Literary historian Rob Velella returns to Ventfort Hall Mansion and Gilded Age Museum via Zoom for a special Halloween virtual event portraying Edgar Allan Poe. Attendees are invited to see him on Zoom at the mansion or at home via Zoom.
Poe, impersonated by Velella in costume, returns from the grave to read several of his works, both well-known and forgotten. Among them are “Annabel Lee” and one of the author’s earlier horror stories, “Ligeia,” which will feature some original music by composer Mary Bichner. An interactive question and answer period will follow the program. The program is recommended for ages 13 and up.
Velella is an independent literary historian specializing in American literature of the 19th century. The versatility and broad appeal of Poe’s works fascinate him. “The high-minded Ph.D. scholars are really into Poe, the general reader loves Poe, and everybody in between…”
There have been times when Velella has been treated as the famous poet. “Once when I was performing in Nashville, four different women kissed me. It wasn’t that they wanted to kiss me, they wanted to kiss Poe,” he says. “I didn’t expect that – I were just asking an innocent question and then Poe basically gets sexually assaulted!”
Through public lectures, dramatic readings, scholarly publications, museum exhibitions and tours, Velella has dramatically brought back to life several literary figures, including Nathaniel Hawthorne, a figure he has presented at Ventfort Hall. His performances have been featured through National Public Radio, the Travel Channel and chronicled in The Harvard Crimson Magazine and the LA Review of Books.
Tickets for the Velella performance are $20. The performance will be seen via Zoom and can also be watched via Zoom at Ventfort Hall. To view on Zoom register at https://ventfort10242020.eventbrite.com. Reservations to attend at Ventfort Hall are strongly recommended as seating will be strictly limited. Masks are required and social distancing will be observed. For reservations to view at the mansion call us (413) 637-3206.