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Tell-Tale-Heart murder trial to take place in Dover, Del.’s Old State House on Oct. 31, 2015

Date Posted: Monday, October 19th, 2015
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs News

-Four additional free Halloween-related events to also take place at the state’s museums-

(DOVER, Del.—Oct. 19, 2015)—Charles Webster—accused of murdering his landlord, dismembering the man’s body and burying it under the floorboards until Webster is tormented by the victim’s still-beating heart—will be brought to justice in the play “The Trial of the Tell-Tale Heart” that will be presented on Halloween night at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover, Del.

Illustration of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Harry Clarke, circa 1919.

Illustration of “The Tell-Tale Heart” by Harry Clarke, circa 1919.

Suggested for visitors aged 12 and up, the interactive play, in which audience members may serve as members of the jury, will be performed at 5 and 8 p.m. on Saturday Oct. 31, 2015. The play is part of a double-feature that will also include a theatrical adaptation of Edgar Allen Poe’s story, “The Raven.” Admission is free and open to the public and Halloween costumes are welcome. For additional information, call 302-744-5054.

Written by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreters Chris Hall and Courtney Lynahan, “The Trial of the Tell-Tale Heart” takes Poe’s story one step further by postulating what might have happened to the perpetrator of a vicious crime after he is brought before the criminal justice system. In keeping with the story’s 19th-century setting, the trial will be held in the historic courtroom of The Old State House which was built in 1791.

Courtroom of The Old State House.

Courtroom of The Old State House.

In addition to the Edgar Allen Poe double feature, the museums of the state of Delaware will be presenting four other spooky, Halloween-related events at sites across the state. All programs are free and open to the public. A complete listing of division-sponsored Halloween-related events follows:

Tuesday, Oct. 27, 2015
“Hollywood History at the Court House: ‘Legend of Sleepy Hollow.’ ” Screening of the film “Legend of Sleepy Hollow” and a brief presentation on the world-renowned illustrator from Claymont, Del. Felix Octavius Carr Darley who illustrated the Washington Irving book upon which the film is based. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Film at 7 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are recommended by calling 302-323-4453. Note: Rescheduled from Oct. 14, 2015.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015
“Spooky Sounds.” Program explores the spooky lyrics or backstories associated with many of the most iconic pieces of classical music. Visitors are invited to wear their Halloween costumes and listen to original 78rpm recordings of these pieces played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015
“Mysteries of History.” Walking tour explores the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Tour leaves from the museum at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015
Halloween at The Old State House. Activities for children ages 11 and under include the Great Pumpkin scavenger hunt; coloring; and strange, family-friendly tales from Delaware. Costumes are welcomed for all who attend. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 3–4 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Oct. 31, 2015
“Edgar Allan Poe at The Old State House.” Halloween night theatrical adaptation of Poe’s “The Raven,” the tale of a grief stricken man who falls deeper into insanity after a visit from a suspicious bird; followed by “The Trial of the Tell-Tale Heart,” an original play based on the Poe story featuring an interactive courtroom trial of Charles Webster, the story’s protagonist who stands accused of the gruesome murder of his landlord. Recommended for audiences ages 12 and up. Costumes are welcomed for all who attend. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performances at 5 and 8 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the state of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of museum events.

-End-

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone: 302-736-7413
E-mail: Jim.Yurasek@state.de.us
Web: http://history.delaware.gov

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