A Vampire Play
A production by Studio-Theatre Saarbruecken (Germany)
in thirteen scenes and a prologue.
»Now I live through your warmth and life, but you will die – how
sweet to die for me and because of me.
The ancient, universal mythological themes of the revenant and the
are drawn together in eighteenth-century Europe as the myth of the vampire.
The idea of the revenant draws on the ancient yearning of humanity
for immortality and on the awareness that this can be attained, if at all,
only through the experience of human frailty and through our common fear
in the face of that which awaits us after death. It was especially widespread
in those countries where orthodox Christianity predominated.
I can do nothing to change it. Even as I feed on you, so will you feed
on others and come to know the ecstasy of the cruelty that is love. I live
in you and you must die for me. I love you, terribly and eternally.«
The bloodsucker is an image of the inequality of human relationships,
where one is all too easily sucked dry and used up by the other. This is
symbolised by the loss of the precious blood, venerated since time began
as the elixir of life.
This image has also been interpreted politically, from the time of
Voltaire and Marx to the present day. Through literature and film the modern
vampire, the »bloodsucking revenant«, has found its most popular
interpretation mainly under its erotic aspect.
Carmilla is the most celebrated vampire story in literature and film. The history
of the lesbian vampire has been filmed at least four times: »Vampyr
- the dream of Allan Gray« (1931); »...to die of pleasure«
(1960); »The tomb of the Vampire« (1970) and »Carmilla«
(1989). Many other films
also draw on the theme of the story.
1997 was the »Year of the Vampire«: It is the centenary
of the novel Dracula,
the 125th anniversary of the publication of Carmilla
and marks the 150th anniversary of the birth of Bram
Stoker, the author of Dracula.
The drama Carmilla, freely adapted from the story by Sheridan
Le Fanu, was staged in Germany and other European countries since April
1994 until 2000, in September 1996 there was a tour through
Rumania (Transsilvania). Ulrike Schneidewind was Carmilla (= Mircalla von
Karnstein), Friedhelm Schneidewind played several roles.
You find the complete text of the play in the book »Carmilla« with photos of the original production, extracts
from the story (in English), as well as other vampire legends and literary
by Friedhelm and Ulrike Schneidewind (in German), obtainable from booksellers
or through the authors:
Stengelhofstraße 57 · 68219 Mannheim
phone +49 179 9718257