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New musical debuts at Chemeketa

The first staged reading of “POE: the Musical” will take place here at Chemeketa. Premiering in the heart of halloween season, the musical aims to shed light on the famous, or perhaps infamous, father of American gothic horror, Edgar Allan Poe.

A flyer advertises POE: the Musical

Photo by Dylan Umsted.

The show opens with Poe rising from the grave under hypnosis by his therapist, Death.

“Death is his therapist,” said writer and director Rachel Wolf. “So there is humor, Death is very funny. And Poe was a funny guy… but we don’t hear about that side of him, unfortunately, because his nemesis, Rufus Griswold, backstabbed him, and when Poe died Griswold wrote a very defamatory biography with lies about Poe. Griswold created this myth about Poe that lasted over a hundred and fifty years, and I guess I sort of feel that it’s my calling now to clear his name.”

“The most integral part, with any sort of historic [sic] fiction, is you’re gonna learn something and you’re gonna be entertained,” said Chemeketa student Christa Fenton, who plays Fanny Osgood, a fellow writer and intimate friend of Poe. “So with this show specifically, that absolutely leaves the question right out there: who was Edgar Allen Poe, beyond what I know about this one poem? And this show really kind of illuminates his life in a very interesting, funny way.”

The reading will take place in the Chemeketa Auditorium, Bldg. 6, at 7 p.m. on Oct. 12 and 13. Entry is free for Chemeketa students with ID, $10 for other students and Oregon Trail Card holders, and $20 for general admission.

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