I am happy to announce that I have written a theatrical adaptation of H.P. Lovecraft’s 1935 short story “The Haunter of the Dark.”
I have long been in love with the work of the Providence native, and this story has been one of my favorites for as long as I have known it. The story follows Robert Harrison Blake, a young author of weird fiction, who moves into a new house and quickly becomes obsessed with the dark rumors about a disused church on Federal Hill that even the birds have shunned.
I wrote the piece to be site-specific to my place in Providence, and my wonderful housemates assure me that they are all right with my use of the apartment, for which I am grateful. But I am not putting the cart before the horse. I am first hoping to do several staged readings of the play at another venue to get some much-needed feedback and stir up interest among potential collaborators. Then I will be able to start in earnest. I am already creating props for the show, and I am enlisting the help of my friends in the editing of the script.
Here is my playwright’s note from the beginning of the script:
In producing this work, I hope to add my voice to the chorus that has built up over the years like a coral deposit around the work of H.P. Lovecraft. Living in Providence, as I do, one rubs up now and then against the landmarks and architectural wonders that the writer so loved, and even though the sinister, ill-favored church on Federal Hill has been razed since Lovecraft’s day, there are traces of the cosmic horror even in the most brightly-lit places in this city. Any fan of Lovecraft is also forced to contend with the author’s many sticking points – his prosy, Gothic style, his racist xenophobia, and his pronounced fear of mysticism and science, both of which, in his fictional worlds, lead to truths too terrible to contemplate, impossible dreams no Don Quixote should ever chase. Love him or hate him, we all live in Lovecraft’s shadow: everyone from Joss Whedon to Stephen King to the many writers of Doctor Who draw on his mad mythos in some way. Now I want to take an audience inside a nightmare set not in semi-fictional Arkham or Innsmouth but in a city that Lovecraft adored all his life – Providence, Rhode Island.