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Tennessee Shakespeare Company Presents 'Halloween's Tell-Tale Heart: Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and Flannery O'Connor'

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The Dr. Greta McCormick Coger Literary Salon Series continues on Friday, October 30.

Tennessee Shakespeare Company Presents 'Halloween's Tell-Tale Heart: Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and Flannery O'Connor'

Tennessee Shakespeare Company continues its Dr. Greta McCormick Coger Literary Salon Series on Friday, October 30 with a Salon of Southern Gothic and Northern Supernatural writers to haunt the holiday.

The fifth Salon of nine during TSC's 13th season, Halloween's Tell-Tale Heart: Edgar Allan Poe, Ambrose Bierce, and Flannery O'Connor is curated and directed by TSC's Stephanie Shine with Dr. Diane Dombrowski. It will be presented both in-person on TSC's Owen and Margaret Wellford Tabor Stage and simulcast online beginning at 8:00 pm (CDT), to be followed by a brief talkback with the actors.

The Salon will run approximately one hour.

The Acting Company includes Dan McCleary, Michael Khanlarian, Lauren Gunn, Jasmine Robertson, Simmery Branch, Ural Grant, Tristin Hicks, John Ross Graham, and Blake Currie. (All artist bios may be found in TSC's digital playbill at

Interspersed with conversation about the authors and the creation of their works, the Salon will feature short stories by O'Connor (The Life You Save May Be Your Own, 1955), Bierce (The Boarded Window, 1891), and Poe (The Masque of the Red Death, 1842). McCleary will read Poe's poem, The Raven (1845).

"We are featuring stories that hold the human heart at the center," says Shine. "Curated to provoke thought and provide a shiver or two, we explore the hidden heart's desires in The Life You Save May Be Your Own, the untrusted heart in The Boarded Window, the heart-like rhythm of the incessant cries of 'nevermore' in Poe's Raven, and the consequences of a heartless ruler during a pandemic in his Masque of the Red Death. The heart only knows the truth, and this collection is sure to get hearts beating with well-earned literary Halloween delight."

Flannery O'Connor (1925-1964) was a Georgia native writing novels, short stories, and essays in her Southern Gothic style complete with often grotesque characters and traits set around violence in the American South. She said her Roman Catholic background deeply informed her sense of morality and ethics against a backdrop of crime, disability, race, and one's mental capacity. Her novels are Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away. Her short story collections are A Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories, Everything That Rises Must Converge, and The Complete Stories.

Ambrose Bierce (1842-c. 1914) was one of the most influential and prolific American writers of the 19th and 20th centuries. He was a Civil War veteran, celebrated journalist, highly regarded literary critic, pioneer of realist fiction, and satirist with few peers. His war stories inspired Hemingway and Crane, and his poetry continues to gain popularity. His short stories include An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge, One of the Missing, Chickamauga, fiction A Cynic Looks at Life, and poetry The Lion and the Lamb. His collected works are printed in many volumes.

Edgar Allan Poe (1809-1849) was an American writer, poet, and critic who, employing a literary alchemy of the macabre and the romantic, introduced the short story form to the country while inventing and contributing to the genres of detective fiction and science fiction. A famed cryptologist (with one cipher yet to be solved today), Poe penned the poems Annabel Lee, Eldorado, Lenore, and Tamerlane. His short stories include The Black Cat, The Fall of the House of Usher, The Gold-Bug, The Pit and Pendulum, The Premature Burial, and The Tell-Tale Heart.

Box Office

Purchase tickets online at or by calling (901) 759-0604 Monday-Friday from 9:00 am - 5:00 pm. The Salon will be available to patrons as both an in-person and digital online experience.

Online option:

The online presentation will show only once via a one-camera setup on TSC's website with a time-stamped, specific password provided to patrons on the day of the Salon. The digital waiting room opens 15 minutes prior to curtain. All digital online tickets are $15.

In-person option:

In-person seating at the Tabor Stage is strictly limited to 54 socially-distanced patrons. Face coverings must be worn. Patrons must answer basic health screening positively and provide contact information prior to theatre entry. Patrons may select the preferred seating section, and TSC will then select socially-distanced seats based on the party's size and the order in which tickets were purchased.

Tickets in Seating Section One are $25 in-person (Students $18/Seniors $22). Tickets in Seating Sections Two and Three are $18 in-person (Students $15/Seniors $18). Tickets must be purchased in advance of the Salon (not at the door), printed, and brought with patrons to the theatre. The house will open 30 minutes prior to curtain.

Credit Card charges require a $1 per-ticket fee. Schedule subject to change with notice. Free parking at TSC. There are no refunds/exchanges.

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