​​CLICK FOR PDF ​ (downloadable)

Scroll down to read on online.

To play songs - click on titles.

-TIME: 1922, Winter

PLACE: An asylum      
in Northern England
on the coast of the Northern Sea
In a well-kept and cheery British home, the living quarters for the doctor’s family above an asylum.

  • Drawing room
  • Helsinger’s Study
  • Arboretum
  • Hallway
  • Some scenes between Vlad and Renfield are played on the apron

--------------------------
CHARACTERS (3 women, 6 men)Fpen
BRIGID– Irish cook and maid—and more, 30s, red hair.
HOSKINS – Cockney butler and part-time orderly, large, strapping, mid-20s
JONATHAN HARKER--barrister-at-law, engaged to Lucy, , fashionable man-about-town, soldierly, stiff-upper lip, 40s
LUCY SEWARD– granddaughter of Seward, modern and fatuous, 18
MORTIMER SEWARD, M.D., proprietor of the asylum, 60s
PERDITA SEWARD– Hispanic adopted daughter of Seward, brilliant, serious, 19
RENFIELD – a long-time patient and trustee, weak, Uriah Heepish, bald with surgical scars on his cranium, 40s
VINCENT HELSINGER, Ph. D—a German scholar and tutor to Lucy and Perdita, mid-30s, handsome, wasted, a depressed alcoholic.
VLAD TEPES—Romanian, Count of Wallachia and Transylvania, late 20s, wan and pale to begin, increasingly healthy as the story progress, growing into a ruddy and sanguine complexion by play’s end.

(Dialects: as above, others use British Received.)




Click on song titles to heart them via YouTube videos that display the lyrics as they are sung.




----------------


Overture: 15  minute medley   



-------------------------


PROLOGUE
Two ghostly, erotic tango dancers enter from different sides of the stage, meet center, and tango to “Tango de Ariel.” 

At the tango’s end, they have danced nearly to the wings, then a black out one beat after the music ends; after the afterglow fades, they exit. 



Eight beats later the oboe begins.


ACT I Scene 1

RENFIELD enters reading a large book with “Balkan Folk Tales” printed large on the cover. He meanders, reading, then looks at the audience, is shocked to see them, and runs off frightened before the oboe ends.
"A Young and Foreign Nobleman  

In the drawing room of the SEWARD family living quarters above the asylum.

ALL--but VLAD—burst onto the stage singing



(All exit but Renfield. Lights out on all but RENFIELD DL isolated in light.


Amplified, we hear from offstage:)

VLAD
I come with good intentions.
 
(RENFIELD, astonished, looks up to hear this, looks up as if visited by an unseen saint, then runs off.)

 ------

ACT I Scene 2

In the drawing room



(LUCY attempts to teach HARKER the tango to the music of a scratchy gramophone recording.)


 
SEWARD
That decadent dance from the Argentine. 2nd Timothy, “Flee youthful passions and pursue righteousness.”



PERDITA
(without looking up from her book)
Ecclesiastes 3, “...a time to weep and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”



SEWARD
1st Corinthians 7, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman."



LUCY
Please, father. It’s 1922. How in the world could anyone sin in this isolated house under your watchful eye? 



PERDITA
(Interrupting to change the subject)
 When does your patient arrive, Father? 



LUCY
Is he really a Count?  True nobility coming here to the sanatorium?



SEWARD
As noble as they come. His family goes back beyond the 14th century Balkans. Fought the Turks and kept them out of getting into Europe through the back door. Inbreeding ever since, no doubt, isolated as they were in their mountain kingdom.


 
PERDITA
What is wrong with him precisely, father?



SEWARD
The diagnosis from my colleague in Vienna is porphyria which makes him allergic to sunlight. He is anemic and extremely melancholic. And an addict, I fear.
 

HARKER
A drug addict, you say?  In your home as a guest?

 
PERDITA
Byron, Keats, Shelley, they all took the pipe for inspiration.



LUCY
Some excitement at last at our boring little Bedlam. When does he arrive?


SEWARD
Any time now. Alert Hoskins and Brigid to see to his arrival.


(PERDITA rises to ring the maid by  pulling the bell pull, then returns to sit.)



LUCY
Aren’t you excited?  A Count!


PERDITA
Not so excited as you, I think.

 
HARKER
Just a pushover for a title, eh?  My wife-to-be swoons for nobility, does she?


LUCY
You’ve caught me being silly. I loathe it when you catch me at indiscretions, and you always seem to. I will have to be a most faithful wife—or at the very least a more discreet one!  Do you still love me in spite of my failings?!

 
HARKER
Every time she wants to smooth it over with me, she plays weak-willed and swoons into my arms. I can only hope she continues to do so after we’re married!

(LUCY tugs at HARKER to get up.)

LUCY
Tango with me!

(They resume the dance lesson.)

 
PERDITA
You two!


SEWARD
I can only harbor a silent hope that you two will forego your antics in the presence of my patient, our guest. He is not on display; he comes here for recuperation and treatment.


BRIGID
Yes, ma’am, someone rang?

 
PERDITA
Brigid, dear, please have supper when our guest arrives.



SEWARD
Brigid, do not be upset if he has a lack of appetite. It is a symptom of his malady.

 
BRIGID
Miss Perdita, a word?



 PERDITA
Yes, Brigid?

 
BRIGID
How do I address him, ma’am?  Our new visitor?  


PERDITA
Oh, dear. Your lordship, I think. Is that right, father?

 
SEWARD
He is a count, and that’s the same as an earl. “M’lord” will suffice.


BRIGID
Thank you, sir. I’ll see to his needs.

(Brigid exits.)


(RENFIELD enters, reading a large book, with the title “Balkan Folk Tales” which should be visible to the audience.)

 
PERDITA
What is his lordship’s name, sir?


SEWARD
Count Voivod Vladimir Tepes (pr. "Tepesh") of Transylvania.



(RENFIELD screams and falls to his knees.)

(HOSKINS, hearing the scream, runs in.)


 
RENFIELD
Miles and miles of bodies on stakes. Impaled crosswise…through the ribs…up under the jaw…between the legs!  Noooooooo!

 
(SIMULTANEOUSLY)
SEWARD   In God’s name, Renfield! 
     

PERDITA    Father! Why?  

LUCY          Jonathan!
             

HOSKINS
Steady there, y’ bugger! 
 

SEWARD
Renfield, look at me—what has upset you so? 

 
HOSKINS
He keeps screaming about “The Impaler.”  What’s an impaler, sir?


HARKER  
Why, as if you were to run someone through with a pike and hang them up by it.

 
HOSKINS  
Cor’blimey!



RENFIELD 
It’s in the book!  It’s all in the book!


SEWARD  
Calm yourself, my friend. What book?

 
 (RENFIELD scuttles on hands-and-knees to PERDITA’s side.)
 


RENFIELD  
Miss Perdita, help me!  I sing the song like I was his poppet!


PERDITA  
Whose song do you sing?

 
(RENFIELD sings
“Cat on the Street”)                    

(At the end of the song, SEWARD injects RENFIELD with a sedative.)

           
RENFIELD 
Now you push it in, but soon he’ll drain it out.

(RENFIELD slumps, all drop their guard, then RENFIELD leaps up and runs out with HOSKINS giving chase.)

 

SEWARD
(Calling after them)
Get him to a safe room, and put him in restraints!
Unbelievable!  The injection should have knocked him flat.



LUCY
Restraints, father?  He’s always been so gentle.


PERDITA
Father, he seemed to be singing of some sort of god.
 

LUCY
Perhaps he was disturbed by the excitement around our new visitor.
 

SEWARD
We must be careful of what we allow him to read. Many patients are prone to develop religious delusions.
 

(PERDITA rolls her eyes and sighs at her father’s religious obsession, then she looks toward LUCY who looks frightened. PERDITA comforts LUCY as they exit.)




--------------------



ACT I Scene 3
In the drawing room

(Brigid rolls in the drink cart.)



SEWARD
It seems like a good double malt might settle the nerves, eh, Harker?


BRIGID
Will the professor be joining us this evening, sir?


SEWARD
This time of day, I imagine our scholar is in his cups.

 
HARKER  

(Pouring them drinks from the cart)
You have great forbearance, Dr. Seward. I am astonished at your retaining such a sot as Helsinger for Perdita and Lucy’s tutor. And a German. Sorry, I must ask. There is a bucket of ice here. You surely don’t wish to water down the aroma of this excellent whisky!

 
SEWARD
I have Brigid include it on the cart. Vincent prefers it. He took a sabbatical in America where he picked up the habit. It does lend something to the drink if you remove it before the ice dilutes the Scotch.

           
HARKER
I can’t imagine. Amazing that you cater to his whims.

 
SEWARD
Not at all. He is my friend and colleague, and I count us fortunate to have such a learned tutor for the girls. My late wife made me promise to provide a well-rounded education for the girls. Helsinger may be bit unorthodox, but then we do live above a madhouse. Perdita learns a great deal from him, and it will prepare her for the time when she may leave this sheltered world. As to Lucy —well, you’ve chosen her to be your wife.

 
(HELSINGER enters, intoxicated; he has a German accent.) 

 
HELSINGER
Mortimer, sorry to disturb. Have you seen my book of Balkan Folktales?  I swore I left it on my desk. Perhaps the drink is affecting my memory. Apologies, I am not fit for company.
 

SEWARD
Being in your cups doesn’t make you unwelcome. Eat with us, it will do you good.

 
HELSINGER
You are so kind, but I prefer that Perdita (looks to HARKER)—and Lucy—not see their tutor in Dionysian disgrace too often. Most fascinating book; frightening what monsters those people believe in, even to this day. (To BRIGID) Bridey, mein Schatz, keep an eye out for my lost book, bitte.

 
(BRIGID exits, happy that HELSINGER has called her something that sounded sweet albeit in German.)


SEWARD
Preparing for our Transylvanian visitor, were you



HELSINGER
Are we having visitors?



SEWARD
You mean this is coincidence? Amazing.

 
HELSINGER
I do not follow; please, have mercy on this drunken fool.


(HELSINGER sees HARKER at the drink cart. He addresses SEWARD.)


A thousand pardons, do you think I could have a dram of that?


(HELSINGER drops ice into the glass, fills it, crosses to piano with drink.)

Let me play something to earn my whisky.  Something fitting for the setting of the sun? I am fond of that wonderful word you have, “the gloaming!”

