Asheville School Fine Arts presents “Fragments of Frankenstein”

Press release from Asheville School Fine Arts: 

This May, Asheville School’s Fine Arts Program will present “Fragments of Frankenstein,” an original multimedia adaptation of Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” imagined through dance, original music and poetry, film, and large-scale art installation.

Docents will guide audience members through a series of settings, or “fragments,” which seek to capture the essence of Shelly’s novel through conceptual enactments of major scenes. The scenes are presented in a non-linear format to explore the novel’s theme of experience through recollection.

“This type of immersive performance makes the lines between audience and performer blur,” said Fine Arts Chair Kathy Leiner, who is co-directing the performance. “The idea of entering the art, rather than standing or sitting on the periphery, is very exciting.”

The collaborative performance is created entirely by Asheville School students and faculty members. “Students are part of the creative process and have the opportunity to brainstorm and contribute to the creation of this original work,” Leiner said.

Students in the visual arts activity and theater tech are responsible for much of the set design, installation, and video work; students in the dance program are involved in creating the show’s choreography; Gelsey Beavers-Damron ’18 is adapting text from the novel to create a script and original poetry for the show; and Mac Waters ’18 is composing an original score for piano, viola, flute, and vocals for the performance.

“Fragments of Frankenstein” will have input from outside the art department as well. Students in Asheville School’s European History class read Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein” as part of their coursework and shared their insights on the essential scenes for the performance. Students in the Engineering class plan to create a geodesic dome for the set, and students from the AP Chemistry class will help create the setting for Dr. Frankenstein’s lab.

“We want the audience to feel as though they have stepped into the pages of the book and are surrounded and included in what is happening,” Leiner said. “The novel is so much richer than most movie depictions, and we chose to express the story through multiple layers of art for a unique experience.”

“Fragments of Frankenstein” will be held in Asheville School’s Graham Theater on May 9, 11, and 12 at 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. There will be two Saturday matinee performances on May 13 at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

To ensure space for each audience group, please register for one of the performances here. You must register to attend one of the performances.

Please note that audience members will be asked to climb stairs, stand, and walk during the performance. If you have questions, contact Kathy Leiner at

Asheville School is a nationally acclaimed co-ed, college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 9 through 12. The 289 students enrolled at Asheville School represent 20 states and 16 countries. Recent graduates have been accepted to Amherst, Columbia, Davidson, Duke, Elon, Emory, Furman, Georgetown, Harvard, NC State, Rhodes, Sewanee, UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, William & Mary, WashU, Wofford, and Yale among others.

About Thomas Calder
Thomas Calder received his MFA in Fiction from the University of Houston's Creative Writing Program. He has worked with several publications, including Gulf Coast and the Collagist. For his weekly #tuesdayhistory tidbits on Asheville, follow him on Instagram @tcalder.

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