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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Iron Crow Resurrects Poe in 'The Homo Poe Show'

It was an ambitious undertaking for the Iron Crow Theater Company’s founder and artistic director Steven J. Satta to create a production inspired by the works of Edgar Allan Poe and present them through a “queer lens,” as he put it.  The offbeat 19th century author, poet and critic who died in Baltimore from a host of possible causes, would seem like a good fit for this Baltimore-based community theatre company whose plays generally center on issues relating to the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community and are characterized by atypical, thought-provoking scripts with a good dose of sexuality immersed in the topics.

Alec Weinberg and Nick Horan in “Grieving and Sequins”
Photo: Zachary Handler
“Iron Crow has always had a very big definition of ‘queer’ - to include expression that skews or re-invents things in a dramatic way that connects to gender or sexual themes,” Mr. Satta told me prior to the opening of The Homo Poe Show at the Theatre Project.  “I think that Poe is already more than halfway towards this definition of ‘queer’.  His take on the world is so idiosyncratic and unexpected (twisted, in some cases) that he created his own genre of literature.  He deals often with obsession and lost love, which, while it is not explicitly sexual in his stories, is an easy path into the territories of gender and sexual desire.” 
Mr. Satta summoned up several playwrights who had previously helped give Iron Crow its edgy persona and strung together seven short pieces—a mixture of individual mini-plays and some aerial dance performances—in an attempt to present Poe’s works through this “queer” lens.  Mr. Satta also wrote one of the pieces and, along with Ryan Clark, directed the production.   As Poe’s efforts over the years met with mixed results, so, too, did The Homo Poe Show.
For full review, visit MD Theatre Guide.

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