The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?

The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?

Off-Broadway
Theatrical Experience
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A Poseidon Theatre Company production.

This open-run is an immersive ghost story, produced in an authentically recreated Brooklyn cellar speakeasy. A mystical experience wrapped in booze and words!

SYNOPSIS: Poe's death in 1849 at age 40 is shrouded in mystery; explanations have included alcohol poisoning, tuberculosis, heart disease and rabies. In the show, the society is actually hoping to prove that Poe's death was a result of "cooping," a gang-based form of election fraud that was common in the early 19th century. Innocent bystanders were kidnapped by so-called 'cooping gangs' or 'election gangs' and forced to vote repeatedly for candidates of the political machines. Victims were kept in a room called a "coop" and liquored up to make them compliant. Often wardrobes were switched and they were disguised with wigs or fake beards to fool poll watchers. If they refused to cooperate, they were beaten or killed. This theory of Poe's death has been increasingly proposed by Poe scholars since the 1870s. But in the show, the theory becomes less of an explanation than a red herring. It is offered as one of several mysteries, which you can only solve depending on where you are sitting in the room. Other mysteries of the show are: was the medium a ghost, were all the characters ghosts and was it all a ruse? The audience members, who sit among people facing their collective horror, will wonder which one they identify with. Cerebral moments romanticising Poe encourage us to savor the major theme of the show: the futility of explaining any present horror intellectually.

NOTE: The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allen Poe? is on hiatus and will return with a Halloween edition beginning October 11.

Directed by Aaron Salazar

Show Times: Wednesdays @6:30pm

Tickets from $75

poseidontheatrecompany.com/cooping