Poe Takes Denver In A Romantic Fall Play In RiNo
TACKLE’S WRITERS DEPRESSION AND DEATH
RiNo is Denver’s rising, culturally rich neighborhood that provides city slickers with a diverse range of activities.
From Oct. 21 through Nov. 13, RiNo’s Crossroads Theater ran a production named Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe. The show boasted his miraculous journey and offered a glimpse into one of America’s most powerfully intriguing writers.
Edgar Allan Poe, born in Boston in 1809, is best known for his dark velvety words that strike readers with a sense of confusion and blackness. His short stories and poems are literary gold in American history. The play at Crossroads explains his life through a fitting dim and mysterious light.
The production relied on sound to create a haunting effect for the audience. Several different songs ranging from instrumentals to rock songs were used in the play, including poetic and opera-inspired songs. The use of sound seemed to parallel Poe’s love for the haunting effect of the auditory in his literary works, such as The Tell Tale Heart. The beating heart in the story strikes the audience in the same way songs and melodies were used by the producers of the play.
The set for the production, black-hued and ornate, was Poe-esque. It seemed to transport the audience into another dimension, back to the mid 1850s in a time where opium was smoked openly on the streets and the industrial revolution was at its prime. The actors were dressed in period-appropriate billowing shirts, breeches, and top coats. The use of muted colors seemed to evoke a melancholic feeling from the audience, which reflected Poe’s other works. Much like The Fall of the House of Usher, horror was at the heart of the color scheme.
Given the time frame of the production, it was fitting to tell the story of a notoriously twisted writer during the fall months surrounding Halloween. Poe was said to have suffered from major depression, and his death still remains a mystery, making his real life the ultimate real horror story. The production runs through many possible causes of death. Was it a drug overdose? Delirium? Cholera? The causes are unclear and the production tries to navigate the different circumstances in which these could have taken place.
The legend and mystery behind Edgar Allan Poe remains one of great notoriety in the United States. Students today all over the country still read his many works as a part of English courses. The gothic-romantic short stories and poems delve into deep occurrences such as murder, insanity, and loneliness. His literary works reflect his reality, and the Crossroads Theater did a magnificent job in showcasing the greatness and unanswered questions that still surround the life and death of Mr. Edgar Allan Poe.