).