Murder, love, betrayal, and psychosis. See the works for Edgar Allan Poe come to life this week, when William Peace University Theatre Department presents “An Evening With Edgar Allan Poe.”
Directed by professor Wade Newhouse, the show is sure to thrill and delight.
“It is six short plays, each of them a famous Edgar Allen Poe short story. Its “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Purloined Letter,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Oblong Box,” “The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether,” and the “Tell-Tale Heart,” said Newhouse.
The play is going to be performed in Main Parlor with no sets or anything. The audiences’ chairs have been rearranged in the middle of the room and the play takes place up at the front. There will be lamps and lanterns to use for lights, but there won’t be theatre lights.
“It’s a cast of 12, so some of those scenes will have only two or three people, but then the other people play status or in one scene everyone is lined up and they’re like a wall,” said Newhouse. “When they’re not acting they’re standing off to the side and maybe they come out with lanterns. There’s a lot of moving in and out among the audience so the audience is kind of part of it. One of the twelve guys is a guitar player, so he’s doing a lot of sound effects with his guitar during it.”
Catherine Hewitt, who is a senior at Peace and also the stage manager for this play, gave her input about how the play stands out to her and what role she has.
“I am stage managing for the show, which means that I keep everyone on track in rehearsals and make sure we are on track as far as the show goes with what we need to do for rehearsal every day,” stated Hewitt in an email.
“The thing about the show that sticks out most to me is professor Newhouses take on it. Meaning for instance, we aren’t even doing the show in a theatre we are doing it in Main Parlor because of the creepy vibe the room gives. Also, throughout rehearsals we are adding actors in scenes that, in the script don’t have to be there, but we add them for the effect that it will hopefully give the audience,” stated Hewitt.
Marie Ann Del Valle Coppin is a sophomore student who is involved in the Poe play, in which she plays multiple characters.
“My favorite part in this process has definitely been exploring the spooky side of it. Being able to sit down together as a cast and try to make each little play as creative as possible has been quite fun,” stated Coppin in an email.
“I think that what stands out the most is the fact that the stories are so weird yet entertaining. It’s not your usual play,” stated Coppin.
The list of students that are in the play include:
- Will Mills
- Cal Bumgarner
- Abby Patrick
- Bailey Plate
- Julia Walsh
- Marie-Ann Del Valle-Coppin
- Nick Davis
- Rosie Manla
- Spencer Nunn
- Zoe Sinton
- Audrey Moore
- Kelsey Bledsoe
WPU’s presentation of “An Evening with Edgar Allen Poe,” is a great way to spend an evening, especially since the production falls around the time of Halloween. Everyone involved in this production have worked hard making this a great experience for all audience members to learn more about Poe or just to enjoy Poe’s work.
Shows running from October 26 through the 29. Tickets for adults are $15, Alumni, Faculty, Seniors are $10, and $5 for students. For more information go to https://www.broadwayworld.com/raleigh/article/William-Peace-Theatre-to-Present-AN-EVENING-WITH-EDGAR-ALLAN-POE-20171004