Usher House/The Canterville Ghost

SCARE PAIR by Gordon Getty

October 19, 7:30pm — Tickets
October 21, 7:30pm — Tickets

The Kaye Playhouse
East 68th Street between Park & Lexington Aves
Courtyard Entrance
New York, NY 10065
212-772-4448

Ready for a spooky night out? The Kaye Playhouse transforms into two different haunted houses in a double bill of operas by Gordon Getty. Writer Edgar Allan Poe takes the stage himself as the main character of Usher House, an unsettling chiller that has all the classic elements of Gothic horror: a high-strung recluse, a beautiful madwoman and a sinister doctor, all hidden away in a crumbling manor house full of secrets. The Canterville Ghost puts a deft comic spin on Oscar Wilde’s witty tale, in which the 300-year-old ghost of an English nobleman fails to impress his newest audience, a family of Americans who simply refuse to be frightened.

Running time: approximately two hours and 20 minutes

CAST

Edgar Allan Poe / Duke Cecil of Cheshire Dominic Armstrong
Roderick Usher / Hiram Otis Keith Phares
Madeline Usher / Virginia Otis Summer Hassan
Dr. Primus / Sir Simon the Ghost Matthew Burns
Attendant / Lord Canterville Kevin Wetzel
Mrs. Otis Jessica Ann Best
Child Madeline / First Otis Twin Augusta Caso
Child Roderick / Second Otis Twin Hilary Ginther
Madeline Usher (dancer) Jamielyn Duggan
 Mrs. Umney Mary Claire Curran
 Barbara Phoebe Haines
 Richard  Aaron Theno

CREATIVE TEAM

Composer and Librettist Gordon Getty
Conductor Sara Jobin
Director Brian Staufenbiel
Scenery Dave Dunning
Costumes Callie Floor
Projections David Murakami

SYNOPSIS

Usher House

Roderick Usher is the last surviving male member of his family, living as a recluse in his vast ancestral home with his twin sister, Madeline. She is slowly dying of a disease for which her doctor seems unable or unwilling to find a cause or a cure. Roderick begs an old friend to visit. Shortly after the friend’s arrival, Madeline dies and is buried in a vault beneath the house. In an attempt to calm the increasingly distracted Roderick, his friend reads to him from a medieval romance. As the climax of the tale is reached, the figure of Madeline appears–she had been buried alive and has clawed her way out of the vault to find her brother. Roderick is overcome by horror and as he and Madeline both confront death, the House of Usher collapses around them.

The Canterville Ghost

The opera is based on Oscar Wilde’s story of the same name. Sir Simon de Canterville, a centuries-old spirit, tries desperately to scare the current residents of Canterville Chase. But his new “audience,” a family of rich Americans, doesn’t take his ghostly presence seriously. He is admonished by the adults and tormented by the family’s rambunctious two sons. Poor Sir Simon feels like a once-great actor, whose art no longer makes an impression. Only the young daughter, Virginia, feels sympathy for the Canterville ghost. She helps the spirit find his eternal rest in the end.