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An UnBOOlievably Terrifying Tale

Published on: October 24, 2017

Students perform in the 2016 production of "The Facts in the case of M. Valdemar" in the Gracie Theatre
Students perform in the 2016 production of "The Facts in the case of M. Valdemar" in the Gracie Theatre
BANGOR, MAINE - If having a black cat cross your path is an omen of doom, can you imagine what happens if one treats a black cat badly?

The audience will learn the just what awaits those who mistreat felines as part of the live radio broadcast of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat” at the Gracie Theatre. This tale of murder and supernatural revenge will take place on The Gracie’s main stage at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, October 26.

One of Poe’s best known and more unsettling stories, “The Black Cat” explores the dark depths of a guilty conscience and how far people are willing to go to avoid admitting guilt. While the story focuses on horror and revenge, all cat lovers can rest easy. No animals are harmed during the broadcast.

The story has been performed many times. One of the most famous versions was the 1934 film starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. More recent remakes were released in 1981 and 2007.

This WHSN-FM adaptation draws on the original story to create a new set of chills. Billed as “Tales of Mystery and Imagination,” this award-winning broadcast features a cast of Husson University students and local area residents.

The live radio drama will harken back to the 1940s when radio was the leading form of popular entertainment. At that time, popular programs like “The Shadow,” “Lights Out” and “Inner Sanctum Mysteries,” ruled the airwaves. 

The performance is free and open to the public. Members of the Gracie Theatre audience will have the opportunity to see everything that goes into the creation of a live radio drama – including the terrifying sound effects. Those not in attendance can listen to this live broadcast over WHSN 89.3 FM.

Ken Stack, an instructor in the entertainment production program at the New England School of Communications at Husson University, is the director of the radio play and is looking forward to the upcoming performance. “Works by Edgar Allan Poe are an important part of our literary history. Our broadcast brings our students, our audience and WHSN listeners back to the days when radio brought culture into the homes of millions of Americans who might otherwise not have had exposure to the works of celebrated authors.”

Stack continued: “You see, radio was “the theater of the mind.” Our annual live broadcast not only builds on that tradition, it serves as a valuable experiential learning opportunity for students in our broadcast communications program. In this way, we enrich the education of both our students and our audience.”

In past years, “Tales of Mystery and Imagination” has received accolades and recognition from a variety of organizations. Recognition for past productions includes:


“The Cask of Amontillado”

2011 – Broadcast Education Association (BEA) Festival of Media Arts - Honorable Mention Student Audio Comedy or Drama category


“The Fall of the House of Usher”

2012 – BEA Festival of Media Arts - First Place Student Audio Comedy or Drama category

2013 – College Media Association Pinnacle Awards - Finalist - Best Radio Talk/Entertainment Program


“The Masque of the Red Death” and “The Pit and the Pendulum”

2013 – Maine Association of Broadcasters - Second Place Locally Produced Program category


“The Murders in the Rue Morgue”

2014 – College Media Association Pinnacle Awards - First Place - Best Radio Talk/Entertainment Program

2014 – BEA Festival of Media Arts - First Place Student Audio Comedy or Drama category

2014 – College Broadcasters, Inc. (CBI) National Student Production Awards - Finalist Best Special Broadcast

2014 – Maine Association of Broadcasters -Third Place Locally Produced Program category


“The Premature Burial”

2015 – College Media Association Pinnacle Award – First Place


“The Facts in the Case of M. Valdemar”

2016 – BEA Festival of Media Arts – First Place Student Audio: Comedy or Drama Award

2016 – Maine Association of Broadcasters – Third Place Locally Produced Program category

In reflecting on the success of the live radio show, Husson University’s Dean of the New England School of Communications (NESCom) Marie Hansen, JD, PhD, remarked, “NESCom produces some of the most creative and talented communication students in