Contemporary music adds extra bite to William Colenso College's production of Dracula, which opens on July 6.

Twelve musical items have been incorporated into the 90-minute show, said the college's head of performing arts, Leah Kersey.

The songs had been chosen to engage the students as well as the audience and include Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler, Thriller by Michael Jackson, My Immortal by Evanescence and Chop Suey by System of a Down.

It will be the first production since the college's hall underwent a $350,000 renovation earlier this year and performers will be making full use of the space, Ms Kersey said.


"As soon as we announced it was Dracula we had the largest response we've ever had from students," she said.

"The girls are into the bloodthirsty elements as much as the boys and all the students are engaged by the themes of dark and light, good and evil. But, at heart, it is a love story."

About 40 students are involved in the production: 10 actors, 20 dancers, seven musicians and three backstage/technical crew. It is co-directed by Ms Kersey and head of music Katrina McNicoll.

The cast includes three of the college's current 26 international students.

One of the lead roles, Dracula's bride, is being played by Sarah Widera, who is from Germany.

The show was not gory but did contain mature themes and - spoiler alert - a stake through the heart, so was recommended as suitable for intermediate age children and up.

Tickets to Dracula are $8 each and are available from the school's Arnold St office. The show is on July 6,7 and 8.