Listen to These on a Midnight Dreary
“Very well, I admit the deed! Tear up the planks! Here! Here! It is the beating of the old man’s hideous heart!”
This is the climax to Edgar Allen Poe’s horror classic “The Tell-Tale Heart.” And like many a classic, it’s a familiar tale that becomes fresh again when the retelling is new and different.
This is why the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre’s podcast production of “The Tell-Tale Heart” is such a worthwhile listen. Hosted online by Baltimore NPR station WYPR 88.1 FM, “Tell-Tale Heart” is one of a series of Poe-based podcasts being produced by the company’s “Poe Theatre on the Air” initiative.
“Poe Theatre of the Air is based on the ‘theater of the mind’ approach to radio drama, which uses actors, music and sound effects to conjure up vivid stories in the listeners’ imaginations,” said Alex Zavistovich, the founder and artistic director of the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre.
Orson Welles’ famous 1938 “War of the Worlds” broadcast is based on the theater of the mind approach. The dark stories of Edgar Allan Poe lend themselves well to this audio production style, even though his 19th century tales were written long before radio came to be.
An experienced actor and director as well as a former editor of Radio World, Alex Zavistovich is no stranger to radio drama. Previous to creating the National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre, Zavistovich founded and managed Lean & Hungry Theater, which performed radio adaptations of Shakespeare and other English literary classics. These adaptations have been aired on NPR affiliate stations in Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida; and Washington, D.C.
Although Poe was born in Boston in 1809 and then lived in Richmond, the indisputable Father of American Horror did much of his writing in Baltimore, where he died at age 40 after being found incoherent in Ryan’s Tavern.
Poe’s ties to Baltimore appealed to Zavistovich when he moved to this city.
“I learned that there was no national theater dedicated to the works of Edgar Allan Poe,” he said. “So I have set about to raise Poe’s profile, and Poe Theatre on the Air is one way I’m doing it.”
Content retrieved from: https://www.radioworld.com/news-and-business/listen-to-these-on-a-midnight-dreary.