LR Theatre: Edgar Allan Poe

A creepy walk in the woods with Edgar Allen Poe and the LR theatre troop.


Given COVID-19, nothing is as it was last year at Lake Region, and the pandemic changed the LR Theatre program. Last year, students would gather at the Municipal Building in Orleans to rehearse every day, acting, dancing, and singing in small groups. This year, because of new restrictions on crowd size because of social distancing requirements and schedules that separated upperclassmen and their younger peers, the theatre department had to find a new approach. Students prepared virtually for a trail walk featuring student performances of the short stories and poems of Edgar Allen Poe. While considerably different from past performances, the show was a unique success.

Last year Lake Region’s Theatre Department’s directors Johanna Pastel and Kate Camara assembled the largest ever student cast in Lake Region’s history to perform the musical Peter Pan. Sara Doncaster served as Musical Director and led a professional band. Students studied choreography with Maia Hansen. Mariah O’Hara built creative and clever set pieces with students. This was a challenging and elaborate production and students earned rave reviews for their work.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Navigate Left
Navigate Right

2020 was already expected to be a tough year, as Mrs. Camara took the year off to focus on her schooling. When the pandemic lingered through the summer, any hope of a traditional performance in an enclosed theatre faded away. While the original plan called for a production of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, this plan was shelved because of the virus. Due to restrictive COVID-19 policies designed to protect the safety of students and audience members alike, Ms. Pastel and her actors had to adjust their plans. Theatre rehearsals began without a solid plan, so Pastel had to call upon the students, who met to discuss the best ways to stage a show, taking into consideration all the factors of social distancing, location and preparation. The group elected to create a Halloween-based trail, with Edgar Allen Poe poems and stories that were condensed to fit the alluded timeslot.

The plan had started, and it was all up to the students to carry the work to make the best performance possible within the situation they were in, as they practiced their script, recording them, and editing it to make the finished audio aspect of the performance, to get a mixture of reading the poems with some music to set the mood. While the physical aspects of the show involved planning out the area, the props and costumes being prepared, and setting all up in its correct spot. Some of the props and costumes were windows, masks, robes, a cage, hats, and plenty more that help flesh out the characters the stories made.

Edgar Allen Poe: A Walk Through the Woods took place on Halloween from 10 to 2. People came to Lake Region and walked up to where the cross country trails begin. Each person who came to the trail walk was made to wear a mask and socially distance while waiting for a guide to become available. The event raised over $1,000 for the Orleans Food Shelf.

Theatre participants were: Brit Beswick, McKenna Blay, Ila Camara, Annabelle Coburn, Chloe Currier, Matthew Faust, Megan Hapgood, Daniel Hodgeman, Whalen Josey, Fintan Letzelter, Brailee Kelley, Katie Kelley, Sophie Michaud, Ben Pellizzari, Ryan Roessier, Chloe Snyder, Connor Trevits, Nick Trevits, Villy Trevits, and Cassie Weisinger.

Teacher & Staff involvement: Tim Gustafson-Byrne, Maia Hansen, Mike Harbec ,Amy Kelley, Andre Messier, Mariah O’Hara, Johanna Pastel

Special Thanks to Jeff & Denise Coburn, Karen Perry, Kim Messier, Erin Knight