Jump the Train: Ride Light with Edgar Allan Poe

Photo courtesy of Philadelphia Live Arts Festival & Philly Fringe.

How far would you be willing to go to express your creative passion? Would you dangle from the rafters suspended by nothing more than a bedsheet? Would you scale precarious stacks of furniture shifting position across a wooden stage?

Answer: As far as it takes, at least for the no-holds-barred cast of Red-Eye to Havre de Grace, who choreograph their way through fourth wall-defying chase scenes that triple-dog-dare the laws of physics. The same is true of its subject, Edgar Allan Poe, who continues to be remembered as much for his contributions to macabre literature as for the fits of madness that plagued his life.

The play, the product of Lucidity Suitcase Intercontinental and The Wilhelm Brothers, travels through the lecture tour Poe took shortly before his still-unexplained death: a series of train rides and brain rides slipping back and forth between the east coast and Poe’s subconscious state. The players have more fun with props than Salvador Dalí, as the minimal set relies upon the shifting dimensions of a door and a suitcase to map out the geometries of scene change, outlining a landscape that juggles the flatness of an animation cell with the skewed perspective of an Escher painting.

The clever interplay between cast members Jeremy Wilhelm (Singer) and Ean Sheeny (E.A. Poe) almost slips safely into a space between musical road trip and dark comedy, but dancer Sophie Bortolussi, as Poe’s deceased but not dismissed wife and cousin Virginia, steers the play into a far more serious (and seriously creepy) realm of tragedy. She bends and slips her way in and out of sight as effortlessly as Sheeny dances back and forth from madness to questionable sanity.

Both guilty pleasure and captivating conundrum, Red-Eye to Havre de Grace explores the celebrity and genius of Poe at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre now through September 16.

Don Kaiser is an InLiquid member with works in digital art and installation.
Don Kaiser
Don Kaiser

Don Kaiser is an InLiquid member with works in digital art and installation.…

Don Kaiser is an InLiquid member with works in digital art and installation.…

Don Kaiser is an InLiquid member with works in digital art and installation.…

Nancy Agati
Nancy Agati
The ever-changing seascape and creatures are the subjects, and I marvel at the minute details, textures, and movements. Through my art, I visually capture an iconic creature engage viewers and remind them of our fragile marine environment.
Patti Dougherty (Jewelry)
Patti Dougherty (Jewelry)

The ever-changing seascape and creatures are the subjects, and I marvel at the minute details, textures, and movements. Through…

The ever-changing seascape and creatures are the subjects, and I marvel at the minute details, textures, and movements. Through my art, I visually capture an iconic creature engage viewers and remind them…

The ever-changing seascape and creatures are the subjects, and I marvel at the minute details, textures, and movements. Through my art, I visually capture an iconic creature engage viewers and remind them of our fragile marine…

Annette Cords is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans diverse media, from painting and weaving to installation and sculpture. Her Jacquard tapestries focus on the convergence of visual and textual languages, making connections between text and textile. In dialogue with the material culture of weaving, she examines how weaving intersects and augments developments in writing, painting, and abstraction. Cords’ work has been exhibited extensively nationally and internationally, and she has been the recipient of numerous grants and residencies.
Annette Cords
Annette Cords

Annette Cords is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans diverse media, from painting and weaving to installation and…

Annette Cords is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans diverse media, from painting and weaving to installation and sculpture. Her Jacquard tapestries focus on the convergence of visual and textual…

Annette Cords is an interdisciplinary artist whose work spans diverse media, from painting and weaving to installation and sculpture. Her Jacquard tapestries focus on the convergence of visual and textual languages, making…

Karen Hunter McLaughlin is a lifelong Philadelphia artist who has worked in traditional 2-D mediums as well as steel wire sculpture. Current work themes are a congruence of large format, multilayer prints creating 2-D inhabitable virtual-vistas, and a collection of smaller prints that focus on human connection, much like the ripple effect of a stone thrown in water.
Karen Hunter McLaughlin
Karen Hunter McLaughlin

Karen Hunter McLaughlin is a lifelong Philadelphia artist who has worked in traditional 2-D mediums as well as steel wire…

Karen Hunter McLaughlin is a lifelong Philadelphia artist who has worked in traditional 2-D mediums as well as steel wire sculpture. Current work themes are a congruence of large format, multilayer prints…

Karen Hunter McLaughlin is a lifelong Philadelphia artist who has worked in traditional 2-D mediums as well as steel wire sculpture. Current work themes are a congruence of large format, multilayer prints creating 2-D inhabitable…

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