FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 26, 2009
POE’S BODY EXHUMED FROM BALTIMORE CEMETERY
AND RETURNED TO PHILADELPHIA IN BRAT PRODUCTIONS’ HAUNTED POE
World premiere of this theatrical amusement coincides with bicentennial of Poe’s birth
“In each room, around every corner, another scare awaits.”
PHILADELPHIA – During this the 200th anniversary year of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth, Brat Productions will unearth the images, characters and scenes from works by the master of the macabre for the world premiere of Haunted Poe, a theatrical production uniting literature, history and theater with the haunted attraction genre.
A 10,000 square foot warehouse will be transformed into an eerie maze of chambers into which audiences will be guided through short vignettes designed to surprise and shock in unexpected ways. “In each room, around every corner, another scare awaits,” said Producing Artistic Director Michael Alltop.
The 11 featured tales include “The Tell-tale Heart,” “The Raven,” “The Black Cat,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” and “The Pit and the Pendulum,” written by Poe in Philadelphia, between 1838-1844.
Haunted Poe will run October 1 – November 1, 2009 at 38 Jackson Street in Philadelphia. Timed tickets, ranging from $10 - $25, will be available at www.hauntedpoe.org beginning July 1. [A full performance schedule and ticket details follow in the fact sheet below.] The performance dates will coincide with the Third International Edgar Allan Poe Conference: The Bicentennial, scheduled for October 8-10 at the Hyatt Regency at Penn’s Landing in Philadelphia. -MORE-
Haunted Poe begins with the premise that the author's remains have been exhumed from Westminster Cemetery in Baltimore and brought to Philadelphia for the anniversary of his death (October 7, 1849). With Poe’s return to the place of some of his greatest literary achievements, he is brought back to life to guide us through his imagination.
Alltop, who conceived the work, went on to say, “Audiences will witness a plot being hatched by a madman; see a corpse take on life as shrieks erupt from under shaking floorboards; peek through holes in the wall to spy on unspeakable crimes; navigate their way through tunnels lined with skeletons; and look in vain for an escape as the walls of a room close in on them.”
A team of talented Philadelphia artists has been assembled for Haunted Poe: award-winning director/actor/playwright Madi Distefano, founder of Brat Productions in 1996, shapes this theatrical amusement; playwright Bruce Walsh adapts his keen sense of writing for alternative venues for the script; Brad Helm, former designer and technical director for Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls, oversees production elements, including sound, video, lighting, costumes, special effects, masks, puppets, blood and gore; and “Philly Poe Guy” Edward Pettit provides literary and historical context.
Haunted Poe is a theatrical project that differs from other haunted attractions. There will be no roaring chainsaws or pulsing lights, no reliance on sonic blasts or hydraulic monsters. Although modern technology will be used in the production, the costumes, props and scenic elements will be period-correct, with chills derived from the psychological thrills that are the hallmark of Poe’s work. His catalog of terror – phobias, insanity, nightmares, haunted houses, torture, premature burial, murder, dismemberment, ghosts and the undead – will be ever-present.
Brat Production’s Haunted Poe has been funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative with additional support from the Marketing Innovation Program.
About Brat Productions
Founded in 1996, Brat Productions is a theatre company that produces both contemporary work and re-envisioned classics with emerging artists in non-traditional venues. Over the years, Brat has established itself as Philadelphia’s premier avant-garde theatre, and is known for using unusual performance venues to enhance original and noteworthy productions. Its mission is to generate new theatre-goers by creating theatre that is unpredictable, courageous, and compelling. Brat values risk, innovation, and fostering the growth of artists in the greater Philadelphia region. Its numerous productions have included Three Chord Fiction, winner of the Ted and Stevie Wolf Barrymore Award for New Approaches to Collaboration, A 24-Hour The Bald Soprano, and A Very Merry Unauthorized Children's Scientology Pageant and Eye-95: Retarred.
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Michael Alltop: Producing Artistic Director
Madi Distefano: Stage Director
Bruce Walsh: Playwright
Brad Helm: Designer and Technical Director
Edward Pettit: Poe Advisor
Thursday, October 1, 7:00–10:00 p.m. (preview)
Friday, October 2, 7:00–10:00 p.m. (preview)
Saturday, October 3, 7:00–10:00 p.m. (preview)
Sunday, October 4, 7:00–10:00 p.m. (preview)
Wednesday, October 7 – OPENING NIGHT EVENT
Thursday, October 8, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Friday, October 9, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 10, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 11, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 15, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Friday, October 16, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 17, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 18, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 21, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 22, 7:00–10:00 p.m.
Friday, October 23, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 24, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 25, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Tuesday, October 27, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Wednesday, October 28, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Thursday, October 29, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Friday, October 30, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Saturday, October 31, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 1, 7:00–11:00 p.m.
38 Jackson Street
Philadelphia, Pennsylavania (convenient to I-95)
Ticket prices range from $10 for previews to a $25 VIP “fast-track” option. Timed tickets will be sold and a new group of spectators will enter the haunt approximately every 5 minutes. It will take approximately 45 minutes to experience Haunted Poe.
PUBLIC CONTACT INFORMATION
For tickets: www.hauntedpoe.org
For additional information: 215-627-2577