FEATUREOctober 2022



Write Out Loud, an organization founded in 2007 with a commitment to inspire, challenge and entertain by reading literature aloud for audiences of all ages, announces the 5th Annual San Diego PoeFest, in performance from October 14th-30th at the Villa Montezuma Museum in Sherman Heights. This historic Queen Anne Victorian was named “The Palace of the Arts” by Jessie Shepard, the musician, spiritualist and author who designed it in 1887. Celebrate the strange, the inexplicable, the other-worldly with the Master of the Macabre, Edgar Allan Poe.

This year there will be two separate programs performed in rotation you can experience one or both! The $30 ticket for each includes the event and Reserved Parking at Sherman Elementary School. Patrons can reserve tickets at https://writeoutloudsd.com/poefest/ or or by calling (619) 297-8953

The two available programs are called PoeFest NEW and PoeFest REPRISE, each with performances at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., featuring 4 distinct encounters. A PoeFest Host will lead each group of 13 guests through these interactive experiences as they explore the mansion.

PoeFest NEW (available Oct 14, 15, 22, 28 & 29)

Performances at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

During the 75-minute experience, visitors will enjoy

  • The Weird Sisters – featuring Sandra Ruiz and Liliana Talwatte
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde – featuring Steven Lone
  • The Raven – featuring Travis Rhett Wilson (Paul Maley on October 15)
  • An Audience With Mary Shelley – featuring Megan Carmitchel

Guests will be hosted and guided by the mansion’s staff, Pamela Brittain, Walter Ritter, and Rachael VanWormer

PoeFest REPRISE (available Oct 16, 21, 23, 27 & 30)

Performances at 6 p.m., 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m.

During the 75-minute experience, visitors will enjoy

  • Literary Séance with Madame Philomena – featuring Rhianna Basore
  • The Trial of Dr Faustus – featuring Monique Gaffney and Eddie Yaroch
  • Dr. Frankenstein’s Laboratory – featuring Paul Maley and John Garcia
  • Encounter with Edgar Allan Poe – featuring Travis Rhett Wilson

Guests will be hosted and guided by the mansion’s staff, Walter Ritter, Rachael VanWormer and Pamela Brittain.

The Villa Montezuma Museum is located at 1925 K St., San Diego 92102. The Villa Montezuma is an historic building with no elevator. Guests will be standing, walking through the mansion and going up and down multiple staircases. Each performance will last 75 minutes with no intermission.

Write Out Loud serves over 30,000 people annually with their core programs: In addition to PoeFest, Write Out Loud presents a six show season of Story Concerts; Voices of Ireland each March; TwainFest — an annual free family celebration of 19th Century Literature; StoryBox Theatre (Kamishibai) for elementary students; Poetry Out Loud for high school students; Ripples From Walden Pond – a one-man play about Henry David Thoreau; Stories for Seniors; Read Imagine Create for teens’ and, new in 2022, Let Your Voice Be Heard – a youth poetry writing initiative.


Sharon Wilkes

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