Book and Lyrics by Molly Fox, Music by Sarah Hirsch
Edgar Allan Poe’s story comes to life in this haunting musical adaptation. Struggling painter James Cleary receives a summons to his childhood friend Roderick Usher’s mansion, to paint Roderick’s portrait before he dies. Roderick and his twin sister Madeline allegedly suffer from a mysterious inherited illness. Roderick tells James that Madeline is far away, traveling across Europe, but James hears Madeline singing at night, and discovers her hidden in the mansion. Their childhood romance is rekindled, and James determines to rescue Madeline. James’s discovery of a sinister vein running through the Usher line rocks the house to its foundation. THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER asks just how far we would go to keep those we love from leaving.
THE FALL OF THE HOUSE OF USHER (originally titled USHER) was first workshopped in a staged reading at Yale in the fall of 2007 and then received a full production at Yale in the spring of 2008. That summer, it traveled to the New York International Fringe Festival, where it won the “Outstanding Musical Award.” Sarah and Molly put the musical aside for several years to attend graduate school (at the Tisch Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program and Cambridge University, respectively). When they returned to the show, they revised it significantly and submitted it to the Yale Institute for Music Theatre, where it was named a finalist. The musical subsequently won the Pallas Theatre Collective’s Table-Read Submission Contest. Pallas mounted a reading of the musical in the summer of 2013 and a full production in the summer of 2014 in Washington, D.C..
More information, as well as reviews of both the DC production and the New York production, can be found here: