CAITLIN CLARK (Virginia Clemm Poe and Frances Allan)
Caitlin is the talented soprano who portrays Eddy’s wife/cousin in our production. And yes, she’s as mischievous and darling as her photo suggests. A stay-at-home mom to two rambunctious toddlers, she enjoys spending her free time singing and working on theater productions. Caitlin grew up singing in church, school musicals, and community theater, before earning her Bachelor’s degree in Music from Willamette University. She has been a member of the Willamette Master Chorus since 2009, and was last seen on stage in Pentacle Theatre’s production of Brigadoon. Having her in our cast is truly a high note for us, since she sings the highest note in the score. Her ebullient personality is infectious, but not in a tubercular way.
ED SCHOAPS (Death)
Ed is delighted to appear in POE the Musical, having been a lifelong fan of Poe’s stories and poems. In his youth, he once threw an “Edgar Allan Poe Hallowe’en Party and Masque Ball,” which only his literate friends attended, and the rest be damned. Ed began his acting career in 1976 in Bertolt Brecht’s “play with music” The Threepenny Opera at Pentacle Theatre. Recent roles there include Selsdon Mowbray in Noises Off, Lyman Wyeth in Other Desert Cities and Franklin Hart, Jr. in 9 to 5: The Musical. He also appeared in Pentacle’s productions of Peter Pan, Night of the Iguana, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, God’s Country, All’s Well That Ends Well, Macbeth, Into The Woods and many others. Ed played Big Daddy in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at Gallery Theatre in McMinnville, appeared in True West and Uncle Vanya at The Verona Studio, in Song of Extinction at Theatre 33, and on the Elsinore stage in A Chorus Line, Romeo and Juliet, and Macbeth. Ed recently directed Cabaret and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? at Pentacle, and Novecento at The Verona Studio. Previously, he directed A Streetcar Named Desire and How the Other Half Loves, assistant directed Standing On My Knees and was production consultant for Cat on a Hot Tin Roof — all at Pentacle. Ed loves theater that touches the soul and speaks to what it truly means to be human. And given the fact that he's portraying "Death," his last sentence is as funny as he is.
KATHLEEN LUNDQUIST (Maria Poe Clemm)
Kathleen is a Portland-based vocalist, actor, and musician. Her credits range from classical music performances to modern experimental electronica to singer/songwriter showcases, and she also enjoys contributing her skills to Oregon’s film industry as an actor in commercials and independent films. She regularly finds her way to local theatre stages as well. Favorite roles include Sarah Bonham in Quilters and Gracie Allen in the biographical musical Gracie for President (2008 world premiere/Sandy Actors Theatre). Before POE, her most recent experience with new musical works was with composer Mark Nuismer, singing in the ensemble that presented his modern musical setting of W.B. Yeats’ In The Seven Woods at Portland State University in 2016. A longtime fan of the ‘classic horror’ genre (where she first discovered Poe), she is grateful for this opportunity to have fun exploring the dark corners of the human experience, with Poe’s brilliance to light the way. Kathleen's calming presence and professionalism provide our show with the "mother energy" it needs.
JACKSON BAILEY (Rufus Wilmot Griswold)
Jackson is an actor from Salem, Oregon. He has appeared in a total of two professional shows, this being the second. His theatrical debut was earlier in 2018 in Cabaret at Pentacle Theatre. Although Jackson has had no formal training in singing or acting, his passion for performing makes up for that in abundance. He is endlessly excited to be playing a key role in a brand new musical and can’t wait to bring it to you! Jackson is a valuable part of the cast. His comedic sensibilities are innate and it is clear he has a bright future ahead of him!
SIMON STAPLES (John Allan, plus Charles Dickens and George Graham)
Simon is thrilled to perform in this new musical. Currently enrolled at the Manhattan School of Music, he returns to New York City in January to resume his studies with voice coach Mark Oswald. Simon’s recent performances include Running Deer in Annie Get Your Gun, King Balthazar in Amahl and the Night Visitors, and chorus work at the ACDA National Convention, the International Choir Festival in Kathaumixw, Canada with the Willamette Master Chorus, and several other conventions in Oregon. He also currently teaches in conjunction with Jesse Cromer’s voice studio in Portland. Simon's rich basso profundo truly is profound and astounding, and his musicianship is a terrific asset to our production.
CHRISTA L. FENTON (Frances "Fanny" Osgood)
Christa was born in the Midwest, but moved to Salem as a teen. Her recent stunning portrayal of Anne in The Father at The Verona Studio was met with praise. Other shows with Verona include Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Uncle Vanya, as well as Keizer Homegrown Theatre's Much Ado About Nothing and A Doll's House. Christa loves reading and playing with her kids (Grace, Lily, Aaron, Max), and is thrilled to be part of POE’s journey to Broadway. She and this show's playwright became fast friends when she was a last-minute cast rescue for the premiere reading of Choices. As dramaturg, Christa's seasoned instincts helped strengthen the book for POE the musical.