Brooklyn | 1h 35m | Already closed

The Cooping Theory: Who Killed Edgar Allan Poe?

From 7 critic and 18 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Absorbing, Clever, Intense, Great acting

About the show

Poseidon Theatre Company revives this immersive, Poe-centric experience in a Brooklyn speakeasy for the Halloween season. More…

The year is 1949. The place: St. Charles Cellar, a dark tavern that is the meeting place of the Poe Society. Three elite members have gathered in remembrance of the centennial of the author's death, hoping to summon his spirit. The event takes a sharp turn, however, and things do not transpire as predicted. The room accommodates only 30 guests per performance for an evening of craft cocktails, dinner, and a paranormal experience, all set to the words of America's greatest master of the macabre. Note: There is a $25 food/drink minimum in addition to the ticket price.

On Stage Blog

for a previous production "While it is a theatrical evening, something mysterious does happen: actors give in to Poe’s poetry entirely, which makes for some raw and intense readings of 'The Raven' and 'Annabel Lee' among others. Never had I thought of an actor as being possessed by the writer through the text, and yet I can’t find other words to describe what I saw. The beautiful, haunting soundtrack further enhances the experience, complementing Poe’s dark and restless poetry." Full Review

Front Row Center

for a previous production "All of the actors commit fully, maintaining a level of energy that at times overwhelms the space but which is nonetheless commendable. The difficulty is that the piece starts at such a high level of energy, there is little place to go...The horror doesn’t fully develop into a narrative...‘The Cooping Theory’ is great fun...It’s like a ride at a theme park without the tacky. You get into your seat, go on a whirlwind trip...Everyone was smiling as they paid their checks." Full Review

New York Theatre Wire

for a previous production "Under the influence of Poe’s spirit, they lose their normal inhibitions. They rave. They argue...The show could lose ten minutes and the intermission for a more powerful effect...Surely Poe, who was a master of the short story, would approve. By the end of the evening, most people will have learned little about how Poe died, but they will know a lot more about his life and times. And the lesson has been made all the more pleasant by great food, good drinks, and excellent company." Full Review

Letters from the Mezzanine

for a previous production "The medium is successful at contacting Poe...But what follows doesn’t ever manage to raise the stakes for any drama to unfold...At its best, 'The Cooping Theory' is an homage to Poe’s writing and a meditation on the grief mirrored in his life and his works...But the story never develops fully to make us invested in the society’s mission. Their plot feels doomed from the start. What the production does do well is set a melancholic, though inviting atmosphere." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

for a previous production “Whether you find this sort of hokum entertaining is strictly up to you…I was alternately amused and irritated, and, even with a brief eighty-minute running time, I was more than ready for it to be over long before Poe's spirit was sent back to the astral plane…The removal and/or tuning down of extraneous underscoring would help no end…I find that actors mingling with the audience come off as awfully, well, actory. Doesn't anyone encourage them to dial it down a bit?” Full Review

Stage Buddy

for a previous production "The show contains enough Poe trivia and quotes to satiate the biggest of fans, and when the medium finally appears, the creative team gets to put on a show that ought to have chills going down our spines. And yet, there is something that never fully clicks, in between the overeagerness to please of the characters, the anachronistic synth-infused score that blasts from hidden speakers, and the anticlimactic intermission, the show deflates when it should’ve soared." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "Intriguing in concept, 'The Cooping Theory' fumbles in its execution. Its pre-show supper club steeps us in the evening’s boozy mystery, but runs a little too long to serve the plot...The lengthy, quote-heavy possession sequences set the piece’s atmosphere more than they forward its narrative...Writers Suggs and Johnson offer several story lines, but never really flesh any of them out. Given the piece’s focus on theory, this may well be the point, but it reads as unfocused." Full Review

Profound, Intense, Great writing, Mysterious

See it if you enjoy Edgar Allan Poe's writing.

Don't see it if you don't like Edgar Allan Poe.

Also Very immersive, the way the girl receives you in the red hall. Avoid a... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Intense

See it if you really like Poe

Don't see it if if you think you will learn anything about Poe

Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you are a hard core Edgar Allan Poe fan wanting a light spook in the evening

Don't see it if you want more than a dinner followed by angry shouting/screaming of Edgar Allan Poe's writings by 'possesed' actors...

For a previous production
Ambitious, Absorbing, Meditative

See it if enjoy a creative poetry readings. If you look for an unusual dinner or brunch experience to share with your date or friends.

Don't see it if are waiting for elaborate plot. The show is mostly about the atmosphere, not the action.

For a previous production
Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if If your looking for a different take on plays overall, it's very interactive with there audience and truly one of a kind

Don't see it if There's no reason not to. It's a must see and great experience!

For a previous production
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Refreshing, Intense

See it if You are interested in an immersive experience

Don't see it if You want to see dancing

For a previous production
Absorbing, Entertaining, Intense, Thought-provoking, Masterful

See it if You love adventures, mystery, unexpected experiences, immersive theater, talented cast and cool hip environments.

Don't see it if You are scared of ghosts or other worldly spirits coming to visit.

For a previous production
Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Great acting, Must see

See it if You enjoy great poetry and literature...and burgers.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy great poetry and literature...and burgers.

For a previous production
Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Edgy, Must see

See it if You want to be entertained by great theater and good food and you support new writers!

Don't see it if You're under age 12

For a previous production
Absorbing, Great acting, Edgy, Intelligent, Profound

See it if A captivating show! It was an immersive experience that made you truly appreciate the poems by Poe. The show is extremely well written .

Don't see it if see it

For a previous production
Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Absorbing

See it if You want to immerse yourself in an absorbing new theater experience.

Don't see it if U prefer a traditional theater setting with rows of seats facing a stage.

For a previous production
Enchanting, Clever, Delightful, Creative

See it if You'd enjoy a special setting and a clever plot

Don't see it if You go to shows just for the gratuitous elements

For a previous production
Intelligent, Great writing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you want an intense and spooky experience

Don't see it if you don't enjoy good theater

For a previous production
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great staging, Intense, Edgy

See it if You enjoy immersive, experiential theatre that submerges you in a new world of intrigue and mystery.

Don't see it if You are looking for a run-of-the-mill proscenium play.

For a previous production
Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Refreshing

See it if you appreciate immersive theater, great acting, and poetry.

Don't see it if you don't like food, acting, and poetry as there are no other reasons to miss out!

Also This show transports the audience to another time that features a spir... Read more Read less

For a previous production
Absorbing, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Clever

See it if If you like different experiences and new ways to tell a story. If you like mystery and suspense.

Don't see it if I only have reasons to go see it

For a previous production
Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Intense

See it if You're looking for a fun, engaging evening of immersive theatre.

Don't see it if You don't want to pay close attention to the plot of something.

For a previous production
Entertaining, Intense, Absorbing, Great staging, Edgy

See it if You enjoy being immersed in theater

Don't see it if You don't enjoy intensity

Cast & Creatives (12)