A site-specific staging of The Fall of the House of Usher by Edgar Allan Poe, in which Roderick Usher entombs his still living sister, Madeline, in the vault of their decaying mansion.

To offset, and interweave with this piece, we chose a scenario suggested by David Ives in his short story, Bolero, which tells the story of a contemporary couple listening to noises in their building, where it also sounds as though a woman is being harmed.

With the form of the play we explore the boundaries between puppetry and theatre. The audience is placed in the role of the story’s “narrator”, both a witness to and, to a certain extent, participant in the events which unfold. Stylistically, there is also the juxtaposition of the romantic notion of “terror” which contains a certain element of thrill and delight, to the way the word is used in our current world to reflect, and often to foment, an overall sense of dread.


A site specific performance in an old building, produced in 2006

For older and adult audiences:  minimum age 14

Audience maximum groups of 25 people


Produced in Association with Threshold Theater

Created by Ann Powell and David Powell
Directed by Mark Cassidy                                                                                              Music and soundscape:  Rick Sacks                                                                         Musical assistant:  Nathaniel Whitfield                                                                      Paintings by Jenny Westoby

Roderick Usher:  Patrick Conner                                                                               Madeline Usher/Woman’s Voice:  Suzanne Hersh/Lucy Rupert

Servant, Doctor, shadow puppeteer:  Ann Powell
Servant, Doctor, shadow puppeteer:  David Powell
Servant, Doctor, Man’s Voice, Stage Manager:  Varrick Grimes
Servant, shadow puppeteer:  Brad Harley
Detective:  Monique Stewart/ Sally Robinson                                                           Detective:  Rick Sacks                                                                                                 Woman on cell phone:  Jennifer Callow/Kristan Klimczak

Indispensable running crew and helpers: Jennifer Callow, Kristan Klimczak, Sally Robinson