Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre

Literary Horror Brought to Vivid Life
  • Plays & Peformances

Hollywood Gothique Says:

Drama After DarkAs vivid as a hallucination, as binding as a spell – Drama After Dark’s annual “Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey” should be on every Halloween fanatic’s must-see list.

Like the Wicked Lit Halloween Theatre Festival, Drama After Dark offers performances based on classic horror literature, staged in an unconventional venue; however, Drama After Dark is more faithful to the source material. The staging is simpler; the effect is more intimate, with actors in period costume addressing the audience directly, often in the form of confessional monologues, bringing the texts to life with energetic and inspiring performances.


2022 Status: To be determined. The proprietors are currently searching for an alternative location. After switching to a virtual presentation in 2020 (consisting of YouTube videos), Drama After Dark cancelled plans to return for Halloween 2021 due to lingering concerns over safety during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Date & Hours: TBD

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About Drama After Dark: A Night of the Macabre with Poe and Gorey

Since 2003, Drama After Dark has been offering this series of half-hour vignettes, usually staged one night a year during the Halloween season, in the gardens and buildings around the Huntington Library.  Readings and plays based on the work of Edgar Allan Poe and Edward Gorey are performed by the Guild of St. George. Titles include “The Pit and the Pendulum,” The Tell-Tale Heart,” and others. This year, because of the limitations of the venue, only one set of Gorey Stories will be performed.

During the course of the evening, audience members see up to six out of the ten or more performances, which play simultaneously at various sites throughout the upper levels of the grounds. Most of the performances are outdoors (chairs provided), requiring the audience to walk to various sites. To enhance the mood of the evening, many of the lights on the grounds are dimmed or turned off completely.

Drama After Dark’s presentation utilizes costumes but minimal sets and props, relying on the environment of Huntington Garden to provide the atmosphere. The performances are more spoken word than dramatizations. In the case of “Gorey Stories,” several actors give tag-team readings of Gorey’s fiendishly funny poetry. The Poe adaptations are not truly adaptations at all but monologues delivering the author’s texts verbatim, like confessionals delivered by guilty murders.

Drama After Dark is suggested for ages ten and up; no one under 18 without adult supervision.

The event typically sells out. In the past, tickets were sold only in advance, not at the door.

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