THE EARLY WORD: Quoth The Raven


In preparation of the world premiere of their Edgar Allan Poe-based production Haunted Poe (October 1 – November 1, 2009), Brat Productions will host a walking tour through Laurel Hill Cemetery (3822 Ridge Avenue) on August 20 at dusk.  The “candle lit” tour (bring your own flashlight) of the grounds will explore Poe literature, anecdotes and his life in Philadelphia.  The event is free but space is limited.  To attend, RSVPs must be sent to, or call (215) 627-2577.  A rain date is set for August 27. [DETAILS AFTER THE JUMP]
This moderately-strenuous walk will include 10 stops at the graves of people associated with Poe’s life including Henry Beck Hirst, Joseph Clay Neal and George Rex Graham.  Participants will gain a deeper understanding of Poe’s circle of friends (and enemies) and hear selections of the author’s work performed by Haunted Poe cast members. At the conclusion of the walk, a toast will be offered to the lives and legacies of Poe and his contemporaries. 

Laurel Hill Cemetery, one of the few cemeteries designated as a National Historic Landmark, is located in the East Falls section of Philadelphia, comprising an estimated 78 acres.  Numerous prominent figures in Philadelphia’s history are buried at Laurel Hill with names such as Rittenhouse, Widener, Elkins and Strawbridge.  Historic figures are also buried there, including General Meade and 39 other Civil War-era generals, and six Titanic passengers.

About Haunted Poe

In the world premiere of Haunted Poe, Brat Productions will unearth the images, characters and scenes from works by Poe, such as “The Tell-tale Heart,” “The Raven,” “The Black Cat,” and “The Masque of the Red Death.”  This theatrical production uniting literature, history and theatre with the haunted attraction genre coincides with the 200th anniversary year of Edgar Allan Poe’s birth.  A 10,000 square foot warehouse will be transformed into an eerie maze of chambers into which audiences will be guided through short vignettes designed to surprise and shock in unexpected ways.

Haunted Poe is directed by award-winning director/actor/playwright and founder of Brat Productions, Madi Distefano, with dramaturg Greg Giovanni, production design by Brad Helm – former designer and technical director for Eastern State Penitentiary’s Terror Behind the Walls — and literary consultation by “Philly Poe Guy” Edward Pettit.

Haunted Poe will run October 1 – November 1, 2009 at 38 Jackson Street in Philadelphia.  Timed tickets, ranging from $15 – $25, are available at

Brat Productions’ Haunted Poe has been funded by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage through the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative with additional support from the Marketing Innovation Program.

About Brat Productions

Founded in 1996, Brat Productions is a theatre company that produces both contemporary work and re-envisioned classics with emerging artists in non-traditional venues.  Over the years, Brat has established itself as Philadelphia’s premier avant-garde theatre, and is known for using unusual performance venues to enhance original and noteworthy productions.  Its mission is to generate new theatre-goers by creating theatre that is unpredictable, courageous, and compelling. Brat values risk, innovation, and fostering the growth of artists in the greater Philadelphia region.  Its numerous productions have included Three Chord Fiction, winner of the Ted and Stevie Wolf Barrymore Award for New Approaches to Collaboration,A 24-Hour The Bald Soprano, and A Very Merry Unauthorized Children’s Scientology Pageant and Eye-95: Re-tarred.


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