Edgar Allan Poe’s haunting tales come to life in ‘Nightfall’

Published 10:56 am Wednesday, October 23, 2019

To begin its 29th season, Theatre of Dare is turning its sights to another literary legend.

After successfully staging its first Shakespeare production in February, the local theatre troupe is now taking on one of America’s favorite horror writers in Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe, which opened October 18 at the Lost Colony’s Sound Stage Theatre. The production brings five of Poe’s most beloved tales to life, including ‘The Tell Tale Heart,’ ‘The Cask of Amontillado,’ and of course, ‘The Raven.’

“It’s a perfect fit for this stage, and a perfect fit for this time of year,” said co-director Lara Parks. “Instead of axes and chainsaws and buckets of blood, Poe firmly places the root of his horror in the human mind. This show conveys that sense of dread and foreboding to the audience in every tale.”

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Indeed, the challenge for the cast of eleven actors and actresses is bringing the many levels of Poe’s literary madness to their performances. “Grief, fear, revenge, loneliness, disgust. This show has them all,” says Daniel Ziegler, who plays Edgar Allen Poe. “It’s a challenging and entertaining view of the dark corners of the human psyche by an author who was ahead of his time.”

For this production, Theatre of Dare is adding a benefit performance to its usual slate of six. On Thursday, October 24, T.O.D. will be holding a performance for victims of Hurricane Dorian in which all proceeds from ticket sales and the 50/50 raffle will go to the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund. Local songwriter Mojo Collins will perform during intermission of that show.

“I’m not sure that Theatre of Dare has ever done a benefit performance before, but this one was a slam dunk,” says T.O.D. president Tim Hass. “Hurricane Dorian struck just as we were beginning to rehearse this show, and after we saw all the devastation, all of us – the cast, the board, the production team – knew it was the right thing to do.”

Following “Nightfall,” Theatre of Dare is planning four more shows for its 2019-20 season, starting with a holiday production of “A World War II Radio Christmas” in December, the dark romantic comedy “Becky Shaw” in January, the exuberant musical “Mame” in February and the door-slamming comedy “Unnecessary Farce” in April.

“It’s going to be a very eclectic and entertaining season,” says Hass. “We think we’re touching all the dramatic bases this season, and we hope our audiences will have as much fun with these shows as we do.”

Remaining performances for “Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe” take the stage October 25 and 26 at 7:30 p.m., with a Sunday matinee October 27 at 2 p.m. A special hurricane benefit performance will take place October 24 at 7:30 p.m., with all proceeds going to the Outer Banks Community Foundation’s Disaster Relief Fund. Tickets are $12 for adults and $6 for students, and all performances will be in the Sound Stage Theater at The Lost Colony, 1409 National Park Drive in Manteo. Seating is limited, so buying tickets ahead of time is highly encouraged. For tickets and more information, go to www.theatreofdareobx.com.