Today I am off to Ohio to see my third Big Read play preformed. Those of you who have been following me for a few years now may recall my previous plays, The Gilded Strings and Hills Valley’s First Fence. If you are new to my work, you can see still shots from each play on the blog here and here as well as video for each on my YouTube channel.
The Big Read is a national literacy program. There is a set list of approved books and each year participating organizations pick one book off that list and create readings and specialized events.
This year the Massillon Museum chose The Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe off the Big Read list. In addition to various Poe themed events, the Museum is continuing their involvement with Washington High School’s drama department in showcasing a collection of One-Act plays for a special one night only event.
Each play takes its inspiration from the book/author being celebrated. For me, the challenge of creating my third play for this series was trying to channel Poe’s dark side. I turned over in my head ways in which I could create a dark and sinister play worthy of the master. But for the life of me, I couldn’t conceive of a single idea. I don’t write in the horror genre. My fiction is lighthearted and funny at most. So to accomplish this task, I had to figure out how I could take what I do best and transform that into a Poe inspired play. The answer came to me in the shower.
During my research I had come across a few facts on Poe that struck me. One in particular was the love and loss Poe felt for his wife. The play began to take shape. What if Poe had tried to write love stories for his wife? What if she had requested poems featuring singing birds instead of mocking ravens?
Ultimately, I decided the answer was that Poe would never have been able to write those types of stories and poems. He would not have had it in him. But that doesn’t mean he wouldn’t have tried, for the love of his life.
The Lost Romances of Edgar Allan Poe explores Poe’s failed attempts at writing the romances his wife requested. With each attempt, Poe falls short and ends up crafting one of his dark tales. With the memory of his dead wife haunting him and his inability to grant her desire, Poe, like many of his characters, descends into madness.
If you are out in Ohio, please come by to see my play and the wonderful other plays that make up the program. The event is free and open to the public. Those who can’t attend, watch this space for stills and video of the production.
Join the Frets and Struts drama club, and a bevy of talented writers including Brian Centrone, Shelly Costa, Brayden Frascone, and John Kiste for a night of original One Act Plays celebrating Poe’s writing style and themes! Free and open to all ages.
Event Location: Massillon Washington High School, Massillon, OH 44646
Time: 7:00pm – 8:30pm
Book: The Stories and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe