The Patriot Post

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The Patriot Post

The student news site of Birmingham Community Charter High School

The Patriot Post


Stark Raven Mad Production Plays to Enthusiastic Audiences at BCCHS

The cast of Stark Raven Mad (photo: Cristina Medina 11))

Birmingham Community Charter High School Play Pro produces a play each semester and the class goes all out in production, quality, and story. This year’s play was announced as Stark Raven Mad and took place from November 16 to November 19, 2023, in the spirit of all the excitement after Halloween. Keeping up with the thrill of the spooky season, this play was horror-themed and inspired by stories from the famous horror author Edgar Allen Poe.

I attended on the second day of the play being performed and I can attest to it being a new and interesting way to reprise Poe’s stories. The play features two unsuspecting girls who visit an insane asylum and find out what’s going on behind the scenes.

As the two women are there visiting, the head of the asylum, Dr. Nevermore, puts on numerous plays for them that tell stories eerily similar to the plots from Edgar Allen Poe’s short stories.  They portrayed terrifying stories from, but not limited to “The Raven,”  “The Tell-Tale Heart,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mr. Wienckowski, BCCHS Play Pro teacher and the director of the play, who gave me a lot of insight into the production. The most interesting part of this play was that this play is a complete original and its first premiere was here at Birmingham. Mr. Wienckowski stated, “None of the plays that were already published spoke to me…so I reached out to a friend of mine who was a playwright that I’ve worked with in the past and asked if he’d like to take a crack at writing a couple of stories and he ended up coming up with the idea of tying everything up together.” The work of this friend, Richard Creese, brought a new point of view to Edgar Allen Poe’s stories to our school.

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Everyone could agree that the play was amazing as was evidenced by the cheers heard after the play was over. Everyone had fun as the raven characters were having fun running around and talking to everyone after the show. While the audience had an amazing time watching this play, what did the director think? He told me he enjoys still watching it even after it has ended because of the hard work of the actors. He said, “There are some scenes that even if I’m out there trying to work the box office, I’ll sneak in there and watch.”

The actors proved their might by portraying these crazy, wacky characters with so much emotion and silliness. As I’ve mentioned, the murder of ravens shined even during the break in the middle of the show as they “flew” around squawking and making dark jokes. It added a hint of humor to the dark aura of the more serious characters like Dr. Evermore, the main villain, and Dr. Shelly, the main character. I should mention that the performance of the whole cast was outstanding and brought the audience into the world in which the play was set.

If this has piqued your interest at all and you’re bummed out that you couldn’t see this terrifying play, make sure to mark your calendars for more future play performances next semester here that should bring the same emotional experience that this horror story bought. Stark Raven Mad, inspired by Edgar Allen Poe’s stories, shined and created a memorable experience for all who went to see it, including me.

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