By Sean Abley
4 - 5 m, 4 w
Number of script pages: 40.
Performance time: about 50 minutes.
Edgar Allan Poe’s famous short story, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” gets turned upside down in this sequel ... of sorts! Far from the Gothic mood of the original story, this is a broad comedy-mystery with a little bit of the macabre thrown in for fun. Some characters from the original story, as well as a few new ones, are now trapped in a different mansion. They’ve been called together on this dark and stormy night by a mysterious host for a reading by Poe. The guests are unknown to each other, yet there must be a connection because one by one they disappear. It’s all deliciously spooky as lightning flashes, pendulums, and poisoned tea raise the play’s tension and dark humor. Actors are encouraged to break character and the fourth wall, as well as add physical bits if inspired to do so. The characters are aware that they are in a play, and can engage the audience socially when appropriate. The play premiered at the Virginia City (MT) Opera House in 2007.
#2155 The Rise of the House of Usher

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