Theatre performs Murder By Poe

Varsity theatre looks into Edgar Allen Poe’s stories in their latest performance

The varsity theatre class performed Murder By Poe last weekend in the blackbox theatre Sept.15-18. Tickets were $10 online on the Marcus Theatre website. The show was 80 minutes long with no intermission. 

“Come with an open mind to be ready to experience both Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, some of them in a slightly different approach,” theatre director Denise Tooch said. “Take some time to put in perspective how a writer may come about creating the stories that they create. That’s kind of what this story is about — digging into where Edgar Allen Poe came up with these really crazy dark off-the-wall characters and how we can we discover what makes us come up with these kinds of things.”

Actors auditioned for their chosen roles in the second week of school. These auditions were the beginning of actors’ individual process, and they were expected to know the roles they were auditioning for and what scene they wanted to audition with.    

 “She just gave us the whole script and we had a few days to look at it, and ask ourselves ‘What parts do I want to audition for,'” sophomore Rebekah Rogers said. “Then we just figured it out ourselves.”  

Throughout the show’s production, students were expected to take on more independent roles within the show, allowing students to challenge themselves and experience something new. 

“It definitely was the right time for me to challenge myself and to be challenged in a role that allows me to be on stage the entire time and I’ve never had that before,” senior Elli Scheinman said. “So it was a good hardworking role to put me in and I feel like I was ready for it.”  

Theatre director Denise Tooch has been teaching at Marcus for the past 15 years. Previously she directed Murder by Poe at McKinney High School and although she had done the show before, the circumstances are completely different.  

“Well, I have done this actual show before.” Tooch said. “I would definitely say that while [McKinney High School students] were great actors, it wasn’t just a varsity class, it was a mixed group. We had all grade levels so the ability to execute was maybe varied, so that changed the environment a little bit.” 

The actors also faced many different challenges throughout the production and blocking process. Some struggle with breaking character and work on focusing on staying in the story, others struggle with trusting their instincts. 

“I just need to trust that I know what to do and trusting my scene partners because we know the lines and we know the blocking, so having fun in the end,” Sheinman said.