Edgar Allen Poe Weekend
Once Upon a Midnight Dreary
"It was night, and the rain fell; and falling, it was rain, but, having fallen, it was blood."
Join the Award Winning Rising Sun Performance Company for an Immersive Storytelling experience using the thrilling text and prose of Edgar Allen Poe.
Featuring Pit & The Pendulum, Tell Tale Heart and The Raven
Conceived and Directed by Akia
Co-Direction & Vocal Coaching by Monica Blaze Leavitt
Adaptation, Curation & Dramaturgy by Maggie Kissinger
Script contributions by Megan Lohne
Stage Manager Justin Hsu
Featuring Featuring Ronald Kitts, Maya Schnaider, Sven Haabeth, Laura Lamberti, & Raiane Cantisano
Saturday October 21st @ Noon & 3:30PM
Sunday October 22nd @ 1:30PM
Saturday October 28th @ 5PM
Please meet at Top of Hill by Manhattan Ferry 15 minutes prior to performance time, your guide will lead you to the house. If you miss your guide, go directly to Building 11 Nolan Park.
Please note that you will be moving, sitting and standing throughout the performance.
Recommended for 12 and older No Late Seating
"Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there, wondering, fearing, doubting, dreaming dreams no mortal ever dared to dream before."
Please note that there are only 15 tickets sold for each performance.
We recommend advance purchase
There will be 5 tickets on lottery basis for free at site day of each show
Akia is an active member of the flourishing Off-Off/Indie & Off Broadway theatre communities having produced, directed, and performed with numerous NYC companies for over 17 years. She is the Company Manager for the international sensation, Blue Man Group at the Astor Place Theater. She has received critical praise for her direction of RSP long running hits such as “Hellcab”, “Goodnight Lovin’ Trail” and “The Last Supper”, "Crapshoot" and "Bug". She served as an advisory Board Member for The Paul Butterfield Fund & Society , and is Company Manager for The New York Innovative Theatre Awards & Foundation, where she serves on their honorary awards committee as Sub-Committee Chairman and as an At-Large Judge. Past notable credits include working on staff at Horse Trade Theatre Group, serving as General Manager for FRIGID New York’s inaugural year, and returning as Volunteer Coordinator in 2009; she also served as Production Coordinator for nationally acclaimed Puerto Rican Traveling Theatre, overseeing the playwrights unit and INSIGHT 13 production series. She is a recipient of the New York Innovative Theatre Awards “Founders Award” for her contributions to the organization and Off Off Broadway Community and Two Time "Congeniality" Award Winner from the Planet Connections Theatre Festival for her community involvement. When not absorbed in theatre, she is an avid traveler and scuba diver.
MONICA BLAZE LEAVITT an award winning actor combatant of the Society of American Fight Directors. Her credits include The Royal Shakespeare Company’s Broadway production of The Herbal Bed. She is the resident Fight Director for Transport Group and Point of You Productions. She assisted Colleen Kelly at the Folgers Library lecture “Violence in Shakespeare’s Plays”. Transport Group’s First Ladies’ Suite and Boys in the Band, The Lark’s Den of Thieves, Heritage Repertory Theatre’s Shop at Sly Corner and Man of La Mancha. Getting Even With Shakespeare NYC Fringe, The Salon’s production of Othello, The Hudson River Theatre Company’s Macbeth, several shows at Barnard University including What of the Night, Dissident Acts and Tartuffe and over 50 other plays and films created in New York City.
Maggie Kissinger is the Literary Manager and Resident Dramaturg for Rising Sun Performance Company. Previous Credits with RSP include The Glory of Living (Dramaturg) and Sprucehaven B (Assistant Director). She can currently be seen teaching theatre with the East Harlem Tutorial Program!
