National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre hosts 24-hour ‘Doomsday’ livestream of iconic tales

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Doomsday' (Part 1)

Halloween is two months away, but you can get into the spooky spirit this weekend!

The National Edgar Allan Poe Theatre is hosting a 24-hour livestream from 7 p.m. Friday to 7 p.m. Saturday, as Poe fanatics read the author’s most iconic work on YouTube.

“We have eight actors and other lovers of Poe, who have each committed to read one hour out of every eight, the collective works of Edgar Allan Poe, specifically a volume called ‘Tales of Mystery and Imagination,'” Artistic Director Alex Zavistovich told WTOP.

You’ll hear all of Poe’s most legendary tales from “The Pit and the Pendulum” to “The Raven” to “The Cask of Amontillado.” The 24-hour live reading is called “Doomsday,” inspired by the annual “Bloomsday” reading of James Joyce’s “Ulysses” every June.

“We thought, ‘Hey, we have a completely inscrutable writer right here in the United States! We don’t have to worry about Ireland, let’s focus on Baltimore,'” Zavistovich said.

Located in Dundalk, Maryland, the theater is raising money to produce its first-ever live production of “Edgar Allan Poe: Blood, Sweat and Fears” from Oct. 14 to Nov. 6.

“We developed our reputation by doing radio drama adaptations of Edgar Allan Poe,” Zavistovich said. “We’ve taken three of our scripts that we’d done for radio and are readapting them for the theater as a cabaret. … There will be magic, singing, a little burlesque and these three stories played out live by our talented team of actors.”

The GoFundMe link will be in the description section of the YouTube page. There will also be a QR code over the shoulder of the live readers that viewers can scan. The GoFundMe campaign has been going on for several weeks and has already reached most of its $5,000 goal.

“We want to thank everyone in the community … supporting not only this very bizarre fundraiser but also the ongoing work of the theater itself,” Zavistovich said. “Our goal is to do this yearly, so next year we’ll try and beat our record.”

Find more information here.

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews 'Doomsday' (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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