IF YOU GO:
What: “Tales of Poe,” staged readings of Edgar Allan Poe works
Who: Metropolitan Community College Theatre
Where: Joslyn Castle, 3902 Davenport St.
When: Wednesday through Oct. 25; 7 p.m. Oct. 3, 4, 7, 10, 17, 18 and 21-25; reception after each performance
Tickets: $20 adults, $15 Joslyn members and students
Information: 402-595-2199 or online at joslyncastle.com
When Scott Working, theater program coordinator at Metropolitan Community College, performed in “Tartuffe” in Joslyn Castle's music room last year (a Brigit St. Brigit Theatre production), he fell in love with the castle as a performance space.
Working also remembered seeing “M. Proust,” a Mary Zimmerman play about the French author's “Remembrance of Things Past,” performed in 11 rooms in a giant warehouse in Chicago. The audience moved from room to room.
“I loved the concept and was thinking of a way to do that,” Working said. “The Joslyn is a good place for Poe, and I thought his short stories would fit if we put one in each room.”
Audience guides will recite Edgar Allen Poe's poetry as they move people from room to room for “Tales of Poe,” which opens Wednesday at Joslyn Castle.
The Joslyn board loved Working's idea, which also gave him a way to showcase some present and former Metro theater students. They make up about half the players. Working and fellow Metro faculty member Doug Blackburn are co-directing. Metro does not have a performance space of its own.
“This is a reader's theater style, and it's all Poe's original words,” Working said. “The performers directly address the audience during narration, but they interact as actors during dialogue.”
Working said fright films owe a lot to Poe, whom he called one of the fathers of horror and suspense.
“I also want to remind people he was a really good writer,” Working said. “His words are rich, full of imagery and funny. There's a dark sense of humor buried within.”
The short-story segments plus poetry add up to about 90 minutes, Working said, and will show off more of the mansion than usual, including a third-floor space.
Contact the writer: 402-444-1269, firstname.lastname@example.org