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Spend an evening with Edgar Allan Poe

by Western News
| October 22, 2009 12:00 AM

Hosting a party with frightful friends and heading out into the cool night to collect candy will be a part of many Halloween celebrations in the coming days. But to enhance those traditions, locals may want to check out the heart-pounding works of Edgar Allan Poe through a pair of performances by the Montana Repertory Theatre.

The event comes to the Memorial Center in Libby on Friday, Oct. 30 at 7 p.m., and the Troy High School Auditorium on Tuesday, Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. The program is part of the theatre’s Educational Outreach Tour.

The Kootenai Heritage Council in Libby is sponsoring the event, which also serves as a membership benefit performance for its ticket holders. The Troy Fine Arts Council is sponsoring the performance in Troy.

The Poe Project marks the theatre’s third successful collaboration with nationally-known screenwriter and playwright Ron Fitzgerald, who is one of the newest writers for the TV series, “Friday Night Lights” and spent the past several seasons writing for the Showtime series “Weeds.”

The show stars Cody Hyslop, Teralyn Tanner and Gary Warchola. Deborah Voss serves as director.

“I sincerely hope that this piece of theatre will both inspire and rekindle an interest in Edgar Allan Poe's work,” Voss says in her director notes about the project. “Poe was a smart and  extremely brilliant writer of the time and has rightfully earned his place among other great writers like Shakespeare, Austen and Twain.”

Told in under 50 minutes, the production takes a fascinating look into Poe’s macabre world as he struggles to invent the detective story. Featuring sections from Poe classics, the play joins Poe at his desk as he visits with his own poetic and frightening muses.

“I have enjoyed working closely with these actors and designers to create the infamous world of Poe,” Voss said. “I have also enjoyed working with this script; this script not only illuminates the dark side of the story but finds the potential humor within three of history's darkest characters.”

The presentation follows in the Montana Rep’s Educational Outreach Tour tradition of bringing staged adaptations of the works of acclaimed historical writers to Montana communities. Regarded as the precursors to modern mystery, Poe’s short stories and poems continue to influence generations of writers and readers today.


Memorial Center, Libby

Friday, Oct. 30, 7 p.m.

Adults – $10 early, $15 at the door

Youth – $5 early, $8 at the door

6 and under – Free with donation to Libby Food Pantry

Troy High School Auditorium

Tuesday, Nov. 3, 7 p.m.

Adults – $5

Students – $3

6 and under – Free

Montana Repertory Theatre

Established in 1977, Montana Repertory Theatre has become one of the most respected professional touring companies in the country.

Recent productions include the highly acclaimed “It’s a Wonderful Life,” “Death of a Salesman,” “A Streetcar Named Desire” and “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Montana Repertory Theatre has operated under the artistic direction of Greg Johnson, a member of the acting/directing faculty team in The University of Montana’s School of Theatre and Dance, for the past 20 years.

The Poe Project

Artistic Director – Greg Johnson

Director/Stage Manager – Deborah Voss

Playwright – Ron Fitzgerald

Tour Actor (Edgar Allan Poe) – Cody Hyslop

Tour Actor (The Raven) – Teralyn Tanner

Tour Actor (Dupin) – Gary Warchola

Scenery Designer – Karl Mitchell

Costume Designer – Emily Merli

Lighting Designer – Adam Schuff