By Arwyn Rice
Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — The Port Angeles High School Thespian Society will perform a stage adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe's classic “The Fall of the House of Usher” tonight and Saturday.
Performances will be held this weekend only in the Port Angeles High auditorium, 304 E. Park Ave., with curtain times at 6:30 p.m. today and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday.
Doors will open a half-hour before performances.
Tickets will be sold at the door. General admission will be $7, with students paying $6.
“It's a haunting tale of insanity and premature burial,” said Genna Birch, assistant director of the play.
“It has a little bit of everything Poe has done. There are hat tips to all of his works.”
Tavin Dotson stars as “The Stranger,” narrator of Poe's dark tale, set in New England in the 1830s.
The macabre story is told from the viewpoint of an unnamed visitor to the home of twin siblings Roderick and Madeline Usher.
Roderick Usher is played by Emma Szczepczynski, and Madeline Usher is played by Svea Bastin.
Roderick is a hypochondriac with acute anxiety, while his sister is sickly, suffering episodes of death-like catalepsy.
Birch said the story has a lot of meaning for modern relationships and that the themes aren't stuck in the 19th century.
“He is so wrapped within himself and his mind, he has all of these people there to help him, but this idea of fear has locked him away,” Birch said.
“A lot of people in our lives get trapped and don't let themselves reach out to their friends and family.”
In keeping with the dark theme, the stage setting is kept minimalistic, with dark curtains and heavy furnishings.
Many of the 19th-century costumes in the play were created by students, said Steve Zarit, drama adviser for the production.
“Some of them are just learning to sew,” he said.
Reporter Arwyn Rice can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5070, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.