 
(HELSINGER plays two measures of Chopin’s Nocturne Op.9 No. 2.)

Ach, sunset brings such melancholy!  Here is a drinking song I learned at your university I wager you know.

 
(SEWARD joins Helsinger at the piano immediately.
HARKER hangs back and does not sing.)



 (HELSINGER and SEWARD sing
 
“Pour the Ice in the Glass”



(SEWARD urges Harker to join in, and he reluctantly complies.)
 


(At song's end:)
HELSINGER
Now, what is his name, the one who is coming?

 
SEWARD
Voivod Vlad Tepes the Eighth, Dracul of Wallachia.

 
HELSINGER
Most daunting. His family is part of that dark history intermingled with those folk tales. If I could just lay my hands on that book…


(HELSINGER exits.)  

 
SEWARD

Amazing coincidence about the book, wot, Harker? 


 
HARKER
How did you come to know Helsinger?



SEWARD
He came as a patient for depression a little more than a year ago. He is a bit of a genius, a doctor of medicine and philosophy, but drink took its toll, and he ended up a lecturer at the school for young women. Regrettably, he was accused of indiscretion with a senior student. When I pressed him for the truth of it, he would only say that he would not impugn the young lady’s reputation by calling her a liar. We tried to wean him from the drink, but even after it was out of his system the depression got worse. Rather than send my daughters off to boarding school, I determined to have them schooled in the home and offered him the position of tutor. I wanted them here so I could keep an eye on them…and him. He has been a model of decorum with them. Seems my patients often become part of the household; take Renfield for example---


(HOSKINS enters and interrupts.)


HOSKINS
Doctor, your guest, err, patient has arrived. Sir, begging your pardon to speak the truth, but the poor man looks a wraith.   

 
SEWARD
Harker, shall we greet this provocative visitor? 


(SEWARD and HARKER exit.)


--------- 

(Cross fade to knock on the front door. No one answers. A second knock. Brigid enters to answer it.)


ACT I Scene 4



BRIGID
(To herself) Where is that worthless Johnny Bull?  It’s his job to answer—
 

(LUCY scurries in and intercepts Brigid.)

 
LUCY
I’ll get it!

 
BRIGID
But, ma’am, I should—




LUCY

I said I'd get it, Brigid. That will be all. 


(Brigid pauses with a worried look, then exits).

(LUCY opens the door to VLAD who is backlit which shows a dark figure that startles LUCY).


Oh!

 
VLAD
I am Vlad Tepes.


LUCY
 (She curtsies.)
You are most welcome, your Lordship. I am Lucy Seward. We have been eagerly anticipating your arrival.


(VLAD avoids looking at Lucy.)

 
VLAD
So kind of you to greet me. I was expecting a servant to answer the door.


LUCY
I was eager—uhhh—I thought a member of the household should greet such a distinguished gentleman.


(VLAD walks with a cane—preferably a fashionable walking stick with a fierce animal’s head [wolf or eagle] as the handle.)

 
VLAD
May I sit? It was a long journey, and I am easily wearied.

 
LUCY
I fear I have forgotten my manners.
              
(They move from the hall into the drawing room. LUCY attempts to assist him into the sitting room, but he holds up a hand to stop her.) 

You are the first noble personage to visit here.

 
(SEWARD and PERDITA enter, followed by HARKER.)
 

SEWARD
My dear Count, apologies for not greeting you.

 
LUCY
Hoskins and Brigid were otherwise occupied so I played butler and hostess, father.


SEWARD
Allow me to present my other daughter Perdita as well as Lucy’s fiancé Jonathan Harker, Esquire. The Right Honorable Vladimir Tepes, Count of Wallachia and Transylvania.

 
(VLAD looks at PERDITA, turns quickly downstage with a look of fearful astonishment, then he turns back still averting his eyes.)

 
(PERDITA is taken with VLAD, and curtsies deeply. The others look surprised at this since she has learned to be suspicious of roaylity from Helsinger's republicanism.)

Helsinger enters, doing his best to act sober, and is astonished to see PERDITA curtseying.)



SEWARD
Here is my friend and colleague and my daughters’ tutor, Dr. Vincent Helsinger -- Count Dracul. Sit and rest. Our cook is preparing a light supper.

 
VLAD
Please, no fuss for me.

 
PERDITA
You’ve had a long journey and need refreshment.

 
HELSINGER
You are from the Carpathians?  I have studied you…your forbears, I mean--and your country’s history and folklore. Are you a vampire like they say?




(Spoken in unison in protest against HELSINGER’s bad manners)

SEWARD           Vincent!                        

PERDITA            Professor!        

HARKER            Sir!

                                                
VLAD
(Laughs)
Yes, indeed I am, sir, in so many ways, I fear. And you?


HELSINGER
(Wryly)
Well, I have bled the life energy out of myself. Do you reside in your mountain kingdom?

 
VLAD

No, I have an estate in Argentina. I went there once a long time ago on an expedition into the jungle which I funded, and they let me tag along. I have been many other places, but I always return there. It is an enchanting country with many interesting creatures.

 SEWARD

The Argentine, you say?! No!


HELSINGER
Isn’t that where…?



PERDITA

I was born there. I was orphaned. The doctor and his wife rescued me and gave me a home.

 
VLAD
I am no stranger to coincidence.

 
PERDITA
But I know much about the place and the animals you speak of--the capybara, the worlds’ largest rodent, the pampas cat, the maned wolf, the very venomous yarará pit viper...

 
VLAD
Very good, senorita!


LUCY
(Whispers)
Show off!

 
HELSINGER
And Desmodus rotundus?

 
VLAD
(Pauses.)
Yes, the vampire bat. Sucked on the toes of sleeping sailors. Often rabid, I fear.

 
LUCY
And the tango!  Do you tango, Count?

 
VLAD
The dance where the thighs touch. I am surprised a refined lady is familiar with it.

 
HARKER
Lucy is attempting to teach me the dance, m’Lord, poor girl.

 
HELSINGER
Dracul.  I have read that translates to “the dragon,”      or --

 
VLAD
--Devil. Yes. The Order of the Dragon founded by the Holy Roman Emperor to fight the Turkish invasion. My family did demonic things to frighten the devil out of the Turks and chase the invaders out of my Wallachia.

 
LUCY
Devilish things?  Please, tell us!


PERDITA
My sister is an aficionado of the Gothic, Count Dracul.


LUCY
The grotesque often reveals the subconscious, isn’t that right, Professor?


HELSINGER
There is much to learn from the dark side, my dear.
(to VLAD) Your ancestral name--Tepesh--translates to The Impaler, am I correct?”

VLAD
“The Impaler.”  Yes, we carry the shame of that unfortunate name.


LUCY
Impaler?!  Renfield was raving—
(Perdita looks at LUCY to stifle her near faux pas, and LUCY changes.   She subject mid-sentence.)



Errr, what did your ancestors do to the Infidel?

 
VLAD
It is a sad and fearsome story. Doctor, is it permissible?



SEWARD
If it doesn’t disturb you to tell it…

 (VLAD sings
In a Kingdom”)


SEWARD
A fine voice, sir.


LUCY
Fascinating. You are a troubadour!

 
HELSINGER
You and I must discuss the ways of the Carpathian people.

 
SEWARD
But for now, my guest must retire for his health.

 
VLAD
Thank you, sir. However, I don’t sleep well at night. Would you permit me to wander about your home?


 
SEWARD
Of course!


LUCY
You will  find it warmer in the arboretum, m’lord.

 
HELSINGER
Often I’m awake also through the night. Visit me anytime.



VLAD
Thank you for that invitation. I sense that it will be a meaningful visit.


(BRIGID enters.)



BRIGID

If it please you, supper is—-

(BRIGID stops mid-sentence and turns to look at VLAD who has been out of her sight line, she goes pale. VLAD looks at her and cocks his head from curiosity.)

---served.



------------- 



ACT I Scene 5
       in Helsinger’s study


HELSINGER
And now our poetry game. Lucy, a verse or two, please.


LUCY
(Reads:)
Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,     
 Old Time is still a-flying       
And this same flower that smiles to-day       
To-morrow will be dying.   
The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,           
The higher he's a-getting,    
The sooner will his race be run,        
And nearer he's to setting.   

 
HELSINGER
Perdita…the title?



00PERDITA
“To the Virgins, to make much of time.”


HELSINGER

The poet?

 
PERDITA
Robert Herrick. 1591–1674

 
LUCY
I read that he was an ordained minister.





HELSINGER

(Laughs)
Lovely ladies, do not be fooled by power or position. Whatever cloak or robe he dons, man is always naked underneath. Perdita?
 

PERDITA
(From memory, referring only briefly to the book.)
Titan! to whose immortal eyes
The sufferings of mortality
Seen in their sad reality,
Were not as things that gods despise;
What was thy pity's recompense?
A silent suffering, and intense;          
The agony they do not show,
The suffocating sense of woe,
Which speaks but in its loneliness.
 

LUCY
Lord Byron?

 
HELSINGER
And the title?

 
LUCY
Umm….I’m sorry.

 
PERDITA
"Prometheus!"  Hebrought fire to man. The gods punished him by tying him to a rock where an eagle each day would rip out and eat his liver---which grew back the next day—and the eagle would come again for eternity.

 
LUCY
How gruesome. I adore it!

 
PERDITA
As I suspected you might. Dr. Helsinger compares him to Lucifer.

 
LUCY
To Lucifer? 


PERDITA
Prometheus was punished by the gods for bringing fire to man…like the serpent in the garden who brought the fiery light of knowledge to Eve.  The snake is often confused with the fallen angel Lucifer whose name means bringer of light. 

 
LUCY
I’ll always remember that. Lucy…Lucy-fer!


PERDITA
(Laughs.)
Lucy, my sweet, sweet sister, you definitely light up every room you enter!   


HELSINGER
You make me proud. You are such a clever student--students. That is enough for today, no?

 
(Lucy and PERDITA rise to leave.
PERDITA goes up to Helsinger, and shyly tells him:)


 
PERDITA
I just wanted to thank you again. I have learned so much in the last year from you.


(Helsinger is abashed and laughs, averting his eyes. Then looks at her and they smile at one another. His averts his eyes again. PERDITA crosses toward LUCY to exit.

Lucy shakes her head and rolls her eyes at PERDITA to tease her about flirting with Helsinger.  HelsingeR watches her as she leaves.

Helsinger frantically pours himself a drink—with ice.) 

