June 15, 2024

Opinion: Child actors bring Edgar Allan Poe to life in ‘Quoth the Raven’

Savanna Hoover reviews the play “Quoth the Raven” that was shown at the Knoxville Children’s Theatre. The play ran from Oct. 23 to Nov. 8.

Creative Commons- INeverCry's picture on Wikimedia Commons https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Edgar_Allen_Poe_1898.jpg

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The Knoxville Children’s Theatre performed “Quoth The Raven: Tales of Edgar Allan Poe,” a play acted performed by children ranging from ages 10 to 14. The play ran from Oct. 23 to Nov. 8.

Many families and friends attended the production to watch their children perform on stage. However, there were many other spectators as well who were eager to watch the performance.

The play was inspired by the many works written by Edgar Allan Poe, who is known for his numerous spooky, sad tales that center around the loss of love and unfortunate events. The production focuses on Poe as he battles with his inner demons and tries to maintain his sanity while he copes with the surrounding death of the loved ones in his life.

At first, I was skeptical of the capability of young children being able to successfully act out a play based on the complicated mind of one of the most famous poets in history.

However, all of the actors in the production remained serious and dedicated in acting out the story to the best of their abilities. Each one stayed in character and provided interesting depictions of the characters, especially the young actor, Keegan Stump.

Stump played Poe and managed to create a believable depiction of a depressed man who slowly loses his mind. His facial expressions and body language on the stage were always in character.

The music, costumes and scenery onstage correlated with the story well and provided a more believable plot that captured the attention of the audience. This was most notably in the scene that refers to Poe’s “The Cask of Amontillado” when Poe proceeded to bury Fortunato behind a brick wall. The environment of a dark dungeon and ominous music on stage provided an accurate depiction of Poe’s short story.

Dennis E. Perkins, the plays writer and director, did a remarkable job of putting together such a complex story through the talented, young actors and detailed stage setting. He was able to successfully tie together many of Poe’s stories such as “The Raven,” “Annabelle Lee” and several more.

I would definitely come back to see another one of the theatre’s plays. I was inspired, impressed and intrigued all in one sitting.

There will be many other plays put on by the Knoxville Children’s Theatre in the coming year such as “To Kill A Mockingbird” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

To learn more about the Knoxville Children’s Theatre, visit their website.

Featured image by INeverCry on Wikimedia Commons, obtained using creativecommons.org

Edited by Taylor Owens

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