Page 65 - Oct2017

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|Galveston MONTHLY |
By Kimber Fountain
he balance of most creative endeavors hinges on
ultimate originality, and those considered “masters”
are often dubbed so because of their innovative
perspectives that excavate meaning from the
previously unknown. Ironically, this is also what makes their
work timeless, and the uniqueness of it is the very thing
that allows it to transmute, centuries later, into the calling of
other artists. This reinvention and reinterpretation of timeless
masterpieces could even be considered crucial to the existence
and endurance of art—otherwise, symphony orchestras would
not bother to conquer the revelry of Beethoven, nor would
the world know the genius that is Kenneth Branagh reciting
With this same intention and enduring appreciation, local
Galveston resident Robert Frank has crafted
A Dream within a
, a live performance adaptation of works written by the
master of the macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.
It began as a contest of sorts, between Robert and a friend.
They challenged each other to remember what they could of
“The Raven,” which had been required memorization in their
high school English class. “I wasn’t a Poe expert, I didn’t know
all about his life or his poetry,” Robert remembers, but for
some reason he fully embraced the friendly wager and began
to re-learn the entirety of the poem, stanza by stanza. One
morning while rehearsing his recitation, he also happened to
be listening to classical music and serendipitously realized that
the two were blending seamlessly.
Robert’s first live performance was two years ago at Dickens
on the Strand, which came about by a relatively unknown
connection between the two writers. Dickens and Poe were
personally acquainted, meeting for the first time in 1842. Poe
was familiar with his friend’s novel, Barnaby Rudge, which has
a talking raven, widely assumed to be the inspiration for Poe’s
own personification of the creature.
Since that first performance, the production quality of
Dream within a Dream
has continued to evolve and expand.
By the following year, Robert had added several other
poems to his repertoire and more performance dates and
venues. In addition to a repeat Dickens performance, his Poe
interpretation was featured at the Dallas Public Library Poe
Fest, the Dios de los Muertos Festival in Telingua, and locally
at the Proletariat on Halloween.
This year brings not only encore performances at all of last
year’s venues, but also even more production enhancements,
with added nuances from sound effects woven into the music
as well as a lighting schematic, both designed by Sugar Hill
Studios in Houston.
“It is much more of a production than it is merely a poetry
within a
A Live Performance of the
Works of Edgar Allan Poe
A Dream within a Dream
Live at the Proletariat on Halloween Night
2221 Market Street, 8pm
Additional performances: October 21, Dallas Public Library |
December 1-3, Dickens on the Strand
Robert Frank dressed as Edgar Allan Poe
Photos by Kimber Fountain