Blair Academy Players Presented ‘Once Upon a Midnight Dreary’

Blair Academy Players Presented ‘Once Upon a Midnight Dreary’
Blair Academy

Halloween weekend provided the perfect spooky backdrop for the Blair Academy Players’ fall drama, Once Upon a Midnight Dreary. Written by director Craig Evans and featuring a cast of nearly two dozen students, the production centered on the works of Edgar Allan Poe and included a puppet show of Poe’s life and career and performances of 12 different works. To view Once Upon a Midnight Dreary being performed in Blair’s Robert J. Evans Open Air Theatre on October 29, 30 and 31, click "play" below.

The Blair Academy Players looked forward to mounting a live production this fall after two virtual productions in the spring. Since the School opened in late August, the cast rehearsed outdoors, and Mr. Evans devised some clever workarounds to ensure that health-and-safety protocols remain firmly in place. “The suffocation in ‘The Tell-Tale Heart’ was one of the scenes that presented a blocking challenge, but using a pillow kept the actors from breathing on each other,” he said. He also noted that some of the actors joined the audience during performances in order to maintain physical distancing backstage.

Mikey Richardson ’21, who played Edgar Allan Poe and acted out “The Black Cat,” described how rehearsing during the pandemic had taken a great deal of patience. “There was a lot more to worry about than your lines, costumes and how tech week was going to turn out,” he said. “Performing now does not have the same feeling as performing without restrictions and social distancing, but it is something my cast mates and I got used to so we can put on a great show.”

“Rehearsing during a pandemic was different but definitely interesting,” agreed Sid Mehta ’21, who plays Detective Dupin in “The Murders at Rue Morgue.” Nonetheless, he and Mikey were both thrilled with the opportunity to act in a live production this fall.

“I am so happy and feel so incredibly lucky to have had the opportunity to partake in a play during COVID-19, especially a play directed by the awesome Mr. Evans!” Sid said. “I was excited to show the audience what this awesome cast had been working on!”

Mikey was grateful for the chance to end his high school acting career “with a bang” by performing in Once Upon a Midnight Dreary. “I’m excited to see the next line of Blair Academy Players carry on the torch of our great theatre program, too,” he added.

A longtime fan of the horror genre, Mr. Evans encouraged Blair community members to attend one of the Halloween weekend performances. “Poe is still the master of the creepy horror story,” he said. “The show included everything from a biographical introduction and a monologue to a graveyard opera and, of course, a performance of ‘The Raven,’ from which our production gets its title. It was such a varied evening, there’s a bit of horror in it for everyone.”

The cast of Once Upon a Midnight Dreary:

  • Maria Andrinopoulos ’23
  • Sammi Antonelli ’22
  • Sadie Donnelly ’22
  • Richard Gimbel ’24
  • Angela Han ’24
  • Carson Honor ’21
  • Lindsay Juge ’21
  • Nikki Kirkwood ’22
  • Marc Lui ’23
  • Sid Mehta ’21
  • Temi Ogunyomade ’24
  • Julian Perello ’24
  • Mikey Richardson ’21
  • Alex Schamberger ’22
  • Amalia Scripsick ’22
  • Vivien Sheridan ’22
  • Annele Sipols ’21
  • Julia Starikoff ’24
  • Cece Sturman ’21 (student director)
  • Linda Thomas-Galloway ’21
  • Dust Wang ’24
  • Hanna Wilke ’23