Theater lovers can rejoice, because there is finally a show they can watch IN PERSON! That’s right—get dressed and leave your house to actually sit in a theater in the dark and watch a performance of The Messenger: A Conversation With Edgar Allen Poe by the Mid-Ohio Valley Players. Yes, you’ll have to wear a mask and yes, you’ll have to have your temperature checked, and yes, you’ll have to social distance, but still—a live show! It almost doesn’t matter what it is.

But what it is, is a play written by the MOVP’s own Mack McHale in which the titular character, portrayed admirably by George Gaston, is visited once again by his muse, the raven, well played by Amber Smrek. The two talk during a dark and stormy night about all of the haunting tales Poe has written, with inspiration from his feathered friend. As they talk of his stories, they come to life through lively performances from Angie Shrader and Sean Shoop. 

According to JR Wells of the MOVP, seating will be limited to only 45 per performance, so contact them as quickly as possible by going to their website. As stated before, everyone will be required to wear masks throughout the performance and temperatures will be taken at the door. Also, though patrons may sit with family and friends, groups will be limited to a maximum of ten.

According to Wells, this is the first income they’ll generate from a show since way back in January when their last show closed before the pandemic hit. While the public has been tremendously generous, donating in excess of $8700 to help defray operating expenses for the organization, they are excited to be, at least in part, earning their keep once again.

According to McKay, they were literally four hours away from opening their next show, Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None, way back on Friday, March 13, when the decision was made to postpone. Who could have guessed that show would never be presented? The set was left up in the vain hope that the pandemic would pass, and they could once again perform the show. Interestingly, this show, which has a similar feel and comes from a similar time period, so they have been able to put the set to use. They will also get to use it again later in November for their performance of a children’s show, Gothic Ghost Stories. So at least some good has come from a terrible situation.

The curtain goes up this Friday and Saturday, October 30 and 31 at 8:00 pm. It’s a perfectly spooky way to celebrate Halloween with one of the true kings of this time of year, Edgar Allen Poe. But as I said earlier, hurry to get your tickets, as only 45 seats will be sold for each of the two performances. Just go to their website or call the box office at 740-374-9434.