frankenstein play

Riverside, Calif. (Oct. 6, 2023) – The theatre program at California Baptist University will open its season with "Frankenstein," bringing the scientist and the monster to the stage on Oct. 13, appropriately Friday the 13th.

The adaptation of Mary Shelley's classic novel explores the age-old dilemma of what makes a man and what makes a monster.

The story is chock full of themes that are relevant today, including how the development of artificial intelligence could present both benefits and challenges for humanity, said Zachary Bortot, associate professor of theatre and the director. In many ways, the play acts as a morality tale, warning audience members against the dangers of pride, unchecked ambition and social isolation.

“There is so much that I want an audience to take away,” Bortot said. “Victor Frankenstein interferes with the natural order of life, taking the power to create life from God, and we see the destruction that transpires as a result of that.”

Meanwhile, this is not your parents’ version of “Frankenstein.”

"If you expect to come see a green monster with bolts in his neck, you will be disappointed," Bortot said.

actors in Frankenstein

During rehearsals, the cast and crew were encouraged to bring in their thoughts and goals for the play. 

Brianne Jackson, a theatre senior who plays Elizabeth, Frankenstein’s betrothed, said the cast members have become close, which has allowed them to make “great art together.”

“Something I’ve learned from playing this role is the importance of compassion,” Jackson said. “I love that Elizabeth is able to love others despite their flaws. She's able to empathize with everyone and tries to see things from their perspective.”

Sabrina Laine Heim, a sophomore double major in psychology and theatre, is part of the ensemble and an understudy for the female creature. 

“The most fun aspect of this rehearsal process is the bond and community within the cast,” Heim said. “There is ample trust on and off stage, encouraging us to dive deeper into our craft without shame. Bortot constantly pushes us to give our all.”

Heim hopes the audience learns more about the world around them and the purpose of God’s creation. 

“I hope the audience will come out of the performance with a stronger sense of their own worldview or with questions about their image of how our world functions,” Heim said. “As Christians especially, these conversations presented in art are the perfect opportunity to share the light of God and our beliefs in Him.”

When: 7 p.m. on Oct. 13-14 and Oct. 20-22; 2 p.m. on Oct. 14 and Oct. 21-22
Where: Wallace Theatre, California Baptist University, 8432 Magnolia Ave., Riverside, CA 92504

Contact CBU Marketing and Communication

Vice President for Marketing and Communication:
Angela Meluski

8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504