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Warren Gerds/Critic at Large: Poe’s ‘The Murders in the Rue Morgue’ set as audio play

Critic At Large

Peninsula Players Theatre

Production image.

FISH CREEK, Wis. (WFRV) – Peninsula Players Theatre is participating in a live audio reading of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 23. Info: peninsulaplayers.com.

According to a press release: Presented in collaboration with Chicago Radio Theatre, the play is adapted and directed by Kevin Christopher Fox. 

Performing are skilled actors – some familiar to the Peninsula Players audience – augmented with sound effects and atmospheric music, directly to home or mobile devices.

The story: Uncle Marshall spins a tale to his niece, Charlotte, of his exciting times as a young man in 1837 Paris, where he met a stimulating and intriguing woman, Mademoiselle C. Augusta Dupin. Uncle Marshall shares the harrowing adventure the pair embarked upon after stumbling onto a brutal and frightful murder scene while on one of their late-night walks. The police are baffled as to how the killer escaped the locked rooms in which the women were found. Dupin’s analytical mind is quite intrigued by this puzzle. For amusement, she begins to search for the culprit by using clues at the scenes, science and brilliant interpretations of news accounts and witness testimony.

Poe (1809-1849) was an American writer, poet, editor and literary critic who is widely acknowledged as the modern detective story’s inventor. The name Poe invokes images of haunted shadows, mysterious and macabre characters, moonlit cemeteries and creepy, decrepit homes. As an early short-story practitioner, his works inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, H.P. Lovecraft, Agatha Christie and Alfred Hitchcock. Some of his memorable tales include “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Fall of the House of Usher” and “The Raven.” Dupin is also featured in Poe’s “The Purloined Letter” and “The Mystery of Marie Roget.”  

The cast includes Greg Vinkler, artistic director of the Peninsula Players; Players company members Erica Elam and Neil Friedman; and Allison Selby Cook and Mike Jimerson.

The foley artist is Ele Matelan.

Original music is by Christopher Kriz.

A recording of “The Murders in the Rue Morgue” will be streamed Oct. 24-Nov. 30.

The production is a part of the Peninsula Players’ expanded winter play reading program, “The Play’s the Thing – Autumn Edition.”

 Peninsula Players Theatre is “America’s Oldest Professional Resident Summer Theatre.”

“The Play’s the Thing” is part of the Players’ continued outreach programming, presenting free professional play readings for the public. It is funded in part by grants from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation and operating funds from Peninsula Players Theatre.

Listening is free, donations are encouraged.

In August, the troupe presented “The Play’s the Thing – Summer Edition” with an audio production of “Trifles” by Susan Glaspell as a way to safely present stories during a pandemic.

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