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As part of their “Main Street at the Mic” series, Main Street Theater’s “Things That Go Bump in the Night” show gave home-bound theatre lovers a night of chilling performances to liven up the Halloween weekend. Between classics like “The Raven” and “The Cask of Amontillado” along with a few modern pieces, the ghostly readings were just the thing to put everyone in a spooky mood.

Chilling atmosphere

With the backdrop of shadows held back by yellowed lightbulbs, Main Street’s actors hosted ghostly readings that chilled audiences to the core. With featured readings from works by Edgar Allan Poe, Edward Gorey and a few original tales of the macabre, Main Street delivered a sequence of chilling performances worthy of the Halloween weekend. 

Nevermore exciting

For actress Callina Anderson, performing “The Raven” was a thrilling experience. 

“I was super excited to be asked to do this part,” Anderson said. “The imagery is so visceral. I identify with the speaker so much. We meet them in their grief and mourning, and as the narrative goes on you see confusion, anger, despair, longing, desperation. It’s such a human piece, with a bit of creepy.”

While for actress Mai Le, the show was a fun moment for silly dramatics.

“My performance is a reading from “The Gashlycrumb Tinies”, which is a very morbid ABC book about 26 children who die, and it’s so macabre that it’s silly,” Le said.

Well, silly or thrilling, both pieces were acts to remember. Anderson’s emotive rendition was an inspiring piece worthy of turning even the most skeptical listener to poetry, while Le’s storytelling rhythm left a newly haunting ring to the alphabet. 

The audience will forever be as haunted as Poe by the word “nevermore”, and while I can’t speak for everyone, I can honestly say that I will never hear the ABC song the same way again. Thanks, Le. 

Lights, camera, not the same kind of action

“Things That Go Bump in the Night” was performed over YouTube to make the show accessible to audiences. While the actors lamented that the experience wasn’t the same, Le was just glad that Main Street could still do what they do best: perform.

“I’m glad Main Street is still finding ways to tell stories, especially right now when we’re all so isolated from each other – after all, stories are what brings us together! And I’m glad that Main Street is still creating jobs for local actors. ”

The actors lamented over the loss of the usual energy but agreed that virtual performances were the best way to go. Le said that it’s the little moments they miss most. Usually, at shows, the actors and the performers get to hang out in a green room or dressing room and catch up, encourage and support each other before the performance.

“There’s a really palpable energy that buzzes around backstage, and we didn’t really get to experience that this time around,” Le said. “It sounds silly because we’re all just sitting in the dark for two hours – but in that time, we laugh together; we gasp together; our heartbeats are in rhythm together. So nothing can really replace the wonder and the thrill of having performers and an audience in a room together. So that’s the hurdle virtual performances have to overcome.” 

But, in the end, they all agreed that the show must go on.  

“It’s good that these performances are easily accessible,” Le said. “It’s nice we can watch in the safety and comfort of our homes, and the design of the show is really cool. It sets the mood for Halloween – dark, moody.” 

Photo courtesy of Main Street Theater

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