Poetic Drama   By E. Thomalen
7m/6f Ensemble piece. Also needed are musicians and dancers
This is a dramatic adaptation of E.A. Poe's short story: Masque of the Red Death. In Poe's story a plague has devastated a small country and the Prince seals the palace gates and withdraws into his estate, with his courtiers, hoping to escape it. He holds a year-end ball and invites the guests. Death makes an appearance at midnight traveling through all of the elaborate ballrooms and even the Prince is unable to escape. I have elaborated on Poe's story and added and altered elements. Dance sequences in the masquerade ballrooms depict the time of day and seasons of the year as metaphors for life. In the progression the company gradually confronts both the pain and beauty of life and finally the meaning and terror of death. The dance music for the piece is drawn mostly from Renaissance period compositions, the nature of the music can be gleaned from the text. Conceptually it is departure from anything now being done either on the dramatic or dance stage.
Running time: estimated to be 80-90 minutes