A Literary Haunting

Actors Deb Birchler, left, and Linda Fajvan in “The Charlatan,” written by Deborah Frethem. Photo courtesy of Craig Frethem.

Actors Deb Birchler, left, and Linda Fajvan in “The Charlatan,” written by Deborah Frethem. Photo courtesy of Craig Frethem.

Those who like haunted houses and those who like literature will want to find out what evil lurks within a Gulfport residence this weekend.

While looking for a unique way to celebrate Halloween, Tiffany Razzano, founder of the literary arts organization Wordier Than Thou, decided to combine two popular mediums – the traditional haunted house and the one-act play. The result is Read No More, a Haunted House Adventure where people can experience the frights of a haunted house but with a literary twist. Attendees tour a Gulfport home where each room features a short, spooky play written and produced by local writers and actors. This year’s event includes two writers who live in Gulfport: Cathy Salustri, the arts and entertainment editor at Creative Loafing and the author of “Backroads to Paradise,” and Deborah Frethem, an historian who has written three books about the paranormal: “Ghost Stories of St. Petersburg, Clearwater and Pinellas County”; Haunted Tampa” and “Haunted Ybor City.”

“People like to be scared,” says Razzano. “We were looking for something interesting and literary to do to showcase and support local authors and actors, incorporating as many mediums as possible. If we can do it all in one fell swoop, that’s even better.”

Four rooms in the house, located at 3009 54th St. S., feature four plays, written by four different playwrights, that are 10 minutes long, each featuring different groupings of playwrights and actors. Titles include Deborah Frethem’s  “The Charlatan,” Erika Lance’s “The Nightmare,”  “The Shooter” by Cathy Salustri, and an excerpt of “Bitten” by Kathy Nappier.

According to Razzano, the concept for Read No More is based on Sleep No More, an award-winning New York City theater production where the audience experiences a performance at their own pace, making everyone’s experience different and unique.

“We hope our performances with Read No More bring the writer’s words to life and let us reach a possibly different audience,” says Razzano.

Read No More will be performed October 28 and 29 at 6 p.m., 6:45 p.m., 7:25 p.m., 8:05 p.m., 8:45 p.m. and 9:25 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance and can be purchased online at wordierthanthou.com or by phone at 516-906-2140. Tickets are $15 at the door. For more information, find Read No More on Facebook.

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