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Productions & Reviews

Christian Gray as E.A. Poe 2012


"A smart and heartfelt journey into the life and literature of the great American horror writer."
—Chicago Tribune ★★★1/2

Heather Chrisler as Virginia Poe, 2015


“Audience attendance has topped 12,000 patrons.  Our most financially successful show ever.”


—Brian McKillip, Board President of First Folio Theatre




  • October 2006-Mayslake Hall, Oak Brook, IL (world premiere)

  • October 2007-Mayslake Hall, Oak Brook, IL

  • October 2010-Mayslake Hall, Oak Brook, IL

  • October 2012-Mayslake Hall, Oak Brook, IL

  • October 2015-Mayslake Hall, Oak Brook, IL

  • October 2018-Mayslake Hall, Oak Brook, IL


  • October 2019-Cheney Mansion, Oak Park, IL


“A perfect storm of theatre!”

★★★★  TimeOut Chicago:

“Sends the audience’s imagination into overdrive...It’s impossible to imagine a Chicago Halloween scene without it.”
—New City



Christian Gray as Poe, and ensemble, 2015



“Rice’s writing creates an eerie fugue as he weaves relatively straightforward exposition with Poe’s poems and short stories, twisting both around monologues that give voice to the poet’s psychological demons. Fact and fiction twine together with chilling effect...Rich with both psychological depth and supernatural scares.”


The First Folio Theatre presentation of The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe that was staged throughout historic Mayslake Hall was an outstanding. From the superb script to the amazing casting and production, it gave Mayslake Hall a unique opportunity to emotionally engage our audience by intimately connecting and immersing them in this historic mansion. If your intention is to create a dynamic relationship with your audience that allows them to experience ‘ pleasure which is at once the most pure, the most elevating and the most intense,’ then I highly recommend that you add your own unique environment to this wonderful glimpse into the insanity of the ingenious Edgar Allan and then step out of the way and enjoy the magic!

—Chrissie Howorth, Education Site Manager Mayslake Peabody Estate


“An artfully structured, revealing literary and biographical revue of a hugely influential and ever-potent storyteller ... A masterful take on a master's work.”
—Daily Herald  ★★★★

John Sanders as Poe, Jennifer Grubb as Ligeia, 2010



The Madness of Edgar Allan Poe: A Love Story was a tremendous boxoffice hit for our company! The script is flexible and adapted beautifully to our Cheney Mansion, making for a unique and truly immersive experience for our audiences!

—Jhenai Mootz, Managing Director of Oak Park Festival Theatre

Kevin McKillip as The Madman 2015



Scripts available for either site-specific production in an historic building or standard theatrical production.40 Minute School Touring version also available. Please contact us for more information.

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