Huntington Group’s Original Play “Dead Letter” on Stage in Maine

Updated 4 years ago Edited by Tony Rutherford from Multiple Reports
Scene from "Dead Letter Office"
Scene from "Dead Letter Office"
Photo by William Bezek

A Huntington, WV theatre group specializing in original and off beat performances has accepted an invitation from the 2013 Berkshire Fringe Festival in Great Barrington, Me.

The Lunar Stratagem will present “Dead Letter Office" (a prelude to ‘Bartleby the Scrivener') July 17-24 at the Daniel Arts Center.

According to an article in the Boston Globe, the festival seeks to bridge the gap between twenty somethings and those gray headed. "Dead Letter Office" described as a speculative prelude to "Bartleby" kicks off the fest in the black box theater. The piece is composed mainly from "old letters and atlases".

The avant garde emerging companies are mostly composed of artists in their 20s and 30s. Sara Katzoff, 32, a founding director, told the Globe the presentation of these progressive, non-commercial works come in an effort to inspire theater attendance by those who often only attend a special event or go once a summer.

"The Other Mozart", "Mahalla", "A Monologue Dedicated to Dexter", "The Ape Woman" and "A Comedy About Death" are other productions performing at the festival in July/August.

Starring Shawn Parr, Nichole Perrone and Mark Farr, the non-profit group has a fund raiser initiated on-line at (For donation information, chick,

The preview comes from a June 2012 performance at Marshall University's Joan C. Edward's Theater. Video by William Bezek.

The piece by Matthew Earnest is set in an underground bunker of an unnamed city where three annymous Baroque figures are charged with deciphering and re-routing the world’s undeliverable mail. As the only ones on earth still adept with language, their job security has been solid for over two centuries. But today the tables will turn: these cloistered epistolographers will learn that the Enlightenment ended decades ago, and that their services are no longer needed.

In this uproarious prequel to Melville’s iconic story, Earnest and company use found letters to create an exuberant vaudeville that both celebrates and sighs for the bygone age of Humanism, a joyous elegy to the fading art of the written word.


Based in Huntington, West Virginia, USA, the Lunar stratagem creates original theater works from a variety of sources and tours them in America and abroad. Founded in 2011, the company took their name from Aphra Behn’s 1687 play, The Emperor of the Moon. Their next production at Marshall University will be "Can You Forgive Her?" slated for Dec. 12-14. They have previously produced "Street Haunting" and "I Ca$$ie, End of Days" at Marshall.


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