The Commonweal Theatre season takes a turn for the spooky Sept. 8.

That’s when "Dracula: Prince of Blood," a new adaptation by Scott Dixon centering on the eponymous bloodsucker, opens. The play continues through Nov. 11, which you’ll note, takes his horror show through both Halloween and the midterm election.

Dixon, familiar to Commonweal audiences from his acting stints, has not been on stage the past two seasons while he fights cancer. Writing "Dracula" has helped him keep a positive attitude, he said.

"This is what gets me through the day," Dixon said.

Retelling a classic story is always a challenge. And in this case, as Dixon admitted, "Dracula has been adapted so many times, in so many ways."

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Finding something new, therefore, becomes a major issue. Dixon has succeeded, according to Craig Johnson, who is directing the play at the Commonweal.

"It’s always exciting to encounter a fresh retelling of a classic, and that is exactly what Scott has given us with this engrossing and accessible new script," Johnson said. "He has skillfully mined the psychological obsessions of the Transylvanian count while keeping in place the visceral scenes of suspense and surprise."

Johnson’s cast consists of Jeremy van Meter as Dracula, Brandt Roberts as Renfield, and Hal Cropp as Van Helsing. Also in the cast are Lizzy Andretta, Elizabeth Dunn, Ben Gorman and Ian Sutherland.

"We’re having fun imagining ways to make the audience gasp and squirm," Johnson said.

Aside from assisting with some tweaks here and there, Dixon has kept his hands off the play since rehearsals started. "That’s appropriate for me as a playwright to do at this time," he said. "It’s very much their show."

When asked if he misses Count Dracula now that the play is out of his hands, Dixon said, "Not quite yet. There was so much joy in the writing and creating of it. I certainly enjoyed Dracula."

What: "Dracula: Prince of Blood"

When: Sept. 8 through Nov 11

Where: Commonweal Theatre, 208 Parkway Ave. N, Lanesboro

Tickets: $35, with discounts for seniors, students and groups of 10 or more; 800-657-7025 and