Creating his own Frankenstein

WHS student writes full-length play for his senior project


When: Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., May 6 and 7, and May 13 and 14. Tickets are available at the door and cost $5 for adults, and $4 for students and senior citizens.

Where: Washburn Performing Arts Center at WHS, 1201 39th St.

Tristan Fackler always thought it would be cool to write and produce an original play.

When he was a Washougal High School freshman, Fackler asked a senior if he thought drama teacher Kelly Gregersen would be willing to consider a student play, and the response was an emphatic, “No way!” “That was kind of disappointing to hear, but I still thought it would be cool to someday write a play,” Fackler recalled.

Fast forward three years, when he summoned the courage to pitch the proposal of writing a script for Mary Shelley’s 1818 novel, “Frankenstein,” as his senior project.

“I was ready for him to shoot it down and had a whole pitch ready, but he was really enthusiastic and said, ‘Absolutely,'” recalled Fackler.

The two-act, 13 scene, 52 page play was a daunting undertaking. Fackler read the book last summer, which proved to be a shock.

“I was expecting the Hollywood version, a play about a monster, but it just got bigger and bigger,” Fackler said.

His biggest challenge was condensing the Victorian dialogue, while remaining true to the novel.

“I didn’t finish writing it until March,” Fackler said. “I felt myself going crazy for awhile.”

He is also acting in his play, portraying the role of Victor Frankenstein.

“This has been a really neat opportunity because I get to write, act and direct it,” he said.

Gregersen described the script as extremely well-crafted.

“I’m excited to be staging it at WHS because in the 12 years I have been here, we have never produced a full play written by a student,” he said. “It’s fantastic.”

The play will be performed by the Panther Players.

In addition to acting, other support roles include sound, lights and makeup.

Breanna Decicco is doing makeup for the entire cast of Frankenstein.

“What I enjoy most is that I love how people react,” she said. “You can see it on their face after you finish their makeup. They look totally changed.”