Many teens go through some sort of an emo/goth/Stevie Nicks shawl phase, replete with prolific writing or voracious reading of dark poetry and prose. (Admittedly, some of us are still in it.) For those now-adults, and lovers of Victorian-era culture, it will be no surprise that…
Edgar Allan Poe is HOT.
Perhaps the fantastic and macabre subject matter is the perfect escape from the reality of 2018 politics or the pressures of adulting. It’s possible we long for simpler times, despite the short lifespans of biological hearts and romantic ones. We don’t care why Poe is on trend, we are simply here for it, and for these three Poe-themed Wilmington events.
Ascend Flow Arts, its studio based just outside of Browntown, is a performance troupe featuring ground acrobatics and aerial performances on silks, trapeze, hoop, and more. Their October 13th event, “Cirque Nevermore – Interactive Theater” welcomes an art gallery, live music from Liquid Assets, and craft beers and wine (cash bar) served by “aerial bartenders.” Guests will experience some of Poe’s most loved and eerie stories brought to life through circus. Costumes highly encouraged. This is an 18+ event, $12 in advance and $20 at the door.
Shakespeare is certainly no stranger to the macabre: think of Macbeth’s ghosts and witches, Hamlet’s skull soliloquy and The Tempest’s spells and divination.
For the 7th year in a row, Delaware Shakespeare has paired its native subject matter with the work of moody authors from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, keeping a heavy focus on Poe. “Shakespeare, Poe & Fiends,” running from October 11 to 14, with one stop in Wilmington on the 13th (auspicious!) at the Delaware Historical Society, shares gothic tales from literature and plays inside eldritch spaces, that are typically historic venues, in multiple counties of Delaware.
Required annual content (the masses might revolt if DelShakes skipped these works) includes “The Raven” and “Annabel Lee.” Also included on the 2018 program: “The Fall of the House of Usher” (Poe), “the spooky parts” of “The Merry Wives of Windsor” (Shakespeare), “The Striding Place” (Gertrude Atherton) and “The Shadow” (Edith Nesbit).
The readings, performed by four talented actors, are as creepy as you would expect. Still, audiences often include adults and seasoned, theater-going youth. It runs about an hour, and is nicely priced at $18.
If deceased persons’ spirits live in objects, Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library may be the biggest haunted house in America. Henry Francis du Pont even moved the whole façade of a house to the museum as part of its American material culture collection.
During Winterthur’s Ghost Tales & Spirits Night on October 27th, you may wonder: did ghosts come along with any of the museum’s collections?
Actor David Keltz portrays Poe in a one-man show on the grounds of this 1837 home. He will recite passages from “The Cask of Amontillado” and “The Tell-Tale Heart,” followed by “The Raven” and “El Dorado.” Keltz’s performance has been lauded by The Poe House and Museum in Baltimore, The Poe Museum in Richmond, and the Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia.
Creepy adult crafts and spirits—to drink—are part of the event. Entry begins at 6:30pm (the sold-out tram tours will run during this time), and the Poe performance begins at 8:15pm, with seating beginning at 7:45.
It is a rain or shine event, and some walking is involved. Winterthur says children are not prohibited, but this is not recommended for those under age 12. Tickets are $45 (with a discount if you’re a member).