Based on the novel by Christopher Bram

Adapted for the stage by Thomas Mullen

Directed by Paul Oakley Stovall


May 2024. Theater Wit, Chicago

The Story

Gods & Monsters is based on the novel by Christopher Bram, which became a major motion picture and won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay by Bill Condon.

This newly imagined stage production combines the issues of race and sexuality into it’s original storyline with a deeper focus on what it means to be an outsider

from alternating viewpoints.

Former Hollywood film director best known for Frankenstein, The Bride of Frankenstein, and Show Boat, James Whale is now retired and slowly facing dementia. His caring housekeeper, quietly disapproves of Whale's faceless, nameless parade of young gay lovers, but when the director takes an interest in new gardener and former Marine, it seems to be for something more than his usual casual conquest.

Gods & Monsters to Get Stage Adaptation Via Chicago's Theatre Wit

Paul Oakley Stovall and Tom Mullen are bringing a version of Frankenstein screen director James Whale to the stage that puts more focus on race.


DECEMBER 11, 2023

Chicago's Book & Lyrics Theatricals will premiere a new stage adaptation of Gods and Monsters, based on Christopher Bram's 1995 novel Father of Frankenstein and its 1998 screen version. The work will play a limited run beginning on May 9, 2024

The project is a collaboration between writer-actor Paul Oakley Stovall and director Tom Mullen. In a role reversal, Stovall will direct the premiere while Mullen is writing the script. The mostly fictionalized story centers on the final days of real-life film director James Whale, noted for his work on the classic horror films Frankenstein and Bride of Frankenstein, along with the first full-screen adaptation of the Broadway musical Show Boat. The work tracks the director as his health is failing while simultaneously falling for a young landscaper, Clayton Boone (Whale was openly gay throughout his career, a trailblazer ahead of his time).

Photography Brandon Dahlquist

In Mullen's take, the fictional Boone will become a Black man, a choice inspired by Mullen's research into Whale's Show Boat and its casting of Black activist Paul Robeson as Joe. Going back to Bram's novel after changes were made for the 1998 film version, Mullen's take will also depict Whale's housekeeper as a Mexican immigrant, part of a larger goal to bring race to the center of the story while exploring how Whale's homosexuality helped to unlock the then-uncommon empathy for outsiders and the oppressed that is present in his screen work. The changes have been approved by Bram, who says in a statement that "[m]y story is in excellent hands."

"The title Gods and Monsters almost implies a tale of good and evil, of a benevolent force versus a destructive one," says Stovall in a statement. "But what draws me to this story is that it’s all about the places in between. It’s about what’s just under the surface in all of us and how people who can seem so different are always so very similar because we are all made of the same star stuff. We live in the same world and we want the same things."


Rashun Carter

Clayton Boone

Ethan Check

Edmund Kay & Others

Mayra Echevarría

Maria Ramirez Understudy

Scott Westerman

James Whale

Michael Stejskal

David Lewis & Others

Joshua David Thomas

Clayton Boone Understudy

Mitchell Fain*

James Whale Understudy

Doreen Calderon*

Maria Ramirez

Rick Adams

David Lewis & Others Understudy

Ryan Christopherson

Edmund Kay & Others Understudy

*Denotes member of Actors Equity Association



Tom Mullen


Paul Oakley Stovall


Michael Sobie

Fight & Intimacy Director

Charlie Baker

Scenic Design

Ben Lipinski

Production Manager

Kim Whitfield

AEA Production

Stage Manager

Matthew Silar*

Sound Design

Andre Pluess

Lighting Design

Levi Wilkins

Projection Design

Mike Tutaj

Costume Design

Marquecia Jordan

Prop Design

Ellen Markus

Associate Director

Mitchell Fain

Assistant Director

Evan Ozer

Marketing &

Social Media

Andrea Beschel

General Management

& Casting Director

Christopher Pazdernik


Brandon Dahlquist

Box Office Manager

Josh Nordmark

Press Representative

Jeffrey Ward

*Denotes member of Actors Equity Association

Thank you to our sponsor

“The only monsters are here”

James Whale