PIQUA — The Edison Stagelight Players (ESP) will present Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe by Robert Mason and co-directed by Emily Beisner, Matt Beisner, Chris Garner, and Jennifer Scott.
Performances will be held October 26 through November 5 in the Robinson Theater at Edison State Community College’s Piqua Campus. Huber Heights resident Zaidee Himes will appear as Marian/Female Lunatic No. 1.
Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe is an anthology show that will feature dramatizations of several of Poe’s most bone-chilling stories, including The Cask of Amontillado, The Oblong Box, The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether, The Masque of the Red Death, The Tell-Tale Heart, and The Raven.
Matt Beisner elaborates on how the show came to be.
“In 2008, we produced Mortal Terror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe, so it only made sense to bring back Poe during its 10-year anniversary,” said Director Matthew Beisner.
“Chris Garner, who also serves as production designer and co-director of this production, has never given up on the idea to bring Poe back to the stage. He put it in my ear every chance he could get during the past few years. His enthusiasm for the project was unparalleled, and I couldn’t deny that it was a great idea!”
While Poe’s stories make a return to the stage of Edison State, the show will take on a whole new direction.
“The show is completely different this time because the theme is set as a dark carnival troupe led by their demented ringmaster. Chris Garner came up with the idea of the creepy carnival theme, and I was 100 percent on board,” said Beisner.
The show will also feature a new set of directors. Matt Beisner is producing, directing, and wrote a portion of the script. Chris Garner, Emily Beisner, and Jennifer Scott round out the team of directors.
“The reason we used multiple directors for this production is that it’s an anthology show with six different Poe stories, and we wanted to give a fresh look at each one, so we decided to split up the directing duties.”
Four of the six featured stories are written by Robert Mason and are part of his compilation entitled An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe. Matt Beisner wrote the Festival of Horror storyline (Ringmaster) and the adaptations of The Masque of the Red Death and The Raven.
Chris Garner is directing The Cask of Amontillado and The Oblong Box. Emily Beisner is directing The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether. Jennifer Scott is directing The Tell-Tale Heart. Matt Beisner is directing The Masque of the Red Death, The Raven, and the Festival of Horror storyline that ties it all together.
In addition to witnessing the work of the talented cast, crew, and directors of the show, audience members can expect to see one-of-a-kind costumes.
“Lisa Snider is the costume designer for the production,” added Beisner. “Lisa brings a passion to the project, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She has been instrumental not only in helping to create the world of our show but also to generate a lot of excitement among the cast and crew. She attended rehearsals every single week and kept in constant contact with me since day one. Her original costumes will truly astonish you.”
Performances will be held Friday, October 26; Saturday, October 27; Friday, November 2; Saturday, November 3 at 7:30 p.m. each night. A special matinee performance will be held on Sunday, November 4 at 3 p.m.
Tickets for the show are seven dollars for adults, five dollars for students, and three dollars for seniors and are available for purchase with cash at the door. Children under five are not permitted into the theater during the performance. For more information, call (937) 778-8600.
Before the performance on Friday, October 26, community members are invited to attend “The Celebration of the Life of Anne Vaccaro.” Vaccaro spent 18 years of her career teaching art and producing exemplary theater at Edison State Community College. A eulogy, memories, and reflection will be held in the Vaccaro-Myers Gallery and lounge area at 3 p.m. and a buffet dinner will follow at 5 p.m. in the Pavilion adjacent to the Atrium. The Edison Stagelight Players will then present Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe in her memory. Those interested in attending the celebration are asked to RSVP to David Myers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit Edison State online at www.edisonohio.edu.