“The Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar
Allan Poe” Returns
Maryland Historical Society Announces a second run of popular Immersive Theater performance, with new cast & characters
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Laura Rodini [email protected] 410-685-3750 Ext. 322
BALTIMORE, August 12, 2015 – The Maryland Historical Society proudly announces a new remount of the popular immersive theater experience, The Mesmeric Revelations! Of Edgar Allan Poe.
The site-specific work will again occupy the historic Enoch Pratt House (201 W. Monument Street, Mount Vernon). The two-hour experience invites audiences into a world that channels the spirit and characters of one of Baltimore’s most treasured writers. Performances will take place Thursday-Sunday beginning on October 14, 2015.
New Cast Members, New Characters, New Spaces to Discover
“We’re calling this the Fall 2015 Edition of Mesmeric Revelations because we’ll be delving deeper into the world we created in the Spring,” says Producer and Co-Director Glenn Ricci. “We’ve added new details, new characters and will be introducing a second cast of talented performers. Most of the original cast will be returning as well, so any given night could be a very different experience from the last. We had a number of repeat visitors last time and intentionally created a complex world that rewards multiple visits.” Co-director Susan Stroupe adds, “With this remount, the scope of the show is growing…including a new experience in which some audience members will be invited up to the forbidden second floor, which has been closed to the public for four decades.”
The circa 1840s Enoch Pratt House was built during the last decade of Edgar Allan Poe’s life. “The house is very much like another character to us,” Ricci continues, “It was here when Poe was alive, so there is no place more perfect for these strange events to play out.” The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places in West Baltimore. A newly devised character, The Keeper of the House, will share a unique connection to the house itself.
“We are thrilled to once again open the doors of the historic Enoch Pratt house near the Howard Street corridor, and to host a new style of performance theater that is a testament to Baltimore’s blossoming art scene,” says Maryland Historical Society President Mark B. Letzer. The Maryland Historical Society is grateful to the funding support of PNC Bank, which allowed for renovations to the first floor to make it once again accessible to the public.
About the Immersive Theater Experience
Are you asleep? Good. Let us begin.
–Sarah (A character based on Sarah Helen Whitman)
The Mesmeric Revelations! of Edgar Allan Poe invites an audience of 26 to explore a Poe-inspired world. As curious events transpire around them, audience members will get to interact with the sets, choose which characters to follow, uncover their stories, and come away with a unique experience to discuss with others. They may even find the house’s residents interacting directly with them. The seven main characters are pulled from Poe’s life and fiction.
Dramatic highlights include acts of mesmerization (a practice that gained prominence in the 1840s), a ballroom scene, and a séance. New to this run, select audience members will be invited upstairs to discover additional secrets about the Mesmeric World.
Mesmeric Revelations! is an interpretive artwork created by a collective of Baltimore performers and artists assembled by 2014 Rubys grantee Glenn Ricci. The Rubys Artist Project is a grant program of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA). Neither a historical reenactment nor a reproduction of Poe’s fiction, the artwork focuses on the women in Poe’s life and writings.
About Edgar Allan Poe
Edgar Allan Poe, courtesy Wikipedia
Edgar Allan Poe may have been born in Boston in 1809, but he died in Baltimore, under mysterious circumstances, on October 7, 1849. And it was in Baltimore that Poe found his first critical success, by winning a short story contest sponsored by the Baltimore Sunday Visiter in 1833. Baltimore was also where Poe was living when he published his first horror story, “Berenice,” in 1835.
“Poe very well could have walked past the Enoch Pratt House while he was living in Baltimore,” Letzer adds, “He is an important part of the fabric of our city.”
About The Maryland Historical Society
Founded in 1844, The Maryland Historical Society Museum and Library occupies an entire city block in the Mount Vernon district of Baltimore. The society’s mission is to “collect, preserve, and interpret the objects and materials that reflect Maryland’s diverse cultural heritage.” The Society is home to the original manuscript of the Star-Spangled Banner and publishes a quarterly titled “Maryland Historical Magazine.” Visit www.mdhs.org.
The Maryland Historical Society | | 201 W. Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201 | http://www.mdhs.org