Stagelight Players to present ‘Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe’


PIQUA – The Edison Stagelight Players will present “Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe” by Robert Mason and co-directed by Emily Beisner, Matt Beisner, Chris Garner and Jennifer Scott.

Performances will be held Oct. 26 through Nov. 5 in the Robinson Theater at Edison State Community College’s Piqua Campus.

“Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe” is an anthology show that will feature dramatizations of several of Poe’s most bone-chilling stories, including “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Oblong Box,” “The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether,” “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Tell-Tale Heart” and “The Raven.”

“In 2008, we produced ‘Mortal Terror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe’ so it only made sense to bring back Poe during its 10-year anniversary,” Director Matthew Beisner said.

“Chris Garner, who also serves as production designer and co-director of this production, has never given up on the idea to bring Poe back to the stage. He put it in my ear every chance he could get during the past few years. His enthusiasm for the project was unparalleled, and I couldn’t deny that it was a great idea.”

While Poe’s stories make a return to the stage of Edison State, the show will take on a whole new direction.

“The show is completely different this time because the theme is set as a dark carnival troupe led by their demented ringmaster. Chris Garner came up with the idea of the creepy carnival theme, and I was 100 percent on board,” Matthew Beisner said.

The show also will feature a new set of directors. Matt Beisner is producing, directing and wrote a portion of the script. Garner, Emily Beisner and Scott round out the team of directors.

“The reason we used multiple directors for this production is that it’s an anthology show with six different Poe stories, and we wanted to give a fresh look at each one, so we decided to split up the directing duties,” Matt Beisner said.

Four of the six featured stories are written by Robert Mason and are part of his compilation “An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe.” Matt Beisner wrote the “Festival of Horror” storyline (Ringmaster) and the adaptations of “The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Raven.”

Garner is directing “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Oblong Box.” Emily Beisner is directing “The System of Dr. Tarr and Professor Fether.” Scott is directing “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Matt Beisner is directing “The Masque of the Red Death,” “The Raven” and the “Festival of Horror” storyline that ties it all together.

In addition to witnessing the work of the talented cast, crew and directors of the show, audience members can expect to see one-of-a-kind costumes.

“Lisa Snider is the costume designer for the production,” Matt Beisner said. “Lisa brings a passion to the project, unlike anything I’ve ever seen. She has been instrumental not only in helping to create the world of our show but also to generate a lot of excitement among the cast and crew. She attended rehearsals every single week and kept in constant contact with me since day one. Her original costumes will truly astonish you.”

Performances will be held Oct. 26, Oct. 27, Nov. 2 and Nov. 3 at 7:30 p.m. each night. A special matinee performance will be held at 3 p.m. Nov. 4.

Tickets for the show are $7 for adults, $5 for students and $3 for seniors. They are available for purchase with cash at the door. Children younger than 5 are not permitted into the theater during the performance. For more information, call 937-778-8600.

Before the performance on Oct. 26, community members are invited to attend “The Celebration of the Life of Anne Vaccaro.” Vaccaro spent 18 years of her career teaching art and producing exemplary theater at Edison State Community College. A eulogy, memories and reflection will be held in the Vaccaro-Myers Gallery and lounge area at 3 p.m. and a buffet dinner will follow at 5 p.m. in the Pavilion adjacent to the Atrium. The Edison Stagelight Players will then present “Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe” in her memory. Those interested in attending the celebration are asked to RSVP to David Myers at [email protected].

Festival of Horror: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe


• Kyle Casey of Troy as the Ringmaster

• Brock Hartzell of Piqua as Montresor/Lunatic

• Kevin Grogean of Fletcher as Fortunato/Male Lunatic No. 3

• Steven Farris of Sidney as Renelle

• Matt Cline of Arcanum as Cornelius Wyatt/Red Death/Keeper

• Bob Blindaur of Sidney as Captain Hardy

• Raven Boerger of Russia as Wyatt’s Wife/Female Lunatic No. 4

• Zaidee Himes of Huber Heights as Marian/Female Lunatic No. 1

• Allison Nicodemus of Bradford as Madeline/Female Lunatic No. 1

• Ashton Beisner of Troy as Wolf Boy

• James Pezzimenti of Troy as Lemonde

• Owen Swigert of Houston as Monsieur Maillard

• Brandon White of Sidney as Traveling Companion

• Austin Swigert of Houston as Male Lunatic No. 1/First Policeman

• Kyle Flaute of Piqua as Male Lunatic No. 4/Third Policeman

• Jessica Poeppelman of Ft. Loramie as Female Lunatic No. 2

• Melinda Spivey of Tipp City as Female Lunatic No. 3

• Clarissa Kiehl of Piqua as Lunatic

• Sean McSwain of Jackson Center as The Prince/Keeper

• Jocelynn Garner of Piqua as Burke

• Bridget Collins of Greenville as Old Woman

• Kayla Dill of Piqua as Second Policeman

• Venessa Rodriguez of Troy as Lenore


• Director/Producer Matt Beisner of Troy

• Director – Cask/Oblong Box Chris Garner of Piqua

• Director – Tarr & Fether Emily Beisner of Huber Heights

• Director – Tell Tale Heart Jennifer Scott of Sidney

• Costume Designer Lisa Snyder of Troy

• Stage Manager Katarina St. Yves of Piqua

• Lighting Designer Ben Bullock of Yellow Springs

• Light Board Operator/House Manager Jess Ritz of Piqua

• Sound Board Operator Becky Ritz of Piqua

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