Special Effects Make-Up Artist Brandi Graber says she loved watching scary movies when she was little, so it was a two-hour labor of love when she transformed Stephen Reida from a friendly PSU junior into the iconic creature from Mary Shelley’s novel, “Frankenstein.”

PSU Theatre’s October production of the Victor Gialanella play, based on Shelley’s horror classic, was a tour de force featuring dramatic make-up, period costumes, electrified sets and, of course, an iconic horror story embraced equally by the cast and the audience.

Graber said she was drawn to theater as a youngster and eventually went to Hollywood, where she studied at the Joe Blasco Make-Up School.

Frankenstein play“I started working in movies after that,” Blasco said.

It’s likely that the audiences that attended PSU’s production had already seen Graber’s work in films such as “Austin Powers,” “George of the Jungle” and “Jurasic Park 2” and on television in “The X Files” and “Seinfeld.”

“Frankenstein” director Gil Cooper said Graber’s outstanding make-up work was just one of the many elements that came together to make this production special.

Those elements included fight training by a veteran choreographer whose husband is an MMA fighter, complex set changes by scenic designer Linden Little and period costumes by costume designer Lisa Quinteros.

Cooper said he was particularly pleased by the way the student actors embraced their roles.

Reida, from Wichita, said he was excited to play the creature.

“My mom raised me on black-and-white scary movies,” Reida said. “It’s a lot of fun (to play this character.) I haven’t gotten to do something like this on stage before.”

Cooper said in addition to the actors who portrayed the 12 characters in the play, many more students worked long hours behind the scenes to make the production run smoothly.

“All together, there were about 50 students involved in some facet of the production,” Cooper said.