WTC Puts on a Production of Nightfall with Edgar Allen Poe

Rebekah Colón, Arts & Entertainment Journalist

For many students the loss of extracurriculars last March was a hard pill to swallow; this includes the members of our Woodhaven Theatre Company who were a couple of rehearsals into the musical Once Upon a Mattress by Marshall Barer when we went into lockdown. So the question ‘are we able to do a fall play’ was on the minds of the returning students. Luckily, with the determination of director Micheal Clemons, the WTC was able to put on Nightfall with Edgar Allen Poe by Eric Coble this past October 27,29, and 30th. Which is a show based on Edgar Allen Poe and his stories ones included were The Raven, House of Usher, Pit and the Pendulum, and Tell-Tale Heart. As expected the process and shows themselves were quite different from previous productions “Other productions are usually inside, obviously. Most of the time we’re allowed to be much more touchy-feely and a lot more together, but of course, we had to stay six feet apart. This didn’t stop the bonding process though. Actually rehearsing was pretty much the same, the methods of rehearsal or the mechanics of it all never changed.” Said Malina Rowe a senior and the student assistant director of the show. Even if the mechanics of rehearsal didn’t change as Rowe said the time frame of rehearsals definitely did. “It(the rehearsal process) was a lot more fast-paced because we had less time to get the show together than usual. We had less than a month, usually, we have three months,” said Madison Hittinger, a senior who played Roderick Usher in the House of Usher portion. Even with the rushed process, the cast and crew put in dedication every rehearsal so they could put on not only a great show but one that was safe. Masks were on if the actor wasn’t speaking and the show itself was outside at Woodland Church as a way to comply with social distancing and the crew put together a beautiful set with multiple levels, falling bars, and even removable floorboard to open up a pit. Although this threw yet another challenge at the cast and crew not only was it a new type of stage with the cast only having a week to rehearse outside before opening but the weather also wasn’t on their side.”It was very cold and awful, it was raining for the most part so our makeup was running and our papers we toss at the beginning was just sludge we were throwing sludge.” Hittinger said,  but there are challenges with every show so the WTC knew how to handle new and sometimes unexpected obstacles nonetheless.