How did Edgar Allan Poe really die?
Edgar Allan Poe’s lifeless body has been found in a gutter, yet signs of the reclusive writer have been found all over Baltimore. A team of muckraking journalists sift through the clues to find out what happened to him.
WASHINGTON — Edgar Allan Poe’s lifeless body has been found in a gutter, yet signs of the reclusive writer surface all over Baltimore. A team of muckraking journalists sift through the clues to find out what happened to him.
Welcome to “A Dream Within a Dream,” an “immersive, transmedia production” that invites audience members to become part of the plot.
“We turn the story on its head,” says co-writer, director and producer Nasreen Alkhateeb.
“It’s not necessarily theater, film, dance or performance art. It’s all of the above.”
There is no stage and there are no seats. Instead, audience members walk through different scenes from Poe’s collection and meet a cast of twisted and tragic characters.
Familiar stories include “The Raven,” “The Pit and the Pendulum” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” Poe enthusiasts also have a chance to dive into more obscure poems such as “The Oval Portrait.”
Each vignette in “A Dream Within a Dream” offers a clue as to how Poe might have died. Was he killed by a rival writer or a jealous lover?
History has never quite answered that question. Poe died in 1849 in Baltimore’s Washington College Hospital after having disappeared for several days. Theories about the exact cause of death include excessive drinking, rabies, heart failure and murder. But details of his final days remain sketchy at best, and Poe’s death will remain one of literature’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
“A Dream Within a Dream,” titled after a poem of the same name, uses that as its premise to immerse the audience in Poe’s macabre world.