 
HELSINGER
No, no, no, not again. Never again. You will not violate your friend’s trust.


(HELSINGER looks to where they exited, smiles longingly, takes a long breathe, and sighs.



 (HELSINGER sings “Blossom”)

(Helsinger finishes his drink, hangs his head, sighs.)

(Lights crossfade to:)


 -----------------------



ACT I Scene 6
          in the arboretum

(VLAD sits in the arboretum. RENFIELD peers around corner. VLAD turns, catching him lurking. RENFIELD drops to knees and approaches VLAD.)

 
RENFIELD
Are you he who has returned? Are you he who has been resurrected and shall live forever and ever?

 
VLAD
I am anything you want me to be.                                   

(RENFIELD makes the kow-tow, kneeling with his head to the floor.)



RENFIELD
My soul is tortured. My mind is not my own. They tie me down, they cloud my mind with their drugs.


VLAD
Perhaps we can help one another.

 
(RENFIELD, still on his knees, looks up at VLAD.)

RENFIELD
Anything for you.


VLAD
They must have drugs here—heroin or other opiates. Do you know where they are kept?

 
RENFIELD
Of course, my master. They give me morphine each day. I can save mine for you. But at night they lock the cabinet and lock me in my cell at night.

 
VLAD
FInd the keys, and it will set you free.

 
RENFIELD
You will release me from my cell?!  My lord, my lord!  I knew you’d come!

 
VLAD
One last thing. A more intricate request. Do you have access to the outside?

 
RENFIELD
They allow me to walk the grounds and tend to the animals.


VLAD
Excellent. I may need blood. Animal blood. A rat, a cat, a cow,   a goat, or a dog. Even a horse or a pig. But never, ever human blood. Here is a red wine bottle to keep it in--it will disguise it. If you can, bring it while it is still warm. Now go.

 
RENFIELD
Anything for you.  You are my master, my Lord.

 
(RENFIELD rises, take three steps backward, turns and runs off.)


---------------------------



ACT I Scene 7
In the kitchen below stairs

 
(BRIGID is chopping herbs on her butcher block. A book is open to which she refers. She hears a noise behind her, but doesn’t turn.)

 
BRIGID
Who’s there?



(HOSKINS enters) 



HOSKINS
Who else? Like they’d come below stairs to see you.

(HOSKINS looks at the book over BRIGID’s shoulder,)

 
HOSKINS
What is that? A picture book?

 
BRIGID
It’s my granny’s cookbook, nosy parker.      

 
HOSKINS
It’s got no writing in it. Can’t you read?

 
BRIGID
Never learned how. The priest said it weren’t pure for girls to read. It could take their innocence.


HOSKINS
Priests and those good little Catholic girls--I’ve heard the stories.

 
BRIGID
Shut it!  He was a good man. He’d come to granny’s hut every Friday to learn about her healing herbs. He’d read us the Bible, he’d read us the Bard. I remember the words, though I can’t say I understood them all. 



HOSKINS
This is a strange clan. That young lovely Lucy betrothed to that old fart Harker. And that dark and lovely lass. She from the wrong side of the blanket?

 
BRIGID
What a charmer, you are! They found little Perdita as a waif wandering the streets in the Argentine. Lucy was here after the doctor’s son and wife passed over, so, they raised them as sisters. The doctor’s wife died, having the girls here saved him from a load of misery. He likes that they both call him father. Makes him feel young.

HOSKINS
What about Miss Lucy and the old man?


BRIGID
Solicitor Harker? Have you noticed that there are not a lot of young available men about since the Great War took near half a million? Mr. Harker’s a good man who’ll take care of her. I can only hope that Perdita finds a match soon.



HOSKINS
Who would marry a brown girl?



BRIGID
It pains me to admit that. She’s of marriage-able age now, and it breaks my heart to think of her as a spinster taking care of her dotty old grand da’. Slim chance of meeting a fella worthy of her in this barren land.


HOSKIN

And what do you think of the noble gentleman?  Seems nice enough for a toff. Maybe she could marry him.

 
BRIGID
Don’t speak of him.

(Brigid makes the sign of the cross.)


 
HOSKINS
Why not?

 
BRIGID
He carries a disease of the soul—the contagious sort. I’m making a stew to inoculate us against his darkness.       

 
HOSKINS
You Micks are a superstitious race with your fairies and your banshees and your potions. Well, here, I’ve got a little thriller for you. Let me sing you this little ditty….

 
(BRIGID and HOSKINS sing
“I Fink You T’ink.")

(At song's end:
They smile sweetly at one another, and HOSKINS leans in hoping for a kiss. BRIGID pulls out the carving knife from behind her back and HOSKINS scurries away.  Brigid laughs.\



-------------



ACT I Scene 8

         In the arboretum 
 
RENFIELD returns with vials of drugs and looks about expectantly.



RENFIELD with head bowed and on bended knee hands them to VLAD.


VLAD holds up vials to inspect them and smiles.

 
RENFIELD takes 3 steps backwards, then runs off.)


 
-------------



ACT I Scene 9
        In the arboretum 



(VLAD sits in the shadows and prepares a fix of heroin in a syringe.

Two bottle are set beside him, one with red wine and the other with blood.   


Lucy peers in and is disappointed for she does not see him.


VLAD’s head rears up and he sniffs the air and realizes she is there.  He hides the syringe in his pocket.
 

LUCY flops onto the cushy divan. She sits and reads a “Photoplay” magazine with Rudolph Valentino on the cover. She gets bored and yawns. She looks up at the roses. She crosses to them and smells them. She smiles ironically and says to herself---)

 
LUCY
“Gather ye rosebuds, while ye may.”

 
VLAD
Good evening!

 
LUCY
Oh!

 
(VLAD is diffident yet polite, but still averts his eyes from her.)

 
VLAD
I did not know how to announce myself without startling you.


LUCY
I can’t sleep either.

 
VLAD
I sleep in the day…my allergy to light.

 
LUCY
Doesn’t it get lonely?

 
VLAD
I am accustomed.

 
LUCY
How sad!

 
VLAD
Indeed. Melancholia is part of the syndrome. It is solace to stay here in this delightful garden.



LUCY
Ay, in the very temple of Delight, Veil'd Melancholy has her sovr’an shrine….


VLAD
She dwells with Beauty –


VLAD and LUCY
(In unison)
Beauty that must die.

 
LUCY
Keats!  I love that one. You’ve read our poets! 


VLAD
Long evenings with no one to talk with gives one time to read.

 
LUCY
And memorize poetry. I must say, there is nothing like it to woo women.


VLAD
You flatter me. Would you share some wine?

 
LUCY
Wine?  In the moonlight? With a Count?  I’ll tell my grandchildren about it.

 
(VLAD hesitates over which bottle holds the wine and which the blood.)

 
VLAD
It’s an exceptional vintage from Turkey. They use a trace of poppy in the mix.

 
LUCY
Then I should have no trouble getting to sleep.  Two glasses? Were you expecting me?

 
(VLAD pours and hands her a glass of wine.


(LUCY swishes the wine around the glass then sniffs it.)

 
LUCY
Delightful. Such a heavenly bouquet. It’s almost like perfume.

 
VLAD
That is the scent of the poppy.

LUCY
Here’s to your recovery.

(LUCY raises her glass to toast him. She drinks; he only smells the wine.)

You aren’t drinking with me. Should I be worried?

 
VLAD
I must be cautious about the liquids I imbibe. But I love the fragrance. Sometimes just smelling and imagining what one desires satisfies the craving.

 
LUCY
I think some people have a talent for smelling. That’s why I so love it here in the garden. Come, look--this is a special rose that my father grows.

(VLAD slowly limps over to her to see the rose.)

It’s called the “Nectar of Dionysus”—I think Professor Helsinger named it. It is especially fragrant. Let me pick you one.

(She picks a rose, but pricks her finger and it bleeds. The rose drops.)

Ow!

(She turns to him and holds her finger forth to show that she's bleeding. Without hesitation, he grabs her finger and sucks . She freezes, her eyes widen, mesmerized. Their eyes meet for the first time. The he quickly pulls away and holds up his hands in apology.)
 

VLAD
Oh, my, I have embarrassed myself and offended you. It is a superstition in my country never to let a drop of blood fall to the ground. We believe that the juices of the mouth protect against spirits leaving the body. I am so sorry. Let me withdraw.
 
(VLAD moves to leave.)

 
LUCY
Wait!  No, it’s all right. Your impulsiveness just startled me.
(Pause.)
Sit with me. Here in the moonlight.   You must teach me some steps of the tango as they really do it. I know you know it. What you said before was for my father, wasn’t it?

 
VLAD
Yes, of course. One cannot spend time in the Argentine without being drawn into it. But it is not a proper dance for young English ladies!  This is a dance from the bars and brothels and slums.


LUCY
But please, please, teach me!  Promise you will—when father’s not about?

 
VLAD
Certainly. If I gain strength while I am here, I will share many things with you.


LUCY
Silly of me to prick my finger on a thorn. Doesn’t some fairy tale begin like that? 

(VLAD and LUCY’s eyes meet. There is silence as electricity courses between them. . From this point on, there is continual eye contact, and she is enraptured.)

 (LUCY ponders his features, toucing his face.



You are fascinating. Your skin is so pale.


VLAD
Recessive genes. Nobles marrying nobles with the same grandmother.


LUCY
You seem to have a glow rather than the pallor you had when you arrived.


VLAD
Most likely from your company.

(LUCY pauses, entranced by his eyes.)

LUCY
Pardon, it’s just that your eyes…


VLAD
If you find them pleasing, then I am flattered.

(Awkward pause. VLAD looks away.)

May I ask if…..

 
LUCY
Yes?


VLAD
No, it is too forward.
 
 
LUCY
No please, ask anything. My life is an open book. Regrettably, a very small volume.


VLAD
Mr. Harker?


LUCY
Oh, dear. Yes, we’re engaged. I’m embarrassed. Flirting with a stranger in a garden in the moonlight. And my father’s patient….and I’m to be married soon. I’m such a sinner.

 
VLAD
Yes, I was aware.

(VLAD looks at LUCY and pauses.)

Do you love with him?

 
LUCY
Well, yes, of course, I love him.


VLAD
Of course you do. Again, apologies. A confusion with the language. Do you, how do you phrase it “make love”?  Are you waiting until you are married to consummate? 

 
LUCY
I…I… are you asking if I am a virgin?

