Nightfall with Edgar Allan Poe by Eric Coble
Nightfall is a theatrical combining and retelling of some of Poe's most timeless and terrifying stories. The framework for the play is Poe himself telling the stories and appearing in them as he experienced them while he wrote. For my design, I went with the idea that Poe telling the stories was his way of reasoning through his bouts of madness and that the characters of his stories were the spectral inhabitants of his mind. In this interpretation, the major dramatic question is whether or not Poe, will succumb to madness - and for me the answer was yes, he does. I wanted to convey a sense of the time period Poe was writing in, and thus chose clothing from the later half of the 19th century. I wanted to use imagery from my own nightmares as part of the character design. Something I explored with this design was the use of masks. I liked the ambiguity a mask can provide. I feel it allows the audience to become more involved as they decide how to interpret the expression of the neutral mask. Also, in my personal experience as an actor, I have found mask work very rewarding and challenging.