‘Nightfall’ explores Poe’s work at Milford High

The cast and crew pose for a group shot ahead of their big performances of “Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe” this weekend at Milford High School. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

MILFORD — Two Edgar Allan Poes and a slew of characters will walk across the Milford High School stage this weekend in dramatic fashion, wrought with a darkness only Poe can offer.

“Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe,” presented by the school’s drama club, will feature readings of poems written by the iconic poet, mixed with theatrical retellings.

Producer Erica Snyder said seeing the works as plays rather than just readings in class gives students a “fresh perspective on these haunting stories.”

Poems to be acted out include “The Raven,” “The Fall of the House of Usher,” “The Pit and the Pendulum,” and “The Tell-Tale Heart.” Students will read other poems such as “The Conqueror Worm,” and “Annabel Lee” during set changes.

“This is my first year in drama. I love it. It’s amazing,” said freshman Jakob Faulkner who plays one version of Poe. “I like playing the mere insanity and the thought that goes into him. It’s interesting. Poe’s a genius. He has no limits.”

Director Carissa Meiklejohn explained the thought behind having two different students act out Poe’s character.

“We decided to expand the idea by having two different students play Poe, as if they are different parts of his personality,” she said.

Unlike Jakob, who is acting in his first play, fellow Poe sophomore Jacob Elliott is in his fifth year of drama club.

“I enjoy playing him. It’s been a fun, loving experience. Everyone’s in it together,” Jacob said.

Danae Martinez, Mystery Villa, Jocelyn Argo, Ethan Reynolds as the Raven and Jacob Elliott as Edgar Allan Poe add a dramatic twist to “The Raven.” (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

The cast has worked as a group to prepare Poe’s dark creations for months. Their weekend to dim the lights and give their best shrieks is finally here.

“This has been a fun play,” said freshman Jace Thompson, who plays Poe’s ill friend Roderick.

“I always try to find a way to relate to my character. My first role was a gay dad, my second was in “Shrek the Musical” as Pinocchio. I could relate to them easily and I can relate to this one, too. I have depression, so this character was relatable. He’s the most depressing man Poe has ever met. I get to sort of put myself in his shoes.”

Other featured cast members in this production include Jocelyn Argo, Lauren Edwards, Anna Hatfield, Danae Martinez, Lizzy Pierce, Ethan Reynolds, Ireland Stump, Paige Thompson, Isabella Tyrrell, Mystery Villa, Rebecca Wisniewski and Natalie Zelano. Crew members, understudies, and scene assistants include Hannah Cannady, Mia Demby, Jenise Lemons, Owen McDonald, Caitlyn Maloney, Katherine Maloney, Derrik Mullin, Chris Perry, Logan Redden, Shana Smith, Haley Thompson and Cullen Young.

Performances will be held in the Milford High School Auditorium Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 1 and 7 p.m. Tickets for all performances will be available at the door. They are $5 for ages 2-18 years old and 60 or older and $7 for all others.

Paige Thompson and Haley Thompson read a poem on stage between scenes. (Delaware State News/Jennifer Antonik)

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