A Gothic melodrama adapted from the short story by Edgar Allan Poe

by Bill Jackson

THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH Runs September 28, 29 and October 4, 5, 6, 7, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27. All shows are at 8PM, except Sundays are 2PM matinees. The performances will be held at Carte Blanche Studios, 1024 S 5th St. in Milwaukee. To reserve tickets go to www.carteblanchestudios.com or call (414) 688-7313.


THE MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH is a well-known horror story of a plague that scourges the dominion of a cruel prince whose selfishness and neglect cause the ironic and horrific ruin of his throne, his court, and himself in the classic tradition of the stories of America’s most revered writer of horror, Edgar Allan Poe. In this adaptation, the youthful, brilliant Prince Prospero (James Dragolovich), abandoned in childhood by the death in childbirth of his mother and the grief of his father, turns his fury against the land of Hubrik, his own dominion. Despite appeals by his subjects, represented by the esteemed Dr. Kilgore (David Kaye) and his beautiful daughter, Sangrid (Emily Craig), he leaves his people to die as he seals himself and his glittering friends in his castle. Before doing so, he abducts the doctor’s daughter who is tragically defended by Ruddy (Jerome Maywald), a former teacher now drunken in grief, at the cost of his life. The Red Death itself possesses and animates the corpse of the old teacher and enters Castle Hubrik to visit retribution on the prince and his court who, in a remarkable display of fatal folly, believed themselves to be free of contagion and death.

CARTE BLANCHE STUDIOS presents the professional debut of this original play by Milwaukee actor and educator, Bill Jackson in his first venture as a playwright.

The play is lavish in language and emotion in the style of classic melodrama. This is especially so in the final scene in which the court pays for their cruelty in a ballet of horror and death in the grip of a supernaturally accelerated contagion. The production in the company’s own intimate space in Walker’s Point is performed by a cast of Milwaukee’s most talented young and veteran actors with beautiful music, startling costumes, dark humor, and frightening effects.

The run of the play includes two matinees and one pay-what-you-can performance as CARTE BLANCHE STUDIOS inaugurates its 2012-13 season. Audiences are cautioned that the play includes partial nudity, strong language, gunfire, and bloodshed.