UNK Theater Tells Four Edgar Allan Poe Stories Just In Time For Halloween | State and regional news
Himmerich watched horror movies as a teenager. He also read Poe’s stories, recalling the horror aspect of the plots.
“Now when I read these stories again I realize that he doesn’t write ‘horror’, not like a horror movie with a monster chasing you,” Himmerich said. “Not that kind of horror. What Poe does is create suspense. It sets something up and feeds on a specific fear. If you think of “The Pit and the Pendulum”, this is a great example. Here is someone who was thrown into a pit. It has to do with the Crusades; that’s why he’s here.
Himmerich told the actor playing the victim to imagine a black SUV arriving at his house, filled with men in black suits kidnapping him.
“They take you and throw you in a room,” he said. “You don’t know why you are there, you don’t know that someone knows that you are there and that you have no rights. They can come in day or night, beat you, torture you – or just leave you sitting there for a month at a time. It’s that fear of not knowing, a fear of helplessness. The loss of autonomy is one of these fundamental fears. This is what it is about in this room.
Himmerich notes that the script would appeal to older teens and adults alike.
“There is no offensive language, there is no sexuality – it’s a very mundane spectacle as far as it goes,” he said. “But I don’t know if the little children would understand it. I think anyone, college and up, would understand and appreciate it. And for anyone who has read any of Poe’s works before, they would appreciate it, too.