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Adobe Chapel Provides Perfect Setting For Poefest

Works of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft will be read out loud

Photo credit: Walter Ritter

Travis Rhett Wilson performing one of Edgar Allan Poe's stories at last year's Poefest. He returns this year to do "The Black Cat."

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"Write Out Loud" is hosting another Poefest at the Adobe Chapel in Old Town, starting tonight and for the next three weekends.

Aired: October 11, 2019 | Transcript

Write Out Loud is hosting another Poefest at the Adobe Chapel in Old Town on Fridays and Saturdays through October.

UPDATE

I attended the first Poefest on Friday and was riveted by the elegant simple presentation of just a reader and the perfectly chosen words of Poe and H.P. Lovecraft. For the reading of "The Pit and the Pendulum" much of the performance was in total darkness so all the audience had was the actor's voice describing the cell he was being held in and all the horrors it contained. The shows (one at 7:00 PM and one at 8:30 PM with different selections) vividly displayed that there is nothing that can beat a well-crafted tale read with passion. I was so much more engaged and held rapt by this than by some recent CGI-laden films and stage productions with flashy set changes. Poe exemplifies storytelling at its tightest, finest, and most deliciously dark. The performances this weekend and next will offer a different selection of stories so you can go more than once and not see the same thing. If you love Poe, a chilling tale or just a unique theatrical experience then you don't want to miss this!

ORIGINAL STORY

Write Out Loud has a mission "to inspire, challenge, and entertain by reading literature out loud."

This is the second year the group is producing Poefest, which is a festival of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Once again it is in the Adobe Chapel in Old Town, which is lit with candles and provides the perfect backdrop for reading the stories by the master of the macabre.

This year in addition to Poe there will be stories by H.P. Lovecraft, Washington Irving and others.

Write Out Loud artistic director Veronica Murphy said, "Poe is such a fabulous author, such a fabulous character, and he is really the father of the mystery story and has written so many amazing pieces about the supernatural, about madness, and about the mysterious."

One of the performers at Poefest is Travis Rhett Wilson. He got hooked on Poe as a child and likes to not only read Poe but to perform as the author himself.

"My father read 'The Raven' to me and I was just fascinated by the language of Poe and by the words he would use and at the time I didn't get it but I loved hearing it," Wilson said. "I just started to read more of his works and I just was transfixed. I would think, 'These words.' Why is it no one talks like this anymore? How come nobody talks like this?

"I wish people still talked like this. I want to talk like this. And so as I got older and I worked my way through elementary school and junior high and high school, I became more fascinated and interested in Poe's works of fiction and horror and poetry and also with his life. Poe, the man, fascinates me and his struggles with madness and addiction and how he was able to translate that to the page, and create some of these beloved works of horror and fiction and poetry that we've come to celebrate more than 200 years later."

Poefest kicks off Friday, Oct. 11, and runs Fridays and Saturdays through October at the Adobe Chapel in Old Town. Check the online schedule since each night features different readings. Wilson is only performing on Oct. 18 and 19.

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