A love story ‘October 15-Nov. 7

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Following its sold-out summer show “The Tempest”, the Oak Park Festival Theater presents the immersive “Edgar Allan Poe’s Madness: A Love Story” by David Rice at the historic Pleasant Home from October 15 through November. 7.

Two years after the death of his beloved wife, Edgar Allan Poe (played by Christian Gray) grapples with love and madness in this hugely innovative theatrical experience. Audiences will follow the ghost of Virginia Poe (played by Erica Bittner) as she awakens memories from beyond the grave, or follow Poe himself as he winds from “The Telltale Heart” to “The Pit and the Pendulum “.

This performance comprised of six poems and short stories by Poe, leads audience members through the dark halls of the historic Pleasant Home with a different story of terror in each room.

Last staged in 2019, The Wednesday Journal hails the Oak Park Festival Theater production as “an enthralling and gripping story of love, heartbreak and horror … a unique theatrical experience that I think I will remember. always”. And the Chicago Reader applauds the “universally high level of performance that brings out the best in Poe … Christian Gray is particularly sublime as Poe.”

The cast of the 2019 Oak Park Festival Theater acclaimed production of “The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe” is back. The cast includes Christian Gray (Edgar Allen Poe), Erica Bittner (Virginia Poe / Rowena), Joan Nahid (Ligeia), Dina Monk (Policeman / Angelo), Sara Rachel Schol (Luciana), Jillian Patterson (Helena / Ensemble) and Drew Straub (Soldier / Ensemble).

Pleasant Home is a historic property belonging to the Park District of Oak Park. It is considered one of the oldest and most distinguished examples of Prairie school architecture in the country and is operated by the Pleasant Home Foundation as a living museum. The house was designed in 1897 by renowned architect George W. Maher for investment banker and philanthropist John W. Farson and his wife Mamie Ashworth Farson. The 30-room architectural gem is a showcase of 19th-century craftsmanship and art, with rich custom woodwork throughout the location, extraordinary art glass windows, massive fireplace, woodcarvings intricate and tiles. Pleasant Home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is an Oak Park landmark and a National Historic Landmark.

Oak Park Festival Theater presents “The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story” by David Rice from October 15 to November 15. 7 at Pleasant Home, 217 Home Ave. at Oak Park. The performances are at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday; 1 p.m. Saturday; and 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets are general admission. Ticket price: $ 44. Special prices are available for students, seniors and groups over 10 years old.

Due to the proximity of this immersive experience, proof of COVID-19 vaccination will be required for all ticket holders. The public will have to wear masks throughout the performance. Children 12 and under are not permitted. For tickets or more information visit Oakparkfestival.com.


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