Plenty of Poe: Shuddersome: Tales of Poe

Written by Lindsay Price

Whether you’re looking for a great production piece, a superior competition entry or simply some great material for cross-curricular classroom study, Lindsay Price’s Shuddersome: Tales of Poe has the material you need.

The thumping of a heartbeat. The creek of a door. The howl of a bitter wind. The gong of a clock tower. The clang of alarm bells. The sound of beating wings getting closer and closer…

Specters, ghosts and ghouls come alive in this vivid theatrical adaptation of some of Edgar Allen Poe’s best-known works. Included are The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Masque of the Red Death.

Poe’s words rise from the page like corpses from the grave. Be careful. Do you hear that tap, tap, tapping?

The incredibly talented student performers at Cambridge-Isanti High School in Cambridge, MN were not only successful in their newfound appreciation of Poe, but also enjoyed award-winning performances at the Minnesota State Festival: Mississippi 8 conference starred Performance, Minnesota Sub-Section 7AA Champions, Minnesota Section 7AA Champions and Minnesota State Festival Performers. Director Kelly Fairchild-Fahrni was thrilled to share their success and these picture-perfect photos, along with some tips that helped keep their production running smoothly:

This has been a wonderful play to produce. It is exciting to go into rehearsal everyday to see what new level of detail we can add to the piece. I really feel the entire company has come to appreciate Poe as they hadn’t before. The biggest challenge for us has been to present heavily rhymed poetry without emphasizing the rhythm.

We made all our actors into “Shudders” wearing easy to remove headpieces when they moved into main characters. This really helped with the transitions from one scene to the next. We kept all the actors on stage for the whole show so we could move quickly between pieces as well. We also used a lot of music and sound effects to add to the overall atmosphere.

Amazing job, Cambridge-Isanti High School!

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About the author

Lindsay Price