By Jianna Beasley, Creative Director
Kennedy’s own drama department put on their first production of the year An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe with six performances between October 27 and November 4. Drama students appeared in five different poems written by Edgar Allan Poe that were directed by Mr. Lee, drama instructor. With amazing stage work and stunning effects, the drama department transformed the little theater stage into a captivating show.
The stories revolve around Edgar Allan Poe, a world-renowned poet and short story author whose literary works have been read by millions all over the world. Despite having died in 1849, a part of him was revived for the night and retold by the talented actors, stagehands, set designers, and directors. The five plays, The Tell-Tale Heart, Annabel Lee, Cask of Amontillado, The Raven, and The Murders in the Rue Morgue, were adapted and presented by our actors.
One of the most well known Poe plays is The Raven, a gothic narrative poem in which a man, acted by Christopher Lee (11), grieves over the loss of his lover, Lenore, played by Xochilt Guerrero (10). The man is awake late in the evening and when just on the verge of dozing off, he hears a knock upon his bedroom door. When he opens the door, there is no one. He then hears a tap at his window and when he opens it, a black raven flutters in and perches above his door. The narrator speaks with the raven, giving the audience more background of the character’s life and sorrow, going through a range of reactions, but all the raven ever utters is, “nevermore.”
With the variety of tone and actors building suspense through well-timed effects and expression, there was never a dull moment during the play. They executed every moment of the poetic literature in show-not-tell style and immediately hooked the audience. From bright and colorful explosions of action, to dark and eerie dialogs in dreary dungeons, Kennedy’s drama department clearly has it down to a tee. My only lament was when the show ended, the actors came out to bow, and it was time to leave, as I wish it there could have been more stories to see.
I highly recommend viewing the next performance the drama department production, you certainly will not be disappointed. It is a entertainment filled experience for the whole family. Bring a friend along, you might spot some familiar faces, have a few laughs, and enjoy the stage show while supporting the drama department.