 
VLAD
I’m sorry, it was most improper.

 
LUCY
Yes. Yes. I am. Inexperienced, I fear. I should be embarrassed. But I’m not. Why am I so forward and bold with you?

 
VLAD
Perhaps it is because I am so weak.
(Pause.) 
It was you who welcomed me when I arrived. And invited me in

 
LUCY
Yes, I did.
(Pause.)
Does my purity appeal to you?  Please do not misunderstand what I am about to do, but I will regret it the rest of my life if I don’t.

 
(LUCY kisses VLAD.)

 
LUCY
It is like I’m in a fairy tale, or a dream.

 
(VLAD touches her cheek, then pushes LUCY gently and gestures for her to go.) 

 
VLAD
Then go and dream. I fear that if you stay here longer I will not be able to refrain from doing what would displease your fiancé and betray your father’s hospitality. And tomorrow you might regret.

 
LUCY
I will go.

(Lucy begins to exit, stops, turns.) 

But I want to stay. Since everyone is asleep, perhaps now would be a good time to teach me how to dance the forbidden tango.

 
VLAD
It would not be proper…


LUCY
Oh, pssh! The Victrola has the music cued up. I’ll keep it low so we won’t wake the others.  

(LUCY goes to the Victrola and cranks it up. She pulls VLAD to his feet as she did Jonathan in I,1. ).

Come, you must show me the forbidden tango.

 (VLAD resists.)          
                                   
VLAD
This is not wise. The tango…the tango looses the beast within.

                                          
LUCY
Dance with me. Then I’ll leave you alone.

 
(VLAD looks out above the audience. A sad yet resigned look crosses his faces as he makes his fateful decision. He rises to full height, tosses aside the cane, gathers her close to him.)

 
(VLAD sings
“Descend On You”)

(As he sings, they dance without moving, him touching her neck, she bending backward, wrapping her leg around him.


(They tango.)



(At song's end: VLAD spins Lucy onto the sofa)


VLAD
I warned you. I fear you have loosed the beast.

 
LUCY
Devour me…please.

 
VLAD
Would you like to experience joy beyond belief?

 
LUCY
I long for it.

 
(He kisses her neck, and she writhes in excitement.)

 
VLAD
Would you like more?



LUCY
Yes.

(OVER MUSICAL UNDERSCORE)

VLAD
I have something for you…for us to share.
 
(He reaches into his pocket and withdraws the prepared “fix” that he had hidden when she interrupted him.)

Watch me while I perform the ritual…

(He inserts the needle into the vein of his arm and injects just a bit.)

I give myself a just a bit of the elixir of the poppy.

(Lucy watches entranced and wide-eyed. Vlad inhales and shudders ecstatically. Lucy’s eyes grow wider at his ecstasy.)

I do not take it all. I save some for you. But first I mix it with my blood.

(He draws blood back into the syringe.) 

Now I will share it with you…so we will be joined together in blood.

(He feels in the crook of her arm to find a vein He wraps his fingers around her upper arm and constricts the vein.)

There will be a pinch, then unutterable ecstasy, I promise.

(He inserts the needle into her vein.)

Now, be still, and sink into delight.

(She nods her compliance.
He injects her slowly with his blood. She shudders orgasmically.

Vlad withdraws the needle and ravenously sucks at the injection point in her arm.)

(Unseen by VLAD, RENFIELD peers around the corner and is horrified.)

 
------------


ACT I Scene 10
          In the drawing room

(SEWARD sips tea while HARKER plays the piano.

(Helsinger comes in with a hangover.



(BRIGID enters carrying a glass of green liquid.)


BRIGID
Pardon, sir. It’s Miss Lucy. She won’t eat…she seems wan and distracted. She slept on the divan in the arboretum last night. I can’t get her up to bed.

 
SEWARD
Sounds as if she has contracted something?

 
HELSINGER
You all feel well enough, though, don’t you?  Perdita seems well.

 
HARKER
I’m going to her.


SEWARD      
I’ll bring my bag.

 
HELSINGER
Go. I am on your heels.

(SEWARD and HARKER exit.) 

(Through the ensuing conversation, Brigid pours some whisky into the glass and take a vial of green liquid from her pocket and pours it into the glass. She gives it to helsinger who, recoils from the foul smell but drinks it down with a revivifying result.)


HELSINGER
Bridey, my lovely, what do you think may be the cause of Lucy’s malaise?


BRIGID
How would I know, Professor? You’re the doctor.

 
HELSINGER
Ah, but my intuition is far below that of a Celtic woman.



BRIGID
Saints prevserve us!  A man who acknowledges that a woman may know more than himself! I’ll apply to the Holy Father in Rome to make this a day of remembrance!  


HELSINGER
Felt good to get that out, didn’t it.


BRIGID

Oh, you’ll never know, sir.

(They laugh.)


(BRIGID hands HELSINGER the glass, and he drinks.)



HELSINGER

Bless you!  Whatever this gruesome solution is, it always does the trick.



BRIGID:
Hoskins says women have smaller brains, you know.


HELSINGER
Yet you’re fond of him.





BRIGID
He’s an oaf, sir. Worse: a Cockney oaf. But lovable.



HELSINGER
Lovable, eh?


BRIGID
In the same way one might love a badly trained bull pup, sir.


HELSINGER
Since you see things that we cannot—I mean from that advantage that servants have—truly do tell me what troubles Lucy?

 
BRIGID
We both know, don’t we, sir?  It’s the dark man. The Count.



HELSINGER
Why the Count?

 
BRIGID
He carries his illness with him. He doesn’t drink. He doesn’t eat. Not a thing I’ve put in front of him.

 
HELSINGER
You are an insightful woman. And you take care of us all.

 
BRIGID
I like you, sir. Always have. I don’t care what they say about you.



HELSINGER
And I drink.


BRIGID
A tradition among my people.


HELSINGER
What should we do?

 
BRIGID
Keep him away from Miss Perdita.

 
HELSINGER
It’s difficult to dictate to Miss Perdita.


(HARKER and SEWARD enter.

(BRIGID takes HELSINGER’S glass and exits.)

 

HARKER

(To SEWARD as they enter)

She is so distracted, Doctor, and pale and wan. What could have happened?

 
HELSINGER
Mortimer, what is your diagnosis?
 

SEWARD
Perhaps her monthly time. Though it would be unusual.

 
HELSINGER
How thoroughly did you examine her?

SEWARD
I took her vitals. Pulse, eyes, fingernails, pressure, temperature.

 
HELSINGER
Did you examine her body?

 
SEWARD
Sir, she is my daughter. Leviticus 18, “The nakedness of thy daughter thou shalt not uncover.”

 
HELSINGER
Respectfully, my friend, those antiquated proscriptions put your daughter’s life in peril!  We must strip her naked and examine every inch of her!

 
SEWARD
How dare you, sir!


HELSINGER
I cherish everyone in this home, and want to save her life—and that is how I dare.


HARKER
Gentlemen!  Do what you must!


HELSINGER
Then it’s decided.


(RENFIELD runs in, fleeing HOSKINS’ grasp.)



HOSKINS
Come back here, you lunatic!

 
(RENFIELD drops to his knees DC.)
 

RENFIELD
Free, free, freeeee!  Soon I’ll be free!

 
HELSINGER

(Holding up his hand to stop HOSKINS)
Wait, Hoskins, let me see if I can calm him.


RENFIELD
Hare and Hounds!  Hare and Hounds! 
 
(RENFIELD climbs up onto the piano bench.)

Who’s the hare and who’s the hound?

 
HELSINGER
Renfield, mein Freund, I just had my piano bench repaired. Could I assist you in your descent?  


(HELSINGER offers RENFIELD his hand.
RENFIELD accepts, take his hand as though he is a proper lady being helped by a gentleman, and steps down.
RENFIELD sits in an easy chair.)


 
HELSINGER
Perhaps a drink?

 
RENFIELD
A drink?  A sip?  A sup?  A furry kitten?  A newborn pup?  A dry martini, a cool gin rickey?  

(HELSINGER hands RENFIELD a drink.)

A nice warm tumbler of the ol’ red sticky?

(RENFIELD gulps it down then impudently tosses the glass back at HELSINGER.)

HELSINGER
What the hell is up mit du?




(RENFIELD leaps from the chair and shouts in HELSINGER’S face 


RENFIELD
Küssen Sie meinen Arsch, Professor! 

(RENFIELD falls to his knees and to the heavens proclaims:

Das Blut ist das Leben!

(During the ensuing dialogue, RENFIELD chews on his fist and pulls down at the skin of his face.)


HELSINGER
Mein Gott!  Does Renfield speak German? 

 
SEWARD
By no means. He was born in the village.


HOSKINS
Never been out of the county. From good English stock.

 
HARKER
What did he say?



HELSINGER
He told me to kiss his arse.

 
HARKER
Blut. He said blut. That’s the word for blood.

 
HELSINGER
He said, “The blood is the life.”

(Behind HELSINGER’s back, RENFIELD crawls over to the piano bench and climbs up on it.)



SEWARD
Deuteronomy 12:23. What riddle is this?

 
HELSINGER
Get off my piano, verrückter Mann!

 
RENFIELD
You think that I’m a crazy man?  A little tune to help you  understand!

(From atop the bench, RENFIELD sings 
“Renfield’s Taunt”)

(At song's end: HOSKINS drags RENFIELD off.)

 
SEWARD
Hoskins, get him back to the cell, and this time shackle him in irons. Twenty-four hour guard on him.


(SEWARD begins to exit.)


HELSINGER
Have we yet located your new patient?  I do not know why, but I have a suspicion that was who Renfield was singing about.

 
SEWARD
How confounding! I don’t understand anything that is happening. I’m going up to do a more thorough examination of Lucy—as you insist.  Are you coming?


HELSINGER
Indulge me—it would help if I might speak with Harker privately. We will be hard on your heels.

 
SEWARD
Be quick about it!

 
(SEWARD exits.)



HARKER
What is so important to detain me, sir?



HELSINGER
I have a most intimate question for you. It may be the key to Lucy’s malaise.

 
HARKER
Ask away, and quickly, too.

 
HELSINGER
How far has your courtship with Lucy progressed--carnally?

 
HARKER
I beg your pardon?

 
HELSINGER
Have you had intercourse?


HARKER
This betrays every boundary—

 
HELSINGER
I admit it is most improper. Assist me in playing detective to rescue your beloved. Is Lucy a virgin?