Sven Haabeth is an award winning actor, most notably seen as Myron in Rising Sun's production of Helvetica at Planet Connections 2016. His most recent work in NYC was portaying Mort'd'Mer in Steven Tenney's D4rkly Your Retrorockets Fl4re at Planet Connections 2017. Originally hailing from Norway, Sven has starred i many a production there.Thank you Akia, Kristen, Birgit and Nina, and Jerrod Bogard. Look out for Sven Haabeth in upcoming productions of Ibsen's Peer Gynt and Brand. www.sthaabeth.com
Maya Schnaider is an Israeli-American actress. She received her BFA from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, and has continued perfecting her craft and creating theater in the amazing NYC. Most recently Maya has had the pleasure of performing lead roles in the New York Summerfest at The Hudson Guild Theater, The Dream Up Festival at Theater for the New City, and in the Raucous Caucus Annual Political Play Festival at the PIT. Tons of love and thanks to Akia and the whole RSP family for making this awesome residency opportunity possible. www.mayaschnaider.com
Laura Lamberti Laura’s thrilled to be part of this project and to have the chance to work with this wonderful theatre family. She’s been blessed with many fruitful collaboration thorough the years that have helped her grow professionally and personally. She would not change a thing and she would tell her younger self to breathe, always walk forward and to create her own path. She would like to thank her NYC family for the unconditional love and support - you mean the world to me️ - if you’d like to know more about her adventures in the city you can follow her on Twitter @lawida55 , on Instagram @lawida55 and why not…let’s check her website too www.llamberti.com
Justin Hsu is a New York based actor, director, stage manager, and writer and is very excited to continue working with Rising Sun Performance Company after being welcomed into the family in September 2016. Justin is originally from Claremont, CA where he is a proud alum of International Thespian Society Troupe 2129. Justin is a recent graduate of the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts and has performed in numerous Off-Off Broadway plays, short films, digital shorts, promo videos, and more. Recent acting credits include Jesus Christ Superstar (World Voice Ensemble), A Sketch of New York (Producers Club), Rabbit Hole (Full Spectrum Theatre Co.), and more! He can also be seen in Zombie Experience, a year-round immersive, interactive zombie show at Indoor Extreme Sports on most Friday evenings. Justin has also directed a few Off-Off Broadway plays in New York, including Backlash at Manhattan Repertory Theatre, an original one-act play that he wrote. Justin has stage managed for productions including RSPC’s 15th Anniversary Crystal Gala, the 2016 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, Emerald Eyes (2017 Winterfest Play Festival), Devoted Dreams (Off-Broadway), and more. Justin will be making his Off-Broadway debut with The Actor’s Project NYC this spring! He can’t wait to see what the future holds for his career and for Rising Sun Performance Company! For more info, visit: justinhsuactor.com
Ronald Truman Kitts is an Actor, Dancer, Choreographer and Set Designer. He specializes in physical theatre and performance with training in clowning, Commedia, Afro-Fusion Dance, Jazz, Contemporary, viewpoints, and improvisation. He has a passion for new play development with most of his work focused around young playwrights. As a recent Graduate of Drew University, he was involved in over twenty productions in multiple capacities including originating the role of Jake in New World Disorder by award-winning playwright Chisa Hutchinson. Most of the time he just wants to wiggle.
Raiane Cantisano is really thrilled to be a part of the Rising Sun Performance company with such an amazing group of artists. She has been studying theatre since the age of six in her hometown, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she also learned singing, tap dance and ballet. In her country she has been in several productions such as "A Midsummer Night's Dream", “Hair” and "And then There Were None" by Agatha Christie and worked as a singing waitress. After completing her Bachelors in Drama at CAL College in Brazil, she came to NYC to further her education in this inspiring city at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute and fell even more in love with the craft of acting. Recent credits include Sissy in "Unity 1918", directed by Kareem Fahmy, Inez in "Our Lady of 121st Street", directed by Kelly O'Donnell, featured ensemble in musical "The Wild Party", directed by Rob Heller and Bruce Baumer (music), Maria Teresa Mirabal in the short film “Mujeres”, by Varyana Galdamez, Tereza in the short film "Labyrinth Lost", by Zoraida Cordova at the School of Visual Arts and Maria in the short film "La Quinceañera", by David Merino for Brooklyn College.
