Masque of the Red Death by Edgar Allan Poe Featuring Playwrights West Directed by Samantha Van Der Merwe October 2014
Just in time for Halloween, Masque of the Red Death, inspired by master storyteller, Edgar Allan Poe, promises to treat audiences to a deliciously macabre assortment of reimagined Poe tales, crafted by the writers at Playwrights West.
Audience members are the invited guests of Prince Prospero, who has decided to lavishly entertain them (with the help of his band of performers), while a horrific plague known as the Red Death ravages the city, outside his castle walls. By the end of the evening we learn that there is one uninvited guest at the party. Who is it? Do we really want to know?
Praise from Critics & audience members
"Welcome to Masque of the Red Death, the latest theatrical marvel from Shaking the Tree. The show, based on the writing of Edgar Allan Poe, confirms director Samantha Van Der Merwe as one of the most creative minds in Portland theater..." -Rebecca Jacobson, Willamette Week Read more here
"Another stunner from Portland’s innovative SE trailblazer. Just goes to show: it doesn’t take money – it takes vision. Gloriously theatrical. Numerous talents abound..." Win Goodbody, Portland Theatre Scene Read more here
"Keeps its audience engaged and off-kilter. Director Samantha Van Der Merwe has created a singular entertainment, worthy of its source material." Leela Ginelle, PQ Monthly Read more here
"OH MY GOD. THIS SHOW. This insane, indescribable, brilliant show. Samantha Van Der Merwe is a goddamn genius and I promise you that you will not see anything like "Masque of the Red Death" anywhere else in Portland. It's SO GOOD."
"Folks, I saw Masque of the Red Death at Shaking The Tree last night. So. Freakin'. Good. And Macabre. Brilliant and innovative, it is everything you can ask an evening of theatre to be. Surprising, engrossing, and creative..."
"Go and see this show. Samantha Van Der Merwe has created brilliant theatre yet again. It runs through Nov.22nd! Get your tickets and go on a wild ride."
"One of the best and most interactive theatre experiences I've had in awhile was going to see Shaking the Tree's production, Masque of the Red Death, last night. Directed by the brilliant and imaginative Samantha Van Der Merwe, with several short plays inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe, this production is dually entrancing and haunting from pre-show to finish. Wonderful performances, movement and technical production from the the sound to the costumes. And being in such a stunning theatrical space just enhances it all the more."
“One of the most interesting and creative productions I've seen in a very long time! I can't stop thinking about it!”
"This is not theatre! This is an Event!"
truly disturbing and deliciously macabre show. The acting is uniformly
INSANELY great (loved the new faces!) . Well done extracting the very
best out of your players. And the direction---well, I have never seen
more innovative and multi-directional use of space and sound. " "What a fascinating time with such a diverse blend of writing and acting. [We] were challenged and appreciated the colored layers and depth of each room as Poe became the mystic and mysterious master of the evening, from our entry through the gates to our departure… to the trolley home. Your vision, imagination, and skill to gather and unite so many elements into still another successful evening are just hard to believe. We hope the run is a big success and we will share our thoughts with our friends."
"Loved this play last weekend. Brilliant script, staging, use of light and sound -funny and intense. Don't miss it" "The play was absolutely amazing!!! I loved it all, every bit, and loved the way it ended like a fete gone dark. Superb!! Thank you so much for sharing your work with the world."
Cast & Production Team
Ensemble (in Alphabetical order)
Nicole Accuardi Annabel Cantor Amanda Cole Joseph Gibson Matthew Kerrigan+ Andy Lee-Hillstrom* Beth Thompson+ Katie Watkins Josh Weinstein
Costume Design Alanna Hylton Lighting Design Jeff Woods Sound Design Annalise Albright Woods Set Design Samantha Van Der Merwe Technical Director Ted Gold Stage Manager Olivia Murphy*
+ Member of Shaking The Tree Performance Group *Member of Actors Equity Association