HARKER
We have had minor intimacies which are common to those betrothed.

 
HELSINGER
… but no intromission?

(HARKER looks puzzled, not familiar with the term.) 

Consummation?  Penetration?



HARKER
Never. I am a gentleman.



HELSINGER
I am so grateful. This given me another clue to the mystery. Now, let’s go to her!

 
(HELSINGER and HARKER exit quickly and with purpose.

“A YOUNG AND FOREIGN NOBLEMAN” plays them off as lights fade.)

 
------------


INTERMISSION  


------------


\

ACT II Scene 1
            In the arboretum



(Helsinger, SEWARD, HARKER burst in to the arboretum to find Lucy on the divan with VLAD leaning over her.)

 

HARKER
Release her, you blackguard!


(VLAD stands and turns slowly to smile at the onrushing cadre; it becomes obvious that he has been tucking a blanket around LUCY’s neck to comfort her. She looks well and is smiling. He looks vibrant with rosy cheeks.)
 


VLAD
She seemed a chilled.



LUCY
Jonathan!  Father!  Stop!  Count Dracul has been so comforting.

 
SEWARD
Why aren’t you upstairs, child? 



(HARKER kneels beside LUCY and grasps her hand.)
 

HARKER
Lucy, are you all right?  We were so worried.
 

HELSINGER
We must examine her now! 

 
(Helsinger begins to look at her neck, her fingernails, and her arms.)

 

(VLAD obviously picks the keys from SEWARD’s pocket.)

 
LUCY
Honestly, Professor, I feel fine.


(VLAD slips away unnoticed by the others.) 

(HELSINGER turns to address VLAD who has disappeared.





HELSINGER

M’lord…where did he go? He was right there?


(Helsinger moves away from LUCY, PERDITA and HARKER, and subtly gestures to SEWARD to come to talk him privately.

During the dialogue below, BRIGID enters with a dressing gown, and she and Perdita help LUCY change into it. Harker averts his eyes.)

 

HELSINGER

Has she had an injection lately?


SEWARD
No, why?


HELSINGER
In the crook of her arm, there is a bad bruise around a fresh red injection spot. Is she using drugs?


SEWARD
Drugs?  My daughter is using drugs!
 

HELSINGER
The bruising is odd. Not as you would expect from an injection. There are the traces of teeth marks.





SEWARD
What?!

 
HELSINGER
Frankly, it looks as if it is, how do you say, “a luff bite?”



SEWARD
A love bite?  From whom?  Harker!

 
HELSINGER
We know one here who uses drugs and would know how to admnister them.


SEWARD
The Count?  Oh, my Lord!  I’ll have Brigid move Lucy up to her bedroom and stay with her.


HELSINGER
Better perhaps to keep her here in the arboretum where it is warm and humid.
 

(BRIGID enters carrying a nightdress for LUCY).
 

HELSINGER

Bridey dear, would you make Lucy comfortable down here—oh, once again you have read my mind! 
 
 (At his compliment BRIGID smiles to herself like an enamored schoolgirl

BRIGID helps LUCY don her nightdress.) 




SEWARD
Of course. I’ll fetch Hoskins and we will bring our new patient to account for his whereabouts.

(SEWARD exits)        

 PERDITA enters)



PERDITA
Brigid said Lucy was under the weather.

 
HELSINGER
Sit with your sister, Meine Blüte. I would prefer she has company at all times. Come Harker, I have more questions.

 
 (Helsinger and HARKER exit.)

 
PERDITA
What is the matter, dear sister?

 
LUCY
Fantastic dreams. What time is it?

 
PERDITA
Eleven.


LUCY

No!


PERDITA
You skin is so pale.

 
LUCY

I feel drained. I need to confide something to you. Promise!
 

PERDITA
I always keep your secrets.


LUCY
I met the Count last night in the arboretum…Oh! I fear I’ve lost my mind. Or my soul.
 

PERDITA
You little harlot!  Tell me the details.

 
LUCY
I couldn’t sleep for thinking of him, so I wandered down here where I’d suggested he visit. We drank some of his wine, well, I drank, he didn’t drink. Then I made the “overture.”  And he demurred. Curiously, he asked if I was a virgin. I guess it put him off, because he sent me to bed...but I refused to go! 

(LUCY pauses).
 

PERDITA
And…

 
LUCY
I remember our dancing the tango, and his singing—his singing was hypnotic. He kissed my neck…then I remember a soul-wrenching paroxysm that shook my entire being.


PERDITA
Oh, my! Lucy! Did he “deflower” you”? 

 
LUCY
I don’t know. But how could I not know?  I have heard that women can swoon with excitement. I feel so alive, but I am so weak. Though I think I’m starting to remember….
 

LUCY sings
“My Blood Boils."



PERDITA
Perhaps if you sat with Jonathan and talked it might relieve this obsession.



LUCY
That’s the last thing—
 

(HARKER calls from off stage.)
 

HARKER
Lucy?  Lucy, dear.

 
(PERDITA calls to HARKER.)
 

PERDITA
Jonathan? Come in.


LUCY
Perdita, wait!  Don’t leave….

 (HARKER enters.

 LUCY feigns sleep.)

 

PERDITA
Jonathan, go and sit with Lucy while I tend to my studies.
 

 (PERDITA exits.

 HARKER approaches LUCY.


LUCY feigns annoyance at being awakened.)


 
LUCY
What! 

 
HARKER
Sorry, darling. Just wanted to see how you were.
 

LUCY
Sleeping, Jonathan!  Couldn’t you see I was sleeping? (Pouting.) You awakened me from the most delightful dream.
 

HARKER
Oh? (Pause) What was the dream about?


LUCY
Oh, Jonathan, can’t I have a little corner of privacy? Just a jot, just a tittle, that I might have for myself
 

HARKER
Of course, my dear. I didn’t mean to intrude on your—
 

LUCY
You never do. Mean to intrude. But you do. Continually.
 

HARKER
I do?


LUCY
For instance…awakening me when it is quite apparent that I was sleeping soundly.



HARKER
I apologize deeply. I just wanted to see if---
 

LUCY
I…I…it seems to be always about what you want.

 
HARKER
I see. I’ll let you sleep. And get back to your dream.
 

(HARKER crosses to exit.

 LUCY turns over to sleep facing downstage.

 HARKER pauses and turns back to LUCY.



HARKER
Lucy?
 
(LUCY opens her eyes facing downstage without sitting up.) 
 

LUCY
What?  What now?

 
HARKER
Lucy, dear, pardon the further intrusion, but I am compelled to ask: was your dream about him?

 
(LUCY’s eyes open widely. She hesitates as if caught.)

 
LUCY
About him?  About whom?

 
HELSINGER
Who else? The Count.



 LUCY sits up and faces HARKER.)


LUCY
What is this about, Jonathan?  Are you harboring some petty jealousy?  The Count?  How absurd--he’s sickly.

 (LUCY feigns a yawn.)


HARKER
All right. Thank you for the reassurance. Sleep now.



(LUCY drops back on the bed and rolls over with her face downstage.  

HARKER stands and waits.

LUCY drifts off. A smile comes to her lips. She lets out a sigh of pleasure.

HARKER’s heart sinks.)

 
HARKER sings
“He Has You”



------------





ACT II Scene 2
In the arboretum (action and place continued)

 
(NOTE: during this dialogue, LUCY--reclining with her back the to the audience and in the dark-- unnoticed should apply bruise makeup to her neck and arm and dark circles under her eyes.)

(As HARKER turns to leave, VLAD enters.)
 
VLAD
Good morning!
 
(HARKER walks past him abruptly to exit.)
 
HARKER
Sir! 

 
VLAD
You are disquieted by my presence?

(HARKER halts and turns on him.)


HARKER
I sense that you have alienated the affections of my fiancé.

 
VLAD
I do not understand.



HARKER
She is obviously suffering from a romantic fantasy about a foreign nobleman, and I daresay you are encouraging her. In this realm sir, betrothed women are off-limits. Be warned, too, sir, that I was a lieutenant (pron. Lef-tenant) colonel in the Great War, and I am a crack shot with my Webley.
 

VLAD
No need, sir. If I have given offence, I beg your forgiveness. .I went to warm myself in the arboretum this morning, and I found her there. She was moaning as if in dream, and she had kicked off her blanket. I was covering her when you all entered. I now understand how it may have appeared. I assure you, you have nothing to fear. I have not had desire for years because of my infirmities. I am sure that, upon my departure, this will become a vague memory.

 
HARKER
We shall then forget this conversation completely.

 
VLAD
I thank you for your generosity of spirit. You are a true English gentleman.

 (VLAD exits.

HARKER returns to LUCY who gives a little snore and is truly asleep.

Reassured, HARKER exits).

 (LUCY turns restlessly in her bed.

VLAD re-enters.) 



VLAD
A true English gentleman--who could not satisfy a woman if his happiness depended on it. I have her, but I will not keep her long.

 
 VLAD sings “VIRGINS”


(LUCY rouses in half sleep through the song. Through the first part of the song, VLAD sings around her and behind the divan, pulls her limp body up to him, sits in front of her, still asleep, he raises her leg and puts it over his shoulder, etc.   The tango is described in the video.)     


(VLAD begins to depart.

LUCY awakens.)

 
LUCY
No, don’t leave. Come back. More, give me more!

 
VLAD
Your betrothed is suspicious of us. We must stop.

 
LUCY
]
That’s insane. I’m insane. Insane with desire for you. I’ll drive him away.


VLAD
He has threatened my life. I fear I must leave this place.

 
LUCY
No! If you go, I shall go with you.    

 
VLAD
He would follow us.

 
LUCY
Not if I tell him to leave me alone.

 
VLAD
He is a man possessed. He would never let us be together. Even if you did not come with me, if you rejected him, he would track me down and do me violence.

 
LUCY
I would never allow that to happen. What can I do?

 
VLAD
Would you protect me?  Would you actually protect your new love so that we could be together?

 
LUCY
Yes!  I would do anything for you.


VLAD
If you are certain, then we must—you should—act, how do they say, preemptively.

 
LUCY
What should I do?

 
VLAD
I have this for you.

(VLAD takes out syringe, and hands it to her.)

Do what your inner voice tells you.

(VLAD start to leave.) 

 
LUCY
No, no, don’t leave me!  Touch me, kiss my neck again.

 
VLAD
We will have eternity. I must be elusive for a while. Trust, my love.


