Shades of Poe

Just in time for the Halloween season, seven actors come together to share the works of Edgar Allan Poe in “Shades of Poe” at the Collings-Knight House. This 19th century farmhouse, located in Collingswood, N.J., is transformed into the home of Poe, allowing different spirits to tell their stories of the misfortunes that keep them from moving on to the afterlife.

As the tales are told, Edgar Allan Poe himself leads the small audience of 15 from room to room of the dimly lit house, up and down stairways to the creepy attic and the damp, dungeon-like basement.

Poe’s daunting tales that are told include: “The Raven,” “The Oval Portrait,” “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Imp of the Perverse,” “Berenice” and “The Cask of Amontillado.”

Senior John Schultz is involved in this eerie production, playing Montresor in “The Cask of Amontillado.” Montresor intends to wall up his rival alive after years of competition and teasing.

“The challenge is to play the character without villianizing him myself, finding Montresor’s need, which is really to defend his family’s honor,” Schultz said.

This is Schultz’s first year involved in “Shades of Poe.”

“I get the opportunity to stretch myself as an actor,” Schultz said. He explains this is because the production is site-specific and, therefore, he is working in the limited space provided which influences his ability to create.

All seven actors kept their composure wonderfully, even when a woman in the audience knocked over a lamp and was thrown into a giggling fit.

The actors also portrayed their characters truthfully, taking their roles very seriously.

“Shades of Poe” has been running from October 15-17 and 21-24 and will be performing on 28-31 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. each evening. By calling 1-866-811-4111, you may purchase $13 tickets for this perfect Poe-try performance.

“Hopefully, the audience gets to see Poe’s stories faithfully incarnated, which is perfect for the Halloween season,” Schultz said.

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