Review: Get Haunted by Archive Theater's RAVEN WINGED HOURS

An immersive, wonderful experience you won't want to miss.

By: Sep. 19, 2023
Review: Get Haunted by Archive Theater's RAVEN WINGED HOURS

The Archive Theater's world-premiere production, RAVEN WINGED HOURS provides a captivating look into the enigmatic world of the master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe. Under the creative guidance of playwrights Jennifer Rose Davis, Adriana Fontánez, and playwright/director Chris Fontanes, this play skillfully breathes life into Poe's poetry and stories, whisking the audience away to a Victorian parlor where the eerie and the extraordinary reign supreme.

With this intricate and meticulously tended production, we are transported into Poe's world. The haunted Pioneer Farms provides the perfect setting for Poe’s dark imagination, and it feels as if we are seated in the dim, candle-lit parlor of the man himself. And Archive Theater Managing Director Jennifer Rose Davis has assembled a truly inspired production team. From the catering manager (Emily Taylor, where can I get your magical pecan pie when I’m not at an Archive show?) to director Chris Fontanes, who uses every resource at his disposal to bring us this immersive experience, we are treated to a splendid experience.

In their adaptation of Poe’s stories, writers Jennifer Rose Davis, Adriana Fontanez, and Chris Fontanes, have cleverly intertwined elements of Poe's personality (made real and compelling to us by a measured and distinguished performance from Joe Kelley) with his most famous works. It’s as if we are hearing the stories straight from the author's lips. This narrative device lends a personal touch to the performance, as if we are privileged guests in Poe's home, listening to him recount his tales with an eerie charm.

The RAVEN WINGED HOURS cast is splendid. From the Chorus to Poe, this ensemble embodies the spirit of Poe and his characters with an authenticity that walks the fine line between well acted and melodrama. Of particular note, Remy Joslin, Gina Houston, Julius Alums, and Travis Williams stand out in a cast of stand outs. Vikki Schwarz and Chris Humphrey gather talented musicians and vocalists who give us not just the rare treat of live music for a performance, but an ensemble that contributes its gifts to the production so well it becomes a character in the play. Lighting (Patrick Anthony), Set Design (Jennifer Rose Davis), Costuming (Jennifer Rose Davis) is tack sharp and excellent.

The play's pacing is well-judged, and the interplay between Poe's storytelling and the live enactment of his tales adds depth to the experience. This allows us to fully immerse ourselves in the dark and mysterious world Poe created.

RAVEN WINGED HOURS masterfully captures the essence of Edgar Allan Poe's Gothic terror. It is a testament to the power of his storytelling and the enduring fascination with his life and works. Whether you are a die-hard Poe fan or a newcomer to his macabre universe, this production will satisfy. Furthermore, it's an especially delightful experience to witness a marriage proposal after the curtain call. (Aha! This helped explain some of the heightened crackling excitement that preceded this performance.)

I can’t promise a marriage proposal after the performance you attend, but RAVEN WINGED HOURS brings Edgar Allan Poe and his works to life in a way that is absolutely enchanting. The Archive Theater's dedication to authenticity and creativity shines through in every aspect of this production. If you are seeking an evening of spooky entertainment and a journey into the mind of a literary genius, RAVEN WINGED HOURS is a must-see. Something spooky this way comes, indeed, and it's a hauntingly wonderful experience you won't want to miss.

RAVEN WINGED HOURS: An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe

Adapted by Jennifer Rose Davis, Adriana Fontánez, and Chris Fontanes

Directed by Chris Fontanes

Archive Theater

 Sept. 7, 2023 - Sept 17, 2023

Jourdan-Bachman Pioneer Farms

10621 Pioneer Farms Dr, Austin, TX

Sept. 21, 2023 - Oct 1, 2023

Wells Branch Community Center

2106 Klattenhoff Dr, Austin, TX

Tickets on sale Click Here

Photography by Steven Rogers


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From This Author - Joni Lorraine

Joni joined BroadwayWorld in 2016 after over twenty-five years of involvement in the Central Texas theatre scene.  She has worked as a company member and educator for Pollyanna Children's The... Joni Lorraine">(read more about this author)

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