(LUCY looks at the syringe.

They hear HARKER approaching.

VLAD slips away.

LUCY hides the syringe in the cushions then feigns sleep.)

 
-----------



ACT II Scene 3
            In the arboretum


(HARKER stands at the door, waiting to see if LUCY is asleep.

 He starts to turn away.

LUCY sits up and calls to him.)


 
LUCY
Jonathan? Jonathan?


(HARKER sits beside and takes her hand.)
 
HARKER
You look so pale, darling.

 
(LUCY cuddles up to HARKER.)

LUCY
I love you, Jonathan.

 
HARKER
I was so afraid I’d lost you…lost you to that man.


(LUCY pulls HARKER close.)

LUCY
I need your warmth, Jonathan.


HARKER
Here?

(HARKER looks about anxiously.)

 Others could come in

 
LUCY
They are all asleep. And I don’t care.

 
HARKER
I do so love you.



(LUCY pulls HARKER even closer.)

LUCY
Come to me.



HARKER
Lucy, Lucy, my Lucy goosey…

 
(LUCY starts to mount HARKER. HARKER begins to unbutton the top of her dressing gown. LUCY pushes HARKER’s hands away.)


LUCY
No!  Let me play the man.

 
HARKER
Anything…


LUCY
Open up to me, Jonathan. Lie back like I do. Bare your breast and throw back your head like I do. Show me how you want me to open up to you on our wedding night.

(LUCY kisses then bites HARKER  on his neck.)


HARKER
Whatever you want--Ow! Darling…your teeth.

 
LUCY
Do you love me, Jonathan?

 
HARKER
So much.



LUCY
Then let me do what I want with you. Let me do what I want with your body.

 
HARKER
Darling, what has happened to you?

 
LUCY
Will you let me?    

 
HARKER
Yes, yes, anything.

 
LUCY
Do you promise not to resist whatever I desire?

 
HARKER
Yes, yes, take me.



(LUCY pulls off HARKER’s tie and ties his hands behind his back.)


HARKER
What are you doing to me?

 
LUCY
Anything I want, like you said I could!  Now give in to me!


HARKER
Oh, yes, my darling! I am yours to do with what you will.

 
LUCY
Close your eyes!  Keep them closed!

 
(LUCY reaches into the cushion and retrieves the syringe from the cushion, and injects HARKER in the neck.  

HARKER writhes, struggles, gurgles, and falls limp.

LUCY smiles, then snaps awake, as if from a dream.

Realizing what she has done, LUCY screams in horror, and runs off .)


 ------------



ACT II Scene 4
            In the arboretum


 (SEWARD, Helsinger and HOSKINS, hearing the scream, rush in.

  HELSINGER is first in, and sees HARKER who is obviously dead.)


HELSINGER
Ach! mein Gott im Himmel oben!

 
HOSKINS
What the Devil!

 
SEWARD
My God!


(SEWARD checks to see if HARKER is alive.)
 

He is dead. There seems to be no wound. Where is Lucy?


(PERDITA enters in a rush.)

PERDITA
I heard the commotion, and Lucy has just run out the front door! Brigid’s gone after her.

(PERDITA sees the dead HARKER.)

 Oh!

 (PERDITA retreats with hand over mouth and falls to her knees downstage.)

 
HELSINGER
There is an injection point on his neck at the jugular.


SEWARD
Where is the Count!  I invited that gypsy blackguard here!  This is my fault!

 
HELSINGER
He seems to be very elusive.

 
SEWARD
Search also for Renfield. He seems to have developed an unholy fixation regarding our guest, and could be capable of doing this.


(SEWARD and HOSKINS carry HARKER off.

PERDITA is on her knees weeping.

HELSINGER goes to comfort her, and helps her to her feet.)

 
HELSINGER
I am so sorry that you witnessed this savagery. I fear your sister has been caught up in this maelstrom.


PERDITA
I need to tell you---Lucy had just told me she was breaking it off with Jonathan. When I left them they were sitting down to talk it over.

 
HELSINGER
But why would she break it off—

 
PERDITA
Over this unholy infatuation she had with the Count.

 
HELSINGER
Ahhh!

 
PERDITA
I am ashamed to say that I do understand. I find him magnetic.


HELSINGER
I am not surprised. A wealthy, handsome, young man visiting you and your sister who live in much isolation, it is understandable.
 

PERDITA
You have taught me so much. I rely on you. I love you (she hugs him; he tenses, and she covers what she’s said with a quick modification)--as my teacher, my mentor, I mean.
 

HELSINGER
Yes, yes, of course, the love of a teacher for his best pupil, to you that love I return.

 (An uncomfortable silence ensues.) 

Would you do some research into the Count’s past and the legends. There are books in my study. Pay attention to the folklore and myths. Often there is a disguised truth to them.

 
PERDITA
Yes!  But this is not merely to take my mind off---


HELSINGER
No!  A capable research assistant is priceless!          



(PERDITA exits.

HELSINGER smiles proudly…then his expression turns sorrowful.)




--------------



ACT II Scene 
        At the apron               


(RENFIELD enters, head bowed with more drugs.)

 
VLAD
I no longer need the drugs. I now need the blood of humans instead of animals. The blood of the other madmen, even yours. Here is a syringe with which to draw the blood. Here are the keys to the cabinet and your cell. You can barter the drugs for blood. But draw the blood before you give them the drugs.
But you must be my sentinel. Keep a close watch on the happenings in the house and report them to me.

(RENFIELD nods and kisses VLAD’s shoe.

VLAD then pulls his foot away, disgusted, and turns one his heels to exit.)


RENFIELD begins to draw blood out of his vein with the syringe and empty it into a wine bottle.

After two draws, he pauses, realizes what he is doing, bows his head and shakes it, and hurries off.)



------------           



ACT II Scene 6
       In the drawing room

 
(Brigid comes in to dust, wiping her tears, and moaning softly, and crosses downstage)


BRIGID
 Trócaire, trócaire, mo Iosa!
[“Mercy, mercy, Jesus.]

 
VLAD comes in behind her. Brigid does not turn to look but tenses which shows that she knows he is there.)

BRIGID
M’lord.


VLAD
Eyes in the back of your head?

 
BRIGID
How may I serve you?

(VLAD comes downstage beside Brigid and speaks in her ear, slithering from one side of her to the other.)

 
VLAD
I have known women like you before.
 


BRIGID
Like me?  Servants?  I’m sure you have, my lord.

 
VLAD
How coy. I know what you are.

 
BRIGID
And what is it that I am?  Or that you think I am?

 
VLAD
You know what they do not. You have the gift. You could be a problem for me.

 
BRIGID
Whatever do you mean?

 
VLAD
Leave off this charade, my dear.
                     
(VLAD crosses upstage and sits)
         
I have come to warn you not to interfere.



(BRIGID crosses upstage beside him to confront him.)

BRIGID
I love this family, and I will protect what I love.
 

VLAD
You have not lived so long as I. You do not know my power.

 
BRIGID
You only think you know mine. Warn me?  I warn you. Miss Lucy is gone. Ran straight off the cliff. They found her body on the rocks. I fear she was likely a willing accomplice in her own undoing. Let us agree on the pretense that she went murderously insane.  But know that if you seek to harm my Perdita or the professor or poor, distraught Dr. Seward, it will be your undoing, regardless of how long you have existed or the horror you have left in your wake for centuries.

 
VLAD\
So wise so young, they say do never live long.


  (BRIGID crosses downstage as she speaks.)

BRIGID
How does it go?  Villain, villain, smiling, damnable villain.


(VLAD stands and moves toward her threateningly.) 

VLAD
As I thought…much more than a maid and cook.


(BRIGID raises her broom to defend herself and incants:) 

 
BRIGID
Mater noster, qui es in caelis, et ne nos inducas in tentationem, sed libera nos a malo!
[“Our Mother, who are in heaven, lead us not into temptation but deliver but from evil”.]

 
VLAD
Aroint thee, witch. Your superstitious incantations have no effect.

(VLAD begins to exits.

BRIGID chases after him.


They meet on opposite sides of any upstage chair where the dialogue takes palce.)





BRIGID
Injure anyone in this family, and I will use more than incantations to stop you



VLAD
Wouldn’t you rather jump the life to come, and come with me?  I am building a family that you could love.
 

BRIGID
You are the serpent’s egg, Count Dracul. Hatch your plot elsewhere.


(VLAD begins to exit. The lights change, and VLAD then turns back with a savage face and a hiss, and BRIGID meets him with the a roar of a lioness. For this flash of a moment they reveal their true natures. The lights return.)

 
VLAD
Sleep well, my dear. If you dare close your eyes.

 
BRIGID
Why has no one killed you?




VLAD
They have tried.

 
BRIGID
Perhaps they just used the wrong weapon the wrong way.




(For a moment the lights flash a change as the strike pses of different preddators about the strike one another, then resume their prior state.)






VLAD
I will see you below. 

(VLAD exits.)


BRIGID
Just what I was about to say--in a rather more specific way.


(BRIGID exits.)

 
------------


ACT II Scene 7
            In the drawing room

(Perdita sits in the drawing room among books that she is skimming. She stops to write a note on a tablet.

Vlad enters, and immediately is alerted and sniffs the air like a wolf. His looks snap toward her. He is smiling, lupine, almost drooling.)



VLAD
Good evening


(Perdita jumps up in fright and the books scatter. She is too frightened to turn.)

 
PERDITA
Oh! No!  Stay away from me.


VLAD
Please, I come with good intentions.

 
(Perdita turn US to face him, and his look turns to shock. This is the first time he has seen her face, having averted his eyes from her till now.)


(A lighting change should highlight this moment.)



PERDITA
What, what…why are you staring at me like that.              

VLAD
You, you…I am sorry, I had not truly seen your face before.




(PERDITA gathers up the books as she speaks.
 She holds them and stands apart from VLAD.)



PERDITA
They are looking for you. How have you hidden from them?

 
VLAD
Acute hearing is an effect of my condition. I need time to consider how to approach your father and the others.

 
PERDITA
You are a horror!

 
VLAD
I am sorry you feel that way.



PERDITA
What did you do to Lucy?



(VLAD sits.)


VLAD
I am bereft about Lucy. I may have infected her, and it may have driven her to madness. I have never been contagious before. Now the doctor and the professor are hunting me like villagers after a monster instead of testing me for contagion. Perhaps it was from the kiss.

