Chicago & LA Theatre Veteran Darryl Maximilian Robinson Presents A Street Theatre Video Version of Poe's 'Annabel Lee' At Santa Monica Pier!
Perhaps it was because his biological parents were both stage actors. Perhaps it was due to his own well-to-do southern adoptive parents disapproving of many of his actions ( including being kicked out of West Point Academy ). Perhaps it was because his personal pain was so deep after the passing of his wife ( the love of his life ). Perhaps it was because he truly sensed that his own life would not be very long. Whatever the reasons that drove him into becoming one of the greatest literary masters of the 19th century may always remain in shadow and ( as the author of one of the first detective stories The Murders In The Rue Morgue ) perhaps the man, the myth, the literary legend, would prefer it kept that way. What is known is this: Edgar Allan Poe was and is one of the finest American authors of prose and poetry. His writing is rich, lush and undeniably theatrical and dramatic. And it was his penchant for telling tales of mystery and horror with such flair that drew Excaliber Shakespeare Company Los Angeles Archival Project Founder Darryl Maximilian Robinson to his numerous works.
Veteran and award-winning Chicago, St. Louis and Los Angeles stage actor and play director Darryl Maximilian Robinson ( The Founder of both the multiracial chamber theatre The Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago and the video and theatre arts group The Excaliber Shakespeare Company Los Angeles Archival Project ) shares a "Street Theatre" rendition of American literary master Edgar Allan Poe's classic poem "Annabel Lee" on the shore of the Pacific Ocean near Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, California. Recorded Monday June 7, 2021, the videography and editing of Mr. Robinson's recitation is provided by his long-time friend and talented fellow actor Danny Belrose. This outdoor presentation marks the fifth in a series of classic poems and speeches by Darryl Maximilian Robinson has performed in a "Street Theatre" style of format, which includes Rudyard Kipling's "If" on Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood as well as William Shakespeare's "Saint Crispin's Day" Speech from "Henry V," the "Seven Ages of Man" Speech from "As You Like It," and the "O Reason Not The Need" Speech from "King Lear" all presented at various locations in the Lincoln Heights neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.
Darryl Maximilian Robinson is no stranger to public performances of the works of Edgar Allan Poe. Beginning in 1990 as a Excaliber Productions Ltd. of Chicago staged reading at The Rudyard Kipling Pub in Louisville, Kentucky ( with the highly-talented young actor Christian Kohn, who would become a future critically-praised Chicago and New York stage performer, play director and noted college theatre lecturer, bringing to life The Tell-tale Heart ), followed by the same at The Midtown Arts Center of St. Louis, Missouri, Mr. Robinson ( joined by a variety of talented young actors in featured roles ) would continue over the course of a decade to evolve and present his original stage adaptation of The Raven And Six Other Points of Interest by Edgar Allan Poe. By the time he mounted his final Excaliber Shakespeare Company of Chicago staging of the piece at The Harrison Street Galleries Studio Theatre of Oak Park, IL. in 2001, the set and final completely memorized and performed bill of literary story and poem works included: El Dorado, The Tell-tale Heart, The City In The Sea, Annabel Lee, The Conquerer Worm, The Bells and The Raven ( which was Mr. Robinson's signature performance piece as Narrator and Host ).
Darryl Maximilian Robinson is winner of numerous theatre awards and honors garnered during his 47-season stage career including a 1997 Chicago Joseph Jefferson Citation Award as Outstanding Actor In A Principal Role In A Play for his performance as Sam Semela in The ESC's staging of Athol Fugard's Master Harold And The Boys at The Heartland Cafe Studio Theatre in the Windy City; a 2015 / 2016 Los Angeles Elate Season Ticket Holder Award nomination for Best Actor for his portrayal of Ernest in Tad Mosel's classic one-act of life in The Theatre, Impromptu presented at The Lincoln Stegman Theatre in North Hollywood, Ca.; and a 2019 BroadwayWorld Chicago Award nomination for Best Performer In A Musical or Revue ( Resident Non-Equity ) for his performance in the dual roles of The Chairman Mr. William Cartwright and Mayor Thomas Sapsea of Cloisterham in the 2018 Saint Sebastian Players of Chicago revival production of Rupert Holmes' Tony Award-winning Best Musical The Mystery of Edwin Drood staged at the lovely, more-than-a-century-old St. Bonaventure Church in Chicago.
His June 7, 2021 "Street Theatre" rendition of Annabel Lee does, however, represent his first public recitation of an Edgar Allan Poe poem in twenty years. This video is presented as part of The Excaliber Shakespeare Company Los Angeles Archival Project.