First Folio Theatre Presents THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY, Beginning Sept. 26th

First Folio Theatre (Mayslake Peabody Estate, 31st St. & Rt. 83) presents THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY, an original play by Executive Director David Rice. This critically acclaimed production first premiered in 2006 and sold out the entire run. The riveting tale of life and death, love and heartbreak previews September 26, opens Saturday, September 29 at 8 p.m. and runs through November 4. THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY is directed by Michael Goldberg (Twelfth Night, Much Ado About Nothing and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at First Folio) and stars Christian Gray as “Edgar Allan Poe” (A Moon for the Misbegotten at First Folio Theatre, A Christmas Carol at Drury Lane Theatre, and Richard II at Writers’ Theatre).

This original work by David Rice, who received a Jeff Award nomination for New Adaptation in 2007, is based on the life and writings of the famed author. Poe’s macabre and melancholic tales and poems come to life in this mesmerizing play, called “A smart and heartfelt journey!” by The Chicago Tribune and “A masterful take on a master’s work!” by The Daily Herald.

During the course of THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY, Poe and his wife Virginia guide the audience from room to room through historic Mayslake Hall, taking them from the garrets to the dungeons and deep into the madness of Edgar Allan Poe. David Rice’s artfully structured journey into the life and literature of the great American horror writer focuses with sorrowful clarity on Poe’s overwhelming obsession with his wife, Virginia, who died of tuberculosis at age 24. Poe married her when she was 13 and he was 27.

THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY also stars Diane Mair as “Virginia Poe” (Sense and Sensibility at Northlight Theatre); Robert Allan Smith as “The Madman” and “The Prisoner” (Guantamamo at Timeline); and Annelise Lawson as “Ligeia” (named “Best Actress” in Chicago Reader’s “Best of 2012” issue). The ensemble features Robbie Bersano, Erica Bittner, Daniel Gilbert, Michael Holding, and Megan Ingram.

Scenic Designer Kyle Gettelman transforms the Mayslake Hall into Poe’s dark and eerie mansion. Elegant period costumes are by Rachel Lambert. Sound Design is by Christopher Kriz and Lighting Design is by Michael McNamara, both of whom are currently nominated for Jeff Awards for their work on First Folio’s production of The Turn of the Screw. Kate Danziger serves as Stage Manager and Beth Zupec is Assistant Stage Manager.

THE MADNESS OF EDGAR ALLAN POE: A LOVE STORY runs from September 26 through November 4. Tickets range from $26-37 and preview tickets are $22. The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 3 p.m. and 7:30 PM Season subscriptions and individual tickets may be purchased by calling the box office at 630-986-8067 or online at