Children of Edgar Allen Poe comfort their mother as she gets up off the floor during a recent rehearsal for the Haylofters production of “Nevermore.” (Photo by Chad Hensiak)

Show opens Oct. 10 and runs two weekends

By Jennifer Eisenbart

Correspondent

Haylofters’ director Megan Schroeder calls this year’s fall show at the Malt House one of the hardest she’s ever done.

“It is the most difficult script I’ve ever done,” explained Schroeder, who is at the helm of “Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe,” a musical about horror writer and poet.

“It is a sort of rock musical that is non-fiction fantasy, I’d say,” she said. “It’s a not-quite-historical accounting of Edgar Allen Poe’s life and death.

“Instead of being 100 percent accurate, it plays on the influences of his various poems and short stories could have come from,” she added.

The fall performance will run from Oct. 10-13 and Oct. 17-20. Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7:30 p.m., while Sunday matinees are at 2 p.m. Tickets are $18 and available via the group’s website at thehaylofters.com.

Schroeder said she came up with the idea of proposing the show last year.

“I like doing weird shows that are less well-known, and I thought it would be fun to do around Halloween,” she explained. “Halloween is my favorite holiday.”

The cast of the show is an intriguing mix of both veterans and newcomers. Jeffery Smith has been cast as Edgar Allan Poe, and as Schroeder explained, it was the first time Smith has auditioned for a show since high school.

“He’s a very strong voice,” Schroeder said. “That character needs that. It’s not necessarily the character with the most stage time, but his character needed someone with a very strong voice.”

The “players,” meanwhile, help tell the story by acting out real people in Poe’s life, telling a variety of different stories that are in many cases true, but some fictional. That group includes Haylofters’ veterans Rob King and Rachel Oldenburg, but also has Megan Hobson, Scott Kirn and Katherine Zielsdorf returning.

The other true newcomer is Emma Wegner, who is one of the six players.

Jacob Martin, in just second time on stage, will play the Raven and Puppeteer.

“I’m very happy with this cast,” Schroeder said. “They’re very hard-working and willing to help out, which is nice.”

If you go…

WHAT: “Nevermore: The Imaginary Life and Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe,” presented by the Haylofters

WHEN: 7:30 p.m. Oct. 10-12 and Oct. 17-19; 2 p.m. Oct. 13 and Oct. 20.

WHERE: Malt House Theater, 109 N. Main St., Burlington.

ADMISSION: Tickets are available for purchase online at brownpapertickets.com at a cost of $18 per person. People can also buy tickets at the Coffee House on Chestnut and Pine streets.

For additional photos and a full cast list see the Oct. 3 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.