The Most Wretched Fever Dreams of Edgar Allen Poe
By Donna Latham
Directed by Holly Payne-strange
Featuring Sonya Rice, Megan Martin, Jessica Fraser, Payne Hopton-Jones, Evan Shaw, Victoria Slater, Alanna Dachille & Dori Levit
Saturday October 21 @ 1:30PM
Sunday October 22 @ Noon and 3:30PM
Governors Island, Nolan Park, Building 11
All Performances are Free, Donations Welcome
After a violent squall ushers in a sweltering heat wave, Annabelle stumbles upon a delirious man in the gutter. He is unable to recall his name, Edgar Allan Poe, or how he arrived in his hallucinatory state. Annabelle drags him to her lover Lucretia’s Memento Mori Shoppe, where Lucretia creates photographs of the dead—and which Annabelle haunts. With his acuteness of the senses, Poe is aware of Annabelle, although Lucretia is not. Lucretia vows to provide the mysterious stranger a safe place to peacefully pass from the earthly realm. She promises to create a proper post-mortem mourning daguerreotype in his memory, although Poe is utterly alone in the world. But first Lucretia must photograph putrefying bodies before the heat has their way with them, as Death threatens to take Poe to the bowels of hell. Ghosts of his past combine with characters and images from his literary works to torment Poe in his terror of premature burial. Can Poe make peace with his untimely demise and find solace in death? And what solace can he offer grieving Lucretia?
Holly Payne-Strange (Director) Holly Payne-Strange is the resident director of Fireside Mystery Theater, a podcast with almost two million downloads. She is one of World Ocean Art's "Stand out artists" of 2017. Her most recent play "Last Call" was called "masterfully staged" by Onstage, and she was nominated for “best director” for her work on the show “An Energy Tale” (results to come soon!) Her work has also been recommended by multiple sources, including; The New York Times, channel seven news, North shore magazine and many more. She is proud to be a part of the directors union, SDC.
Donna Latham’s plays have been produced coast to coast and across the pond. We Will Share the Sky was a Kennedy Center Regional Finalist for the David Mark Cohen Playwriting Award and recipient of the National Theatre for Young Audiences Playwriting Award. Her plays are licensed with YouthPLAYS, Brooklyn, and Heure. They’re included in Best American Short Plays 2017-2018, Best American Short Plays 2014-2015, and 2016’s Best Ten-Minute Plays. A resident playwright at RSPC, Donna’s a proud member of the Dramatist Guild.
Sonya Rice, a fan of Edgar Allan Poe since childhood, is thrilled to join this project in the role of Death! Recent theater credits: Grand Duchess Olga Katrina in You Can't Take It With You, Rose in Lady of the Hall (a stage adaptation of the popular British sitcom Keeping Up Appearances), Juror 12 in Twelve Angry Women. Opera credits: Don Giovanni, The Barber of Seville, Hansel and Gretel, La Boheme, Madama Butterfly.
Meghan Martin moved to New York City about a year ago from WV. Finding her way in the big beautiful city has been a whirlwind of excitement and she has been lucky enough to find work as a theatre and film actor, teacher, and model. She is so excited to be a part of this project and help tell this captivating story. For more about Meghan, you can visit meghanmmartin.weebly.com and themodelingmeghanmartin.weebly.com.
Delia is an actor based in New York City. A lover of Shakespeare since childhood, she honed her skills through classical training at Stella Adler/NYU Tisch, where she also developed a taste for new works and emerging playwrights. Some of her favorite roles during her time at Adler include Celia in As You Like It and Andromache in The Trojan Women. She is eternally grateful to her parents for their endless support.
Payne Hopton-Jones received his BFA in Music Theatre from Auburn University, and he is excited to be making his New York debut! Some of his favorite regional credits include John Borden in The Lost Colony, Felix in The Normal Heart, Rapunzel's Prince in Into the Woods, Leaf Coneybear in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and the Cat in the Hat in Seussical. This performance is dedicated to his late mother and father.
Evan is a Brooklyn based actor and film director. His short film’s ‘Skater’ and ‘Hell in the Stokehole’, can be viewed on his website at www.evanfshaw.com. Recent NYC credits include Macduff in Stag and Lion’s ‘Macbeth’, Pastor Manders in Journey Lab’s immersive show ‘The Alving Estate’ and five different characters in the world premier of Live Source’s ‘The Incredible Fox Sister’s’. Evan is a graduate of Wheaton College (MA) and attended the Atlantic Acting School’s conservatory program.
Dori Levit is from Sugar Land, TX. She graduated from Emerson College with a BA in Acting and minor in Psychology. Recent credits include the role of Mary in a show she co-directed called 'Inheritance', the roles of Carolyn Bryant/Sidney Carlton in 'Whistle in Mississippi: The Lynching of Emmett Till', SOOP Theatre Co.'s 'Amadeus', and Antigone in 'Antigone' at Theatre Row.