Michael Seebold won the ARTS NC STATE Creative Artist Award for 2011-2012 for his play The Spyglass Seven. Seebold’s work was produced and performed by NC State University Theatre in September 2013.
The Spyglass Seven is a one-act play of intriguing simplicity and strong melodrama that features the ghost of famed poet and author Edgar Allan Poe returning from the grave at the behest of his muse, Beauty. Wishing to spare him loneliness in death, Poe is given the task of finding his true ‘soul mate’ from the ghosts of seven important women in his life.
From the director
Seebold has given us a view of Poe that allows the audience to span the arc of his literary genius throughout his life and he has done it with an entertaining conceit. The audience’s reaction to this cavalcade of interesting women in Poe’s life was very strong, with many comments about which female should have ended up the “love” of his life. Seebold’s format gave powerful insights into how these women were affected by this very eccentric and talented historical figure, as well as broad insights into women’s roles in the 19th Century.
From Matthew Hogan, student actor who portrayed Poe
I think that performing in an original play is perhaps the coolest thing I have ever done. Plus, the fact that Michael was there to bounce ideas off of was a huge benefit, especially when it came to developing the unique character of Poe. The Spyglass Seven was beautifully written; I only wish we could have had more time with it.
From the playwright
I can remember in elementary school reading Poe’s famous works, like The Raven. Later, I become familiar with his lesser known works and his public correspondence, and it inspired me. This was my first attempt at writing a stage play. The process was extremely rewarding – the highlight of my undergraduate career. It was mesmerizing to see the lines come to life. I attended the reading, rehearsals and performances. I received a lot of positive feedback, and it was interesting to hear the audience’s different interpretations after the performance.
Directed by John C. McIlwee; scenic design and projections by Jayme Mellema; costume design by Adrienne McKenzie & Em Rossi; lighting and sound design by Joshua A. Reaves.