“Alex Dawson, the proprietor of the marvelous Raconteur bookstore in Metuchen, couldn’t help noticing how many copies of Twilight and True Blood he was selling. So Dawson started writing. The result is Nosferatu: The First Vampyre, a play with music that he’ll also direct. Dawson cites Shakespeare, Chinese shadow-play and Hindu tales as further inspiration for his script. Caryle Owens plays the title role. Portraying Ellen Hutter, the woman he has his eye-teeth on, is Quinn Shephard.” Peter Filichia, The Star-Ledger

“New Jersey isn't just about orange people with dangerously sharp hair and cleavage you can't escape; it's also about VAMPIRES - the kind that rip your head off with teeth or sharp nails. And an ambitious theatre troupe is proving its love for the fanged with a live performance of Nosferatu.” Paul Nomad,

“MAN! These are the times I wish I was back in New Jersey. My good friend Alex Dawson of Raconteur Ventures in my home town of Metuchen, NJ has mounted a stage production of NOSFERATU that simply looks incredible! Everything about this, from the sets, costumes, music, to the simply CHILLING make-up blows me away. For those in the NJ/NY area, this is a must see this weekend and next. Damn, I so want to see this!” Tim Sullivan writer/director/producer (Chillerama, 2001 Maniacs)

“In an age when vampires have become brooding sex symbols, the vampire in Alex Dawson's Nosferatu: The First Vampyre is decidedly bad news. “I didn’t want you to feel too sorry for him,” said Dawson of his Count Orlock, played by Carlyle Owens of Metuchen in Nosferatu: The First Vampyre. “I wanted him to be violent and aware. I use as a character reference Richard III,  an outcast who's ‘rudely stamped’ so he’s ‘determined to prove a villain.’ Dawson, a playwright and former owner of the Raconteur bookstore in his hometown of Metuchen, first staged his Nosferatu last Halloween at Middlesex County College. This time, he's running it out in a non-scary season. “We don’t view it as a haunted attraction even though it has plenty of ‘gotcha’ moments,” said Dawson of staging Nosferatu in the spring.” Chris Jordan, The Home News Tribune

"Though vampires may be the current trend on the big and small screens, AlexDawson’s production of Nosferatu: The First Vampyre taps into a vampire film that predates them all. 'Nosferatu is a prominent pop figure … Google him, and a stencil of him standing amidst the rope rigging of a merchant ship appears on everything from T-shirts to beer cozies. But unlike Dracula, which has been produced hundreds of times since the Broadway revival of its initial 1924 theatrical adaptation, Nosferatu has yet to receive any serious stage treatment,' Dawson said. 'First and foremost, Nosferatu: The First Vampyre is a work of epic drama; the play has more in common with Shakespearean tragedy than it does with, say, True Blood.' The pair (Dawson & Diana) chose to stage it in April to see if the show would also appeal to audiences year round. 'April is, in theory, the most incompatible and counterintuitive time to stage the play; our thinking is, if it sells well in April, well then maybe, just maybe, there are long-run possibilities,” Dawson said." Jacqueline Durrett, The Sentinel

"What better night to hold a vampire pledge party than on Friday the 13th? Better yet, how about holding the pledge party at the Ayers Allen House, Metuchen’s oldest house? Built in 1740 on Durham Avenue, the building, according to local legend, is haunted. Alex Dawson, who adapted and directed the production, said the stake-a-vampire pledge party was part of the film’s Kickstarter campaign. He explained that every week, thousands of people pledge millions of dollars to compelling projects in music, film, art, technology, design, food and publishing. Dawson said the goal is to raise $5,000. Steven and Tyreen Reuter, owners of the Ayers Allen House, welcomed the gang for the party." Kathy Chang, The Sentinel


“As a diehard horror movie fan, I had a ghoulishly good time at NOSFERATU tonight. A beautifully atmospheric production.” Michael Colby

“Fantastic show! *Loved* the emphasis on the Black Death! And the makeup is really astounding! Now that the show's closed and I can't spoil anything, I wanted to note two moments that really made my skin crawl -- when Orlock emerges from under the platform and crawls down the side of the tower, and when the captain is revealed slumped over the wheel, tied to it as it drifts into the harbor. Really well done!” Rob Staeger

"Brilliant work in a genre which is extremely difficult for theater. This production is a reminder that live theater can be intelligent, emotional, and visually stunning all at once, while still remaining true to horror. Everyone involved should take great pride." Todd Stambaugh

"Saw Nosferatu last night with Rebecca, truly a brilliant production -- the whole scary pace of it and therefore the writing, the direction, the acting (Knock excellent), the set, the music (I especially liked the music!), the use of the space....I was not not at all into anything vampirish before, but if I had to be bitten in the neck, I'd ask this Orlock to do it -- I was hypnotized by his balletic movements (I think that's the idea!).  Had I seen the production Off Broadway, I would have thought it more than worth the excursion.  Great work!" Morty Schiff

“Fiends unite! Check out this uniquely amazing show now, before it gets picked up for a Broadway run. Then, you can act all smug and say, ‘Oh, I saw that way back when....’” Evan Msaros

“Thank you all for such a wonderfully, creepy experience! Everything was excellent from the set to the makeup and costumes and of course the extremely talented cast! I think there are two more shows left today, don't miss it!” Linda Koskoski

“Nosferatu was awesome!” Katherine Lauricella

“NOS was off the hook on Saturday! Best show…EVER. I hope this runs again!” Dave Powers

“I thought it was wonderful. The heavier makeup this time around was great. The music still got my heart pumping. Count Orlock was as creepy as ever. Nice work Alex. I look forward to your next production.” Debbie Meyer McCormick

“Went to the Sat afternoon show, somewhat dragging a friend who didn't know what he was getting into --we were both incredibly impressed. Fun, creepy and factual. Kudos to all the talented folks who made it happen.” Pseu Braun

“A MUST see! The acting, set, music, makeup & costumes were all awesome. We are so very lucky to have such amazing talent in our own backyard. I don't like scary stuff but this play was VERY well done. Just go!” Judy Weinberg

“Incredibly a good way. Excellent job!” Deborah Zupan

“The show was amazing!!” Vicenza Eccleston

“Loved the adaptation and the make-up. Super show all around!” Meera Gerlach

“Everything was well done...acting, makeup, set, music, lighting...all very good..and the fact that I was able to follow storyline without getting lost was a major plus!!!” Tom Pearce

“Stellar work by the cast and crew! I can't say enough great things about everyone involved. Outstanding makeup, set design, lighting, props- everything! I have a hard time looking Orlock in the eyes, he is one scary vamp! Quinn was a true delight to watch, I can't wait to see what she has in store for the future, love her. Congrats to truly talented team.” Nina Westervelt

“Great show. The set was very creatively done and the lighting was awesome! Actors were great. It was super creepy!!” Tara Ali-Khan

“It was awesome--great job!” Samantha Stephens

“Great Show! Great Theater! Great Everything!” Nate Shivers

“What a great show!!!!” Jonathan Alijewicz

“Fantastic! Loved it!” Kimberly Rudy

“Absolutely Love It!” Lisa Michalowksi

“Incredible show!!” Kali Mishtra

“I loved it so much I saw it twice! It was such a great performance and the makeup was beautifully done.” Michael Alcocer

“GREAT SHOW last night! Loved the set, the makeup & costumes, the music, the acting... it was all awesome. And who had the pull to get a torrential downpour to start just as Nosferatu set sail?!? Nice touch. ;)” Tyreen Reuter

“Kudos to Alex and Co. I enjoyed the play last night - great acting by all - very creative set & make-up!!!” Susan Lauricella

“Great show last night; creepy characters, awesome music, beautiful sets and costumes. Congrats to all!” Robert M. Nutter.

“Went the other day, quite fantastic, indeed.” Michel Brodka