 
PERDITA
Kiss?  Kiss?  Lucy told me the entire story.
 

VLAD
What story?

 
PERDITA
You had your way with her
 

VLAD
No, no, that is not true!  Only a kiss. Perhaps such a fantasy was part of her brain fever. But then I would not have had the strength.

 
PERDITA
You look much stronger than when you arrived.

 
VLAD
Perhaps The sea air. I have been in tropical climes too long. Before I go to speak to them, help me calm myself.


PERDITA
Just for a moment. But I warn you, they will surely be coming in soon. And if you come near me I will scream.

 
VLAD
Nothing to fear. I am feeling weak again. The effects of the disease comes and goes.

 
PERDITA
Where did you contract your disease?

 
VLAD
In South America.

 
PERDITA
Do you know how?

VLAD
I was bitten by bats. Many of them.

 
PERDITA
Oh, lord. When did your symptoms present?

 
VLAD
Longer than you would believe.

 
PERDITA
Please stop looking at me that way!

 
VLAD
Pardon me. There is something familiar about you. Perhaps we knew one another in a former life.

 
PERDITA
I do not believe in such things.

 
VLAD
I am sorry. I come from a culture steeped in superstitions. What do you believe in?

 
PERDITA
I believe in the scientific method and provable facts, not my father’s nonsense. I am studying with Dr. Helsinger in hopes of becoming a scientist, perhaps a physician.
Don’t avoid my question. How long ago were you bitten?

 
VLAD
I count nearly 400 years.


PERDITA
Oh, fantastical!  I would love to hear the fiction you concoct.

 
(Following monologue is accompanied by light changes to enhance the eerie tone. It is an opporutnity for rear projection of jungle scenes. )

 
VLAD
Fiction? I wish it were. Where to begin? I ceased telling the story over 100 years ago when they put me in a madhouse for my “delusions.” 

I was the third son of a king. No place at court for the third son. Kissed my mother, took my gold, and rode till I came to the sea. The year was 1522.

Reckless and hungry for adventure as all young men are, I had the questionable fortune to have a fortune of gold in my pocket. The world was no longer flat, people were learning to read, all dreamt of the new world. I hired an expedition to South America.

Hurricanoes, thirst, blown off course, all the clichéd disasters. Then this lush land appeared. We camped on the beach. Curious and foolhardy, we pushed into the jungle—into hell. Monsters there did dwell. Jaguars, giant reptiles, spiders the size of a man’s hand. Our hearts beat so fast we could not sleep till we fell exhausted. A full moon arose. Suddenly a whooshing and fluttering, then the moon went dark, and there were 100 tiny things biting me. Bats. Filthy things that fly. All but me died that night. I stumbled dazed and bleeding into the jungle. I fell and could not rise. I knew death was near. I called for my mother. No one is ever prepared.

A young girl appeared. Brown skin, long black hair, bare-breasted, wearing only a loin cloth. She gave me water from a gourd. She ran and brought an old man. A strong man, for he carried me to their camp, to their hut. He performed a ceremony over me. He cut the arm of the girl with a flint knife, and let her blood drip into my mouth. Next morning, the tiny bite marks were gone as were the old man and girl. I continued my trek. I did not tire. The jaguar and snake avoided me. I wandered north. Some tribes tortured me, but when I stayed a while, they came to treat me a god because I did not age.

I keep seeing the girl. Perhaps it was my imagination—or a hallucination. I saw her once as I stood on the balcony of my villa, peering out at me through the perimeter in the trees where the jungle begins. Once in a brothel in Buenos Aires. Lately in a cabaret in a Vienna where she sang in rapture. She lives on in my dreams. Four hundred years is a long time to hold a memory.

 
PERDITA
Quite a tale. I nearly crossed over to believing you.  Do you use it to throw women off guard?  (She smirks ironically.) I shall never have the opportunity to clinically examine a man four centuries old. Would you mind?

 

VLAD
Are you asking to touch me? 


PERDITA
In the interest of science.
 

VLAD
In the interest of science, of course.
 

(PERDITA takes his pulse, feels his neck lymph nodes, looks at his fingernails, looks into his eyes; she studies them for a long time.)
 

PERDITA
Your eyes?


VLAD
What about them?

 
PERDITA
They are most unusual color. May I look more closely?
 

VLAD
By all means.


PERDITA
They have a depth to them. It gives one vertig



VLAD
I have been told.

 
PERDITA
You skin sparkles.

 
VLAD
Tell me more.

 
PERDITA
How soft your hair is. How red your lips.

 
VLAD
You may touch them.

 
PERDITA
It makes my fingers tingle.

 
VLAD
Your touch is strong and soft.

(VLAD reaches up and touches her cheek.

PERDITA is overcome. Through the dialogue till they tango, her breathing rates increases incrementally. )


You are the very image of the young girl who saved my life.


PERDITA
I am?

 (VLAD’s touch slips down to touch her neck.)

 
VLAD
The very image. I have a question for you.
 

PERDITA
Yes.
 

VLAD
Living isolated in this desolate place, have you had male companionship?

 
PERDITA
No, not to speak of. Why do you ask?
 


VLAD
Will you dance with me?



PERDITA
I don’t dance….but I’ll try.

                       
(They tango to “TANGO ARIEL”)

(When the tango ends,
VLAD and PERDITA sing “DUET’”


(They sing not to one another, but as if expressing inner doubts and yearnings.)



(PERDITA kisses him aggressively. VLAD kisses her neck. She sighs and moans. VLAD spins her into the chair where she sits, he kneels beside her.)

 
VLAD
You are the image of the girl who saved me. Perhaps I have forgotten or see what I want to see—perhaps you are she and have come across time. Perhaps you might save me as she did.

(OVER MUSICAL UNDERSCORE)

 I have a way for us to be together, to be as one flesh.



(VLAD pulls out a syringe. PERDITA eyes widen excitedly. He withdraws blood from a vein in his arm.

He takes her forearm and prepares to inject her with his blood. She is shaking with excitement.

He hesitates. He looks at her. He kisses her forearm, pockets the syringe, kisses her brow, and quickly exits.

PERDITA is so dumbfounded and abandoned she does not even look after him as he exits.)


(RENFIELD is revealed as having been peering at them surreptitiously. He is much more upset this time for he fears this turn of events could cost his “god” his power.)



 

ACT II Scene 8
      In the hallway, in front of the door to Helsinger’s study

 
 (Helsinger stumbles in with a glass and bottle in hand.)

 

HELSINGER
Perdita is beside herself. Keep an eye on her.

 
BRIGID
Are you all right, sir?

 
(HELSINGER ignores her solicitousness.)

HELSINGER
Bridey, there may be more to this than science can deduce. We must root out whatever is causing this pain.

 
BRIGID
I will brew up something to ease everyone’s pain. We’ll just have to find a way to—how do you doctors say—administer it.

 
HELSINGER
You are an excellent cook, Mein Irisch Kind.

 
BRIGID
May I brew you up some coffee, sir?

 
HELSINGER
(Pats his bottle)
 
I have all that I need.

(HELSINGER raises his glass in which the ice cubes tinkle audibly. He exits into his study.

Brigid closes the door after him.)

BRIGID sings “HERE I Stand” (part one)


 ( At song's end:  PERDITA enters and breaks down.)

 
PERDITA
Help me. Help me!  I am lost.

(BRIGID  goes to her.)
 
What has happened to me?  I am in a nightmare, and I can’t wake up. Every waking thought is about him. In my dreams I call his name. I know what he wants next, but he hesitates. He says he knows me from long ago. I have read that people who are in love often feel that they have known the person in another lifetime. Could he fall in love with me?  What would that be like?



(BRIGID shakes her.)
 
BRIGID
Listen to me. He is walking death, and will lead you to a true hell. Did he ask you about whether you'd known other men?

 
PERDITA
Yes. I found it strange.
 

BRIGID
His appetite is for young women who have not known carnal pleasure.  You need inoculation.

 
PERDITA
Inoculation?  How? What do I take--or do.?

 
BRIGID
A smart girl like you knows the answer. You just want me to say it aloud for you.
                     
(BRIGID opens the door to Helsinger’s study.)

Inside. Don’t even knock. You have known this was coming for a long time. He tortures himself with the guilt of desire and drinks ever more to deaden the pain. Go to him now, my sweet girl.

(Brigid hugs her.)

Now, inside.

 
(PERDITA hesitates, looks to Brigid, then enters Helsinger’s study.


Brigid closes the door behind her and leans against it.)
 

BRIGID sings “HERE I Stand” (part two)

 
(Cross fade to Helsinger’s study, BRIGID looks toward it, then exits.)



-----------



ACT II Scene 9
            In Helsinger’s study

 
(PERDITA enters, distraught.)

 
PERDITA
I have gone mad.


HELSINGER
I know the strain---

 
PERDITA
I have gone mad with lust for him. I have decided that you must intervene.

 
HELSINGER
How can I?


PERDITA
Lucy told me he asked whether she was a virgin, and he asked me if I had had gentlemen callers. I think that he prefers virgins. If I am no longer a virgin, then his desire for me may cease.

 
HELSINGER
What are you proposing?
 

PERDITA
Can’t you tell, don’t you see?

 
PERDITA sings “Teacher”


 (PERDITA kisses Helsinger. He picks her up and carries her off. He stops at the door, hesitates, puts her down and steps away. She takes his hand and pulls him. She smiles and exits, walking backwards and leading him.)





------------------




ACT II Scene 10  
            In the hallway

 
(VLAD, in the shadows, sees PERDITA exit Helsinger’s study, fixing her hair.)

 
VLAD sings and speaks “ANOTHER POOR MAID





(RENFIELD enters, look where VLAD has exited, and turns away and weeps.

RENFIELD exits.)



------------------------------



ACT II Scene 11
        In Helsinger’s study



(VLAD enters.)



HELSINGER
 (Without looking up

I have been expecting you.  


(Looks at Vlad)

Four centuries without a wrinkle? Truly?


VLAD
Your student has handed in her report, I see.


HELSINGER
It is an intriguing premise. I’m sure that your romantic story has fascinated many innocent young women. I have some small experience with such gambits myself… but let me ask: Has it occurred to you that your tale would sound mad even if we were not above a madhouse0?



VLAD
I am a man like you.


HELSINGER
There have reports of blood drinkers since before we had language. But as your sole diet?


VLAD
I have tried to live on cats in the alley, on lambs in the field.


HELSINGER
Since you have preyed on Lucy, and now seek Perdita, may I conclude that it is the blood of intact maidens you desire?  (Laughs) The old myth of the sacred blood of virgins! Or is this appetite for the innocent something buried deep in the rapine nature of the nobility? 


VLAD
Alas, some blood is more nutritious. Female blood of those who are pure and intact.


HELSINGER
Yet you came her under the guise of curing your addictions. The fox was seeking his cure in the hen house?


VLAD
How could I know that there would be lovely young women here in this desolate sanatorium?  I fought my urges, but I had no more choice than you have to take that drink. Or to long for your student. I know you have picked our exotic flower. You’ve fallen into your old ways and dishonored your host.

HELSINGER
You shame me.  (Pause) Then the story of vampires and your inherited blood disease are—

 
VLAD
A legend.

(VLAD picks up the book with the large title which,
if possible, should be visible to the audience.)


See here, writ large on the book “Balkan Folk Tales.”  I do not vanish into a fog or fly. We know the world is not like that.


HELSINGER
Renfield seems to think you a god….


VLAD
Renfield longs for escape. It is in man’s nature. Look what they made of a Nazarene carpenter. You are a man of science in this new century. Let us suppose for a moment that my story is authentic. How does your writer say, "More things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in your philosophy." Suspend your disbelief for a moment. Give me your interpretation of what might have made me into this. 


HELSINGER
Hypothetically, eh? Alright, let us assume you are a vampire of legend. The cause of your transformation. Maybe you are a genetic anomaly. Or one of those evolutionary leaps, as soul-crushing as that would be if our species too such a turn. Although the last few years seems to confirm that our race thrives on the blood of its own. Perhaps a virus? Who knows why we age? If, as you contend, you were infected by an animal bite, what you contracted may have switched off whatever ages us and increased your strength and reflexes.  Though we profess that science is the new religion, we are still profoundly ignorant about how the world works.


VLAD
I am intrigued by your hypotheses. It shows a brilliant mind. I am what I am, and I would like to prove it to you. I would like to offer this gift that I have been given. There is some danger. Some go mad as Lucy did, others thrive and flourish. I predict that you have the will and constitution for it. But first I must share something with you that may color your decision. Give me your hand.


(HELSINGER is reluctant to give his hand.)


MUSICAL UNDERSCORE #3
(1:20 plays through the action below; continue to read while it plays .)

VLAD
Give me your hand… I do not bite.  I am lonely. I long for family You will die soon from the liquor and guilt. I can give you long, long life.  You and I share the daily battle against our natures. We also share a love for the girl. She thinks giving herself to you has dampened my ardor.  Not so. We three would share a happy life. Hunting, living where we list, a life of adventure and exploration. I am sure we can together persuade her. Join us? We would make good conversation. I have always ruled the roost, but for her, I would share. What do you say, old man?

 
(HELSINGER pulls his hand away.)

HELSINGER
Do not use your wiles on me, sir. If your outlandish story were true,then Hell would be preferable. It is hubris to escape the natural law.



VLAD
(Pleading with HELSINGER) I cannot go on like this and stay sane. My loneliness drives me to distraction. Together we can persuade her.


HELSINGER
Die Teufel!  Devil is a good name for you.



VLAD
Your willfulness drives me to madness. I am noble, I am to be obeyed. Do you not understand how important she is to me?  Without you, she may not come of her own free will.  But she comes with me whether or not you follow. I have ways to persuade her beyond your imagination.

(HELSINGER exits fleeing.)

(VLAD, to himself)

He should have accepted my hand. I know she will not go without him. If I cannot have her, I fear I shall go mad…

 
------------



ACT II Scene 12
      In the hallway


(VLAD meets PERDITA. She backs away from him.) 

 
PERDITA
Stay away.

 
VLAD
No, no, don’t you see?  I have dreamed of you ever since you saved my life in the jungle, ever since your blood changed my life forever. Now it comes full circle. I know you can change me back again with your love. Change me into one who loves.

 
PERDITA
You truly do belong here. Below stairs in the asylum.

 
VLAD
Have pity on me.  Love me. Help me. Change me back. Please, please, please.


PERDITA
I am no longer what you want.

 
VLAD
I know of you and your teacher, I don’t care. I only want you for many, many lifetimes. Let me give you the gift that you gave me so long ago.  

 
PERDITA
I did not give you--


VLAD
We are joined over centuries.

 
PERDITA
How could that be?  There is no proof. I don’t, I can’t…


(VLAD kneels to PERDITA.)

VLAD
You would want it if only you could see.


PERDITA
What happened to Lucy? Why wouldn’t it happen to me?


VLAD
She was weak, you are strong; you will thrive. Don’t you want to know what it is like to be like me?

PERDITA

(Thinking aloud)

And the serpent said to the woman, "You surely will not die!  For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God….”

 

VLAD
“…put forth your hand, and take of this tree of life, and eat, and live forever!”

                       
(PERDITA stops and ponders…then turns to VLAD)

PERDITA
I want…you still have…your eyes…no, no, no, I can’t, I mustn’t!

 
(PERDITA flees.)

(VLAD collapses. Then he brings his head up from the ground.)


                                                           

VLAD
It is the witch’s fault.
“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”
Her charmèd life is done.
Let’s all now gather stones.
To crush and grind the bones
Of the witch.

                       
(VLAD exits.)

 
 

ACT II Scene 13
                  In the kitchen below stairs


(BRIGID is in the kitchen at the cutting board downstage. She is finishing decanting a brew. She hears VLAD approaching.)

 

VLAD
Where is my little leprechaun, my little scullery maid? 

 
(BRIGID takes her big carving knife and chops the broom to a point in a chop or two. Then she hides in a dark corner.)

 
(Offstage, 
VLAD sings “TO KILL A WITCH” (part one)


 
(Brigid shows herself and wields her broom as her weapon.)

 
BRIGID
Turn, hell-hound, turn!



 (SEWARD rushes in brandishing a crucifix.)                                   

SEWARD
Damn you to hell, you great dragon, you serpent of old!

(VLAD recoils from the crucifix. Then smiles, rises up, laughs, pulls it from SEWARD’s hand, snaps it in half, throws it aside, and backhands SEWARD who stares in horror at the sacrilege, and scrambles on his knees to pick up the pieces.)

(BRIGID lunges with her sharpened broom, but Vlad steps the side and easily avoids her thrust. Then VLAD grabs Brigid by the hair. He sniffs her hair.)


 
VLAD
Hoskins was right, my little potato. I feel stronger just to smell the onions in your hair.


(HOSKINS enters and confronts VLAD.
He is unaware that RENFIELD sneaks in behind him.)



HOSKINS

Not to worry, my girl. I’ll take care of this bugger. Here comes a lifetime of wanting to crush the nob off a sod like you, y’ parasite wanker!

 
(RENFIELD grabs HOSKINS from behind.

VLAD grabs the carving knife and stabs HOSKINS, who falls, mortally wounded.)

 
BRIGID
No!

(Brigid goes to HOSKINS.)

You daft man!  There was no need.

 
HOSKINS
No one is gonna’ hurt my girl.

 
VLAD
 (To SEWARD)
Doctor, thank you for your hospitality. I will be leaving today. You daughter will be accompanying me.

 
SEWARD
Not while there is breath left in me!


(SEWARD rushes VLAD who cuffs him, and SEWARD falls dazed.


As this happens, Brigid pours the brew over the broom as she incants:)


BRIGID
Seo leacht thiomáint ár an diabhal.
 [“Let this liquid drive out the devil.”
                      
(BRIGID turns to VLAD with her broom raised.)


VLAD
You wish to fight me?  With what?  Your broom? Your oily broom?

(Helsinger enters very drunk and falls to his knees.

 

(PERDITA enters behind HESINGER and starts to run into the fray.

Still on his knees, Helsinger grabs her hand and holds her back.)

 

PERDITA
Let me go. I can stop all this. He wants me.

 

HELSINGER
You must not give in to evil.

 

PERDITA
What is evil?  Let me go. I cannot fight it. I must be with him.

 
(VLAD rises up to full height. A shadow on the wall shows him gigantic. ) 



VLAD sings “TO KILL A WITCH” part two

 
 (BRIGID runs at him again with her broom, and knocks the syringe out of his hand. VLAD grabs her carving knife from the butcher block, parries her next thrust with the knife and grabs her again by the hair and pushes her over the butcher block behind her, presses up against her, and holds the knife to her throat. BRIGID still grasps her broom, though, with his hold on her, it is useless.)

 
 (PERDITA breaks free of Helsinger’s hold and runs toward VLAD. She extends her hand to him.)


PERDITA
Vlad, don’t. I’ll go with you. I’m yours.

 
(VLAD releases Brigid, starts toward PERDITA, and reaches for her hand. As VLAD touches PERDITA’s hand, BRIGID impales VLAD from behind with the broken broomstick “up between his legs,” then withdraws it. He falls to his knees.)

 
BRIGID
Ab insidiis diaboli, libera nos, Domine! 
 [“From the insidious devil, deliver us, oh, Lord!]

 
(VLAD, still holding on to PERDITA’s hand, falls prone, head downstage.

 BRIGID leans down and speaks into VLAD’s ear)



BRIGID 
I anointed my broken broom with my granny’s potion, so you have about two breaths left in ya’. Let your last thought be t’was a woman who sent you straight to hell.

 
(PERDITA kneels beside the fallen VLAD and weeps).

 Brigid realizes that PERDITA has fallen for VLAD and backs away into Helsinger’s arms).


PERDITA begins the “Finale/Reprise”


 
 (A beat after the music fades out, an ominous Final chord of organ music with an immediate spotlight on VLAD, who resurrects  and raises up into a “cobra” position.

 All react in horror except Perdita who is elated and Lucy who is manically gleeful.)

 
BLACKOUT.

 
--END OF PLAY—


(Curtain Call to the music of the opening, upbeat “A Young and Foreign Nobleman,” Then the cast makes way for the tango dancers who perform to the ‘TANGO DE ARIEL,” then they alldance off with the cast following.)



--------
Production note on the tango dancing.
Unless Vlad, Lucy, and Perdita can tango well enough to get applause on their performances,

a proficient tangero (male) and two tangeras (female) should be cast. 


A local tango studio might partner with the production for the advertising it would bring them.

The principals can  striek tango poses as they dancer bance around them.





























































































































































































































































-

BRIGID
Oh, you’ll never know, sir.