It hasn’t been a good year for Poe’s ghost, but he has a few loyalists. Mark S. Sanders is one of them. As Poe, he spent the night of the 7th – the anniversary of Poe’s death in 1849, and the opening night of Portrait of Poe — sitting in front of the poet’s one-time abode, a tiny brick duplex located at 405 Amity Street. In the mid-1830’s, Poe lived there briefly with his aunt, who owned the place, and young wife, Virginia. What was then a wooded area now is sandwiched in a housing project. “I was sitting there on the front steps of the Poe House, dressed as Poe, at 2:30 am,” says Sanders in a brief post-show chat. The neighbors from the surrounding housing project, he adds, “were great.”
But the City Government is less so. One hundred sixty two years after Poe was found dying in a Baltimore watering hole – wearing someone else’s clothes – he may go homeless again.
From Portrait of Poe, a piece I wrote for my Baltimore Backstage column at DC Theatre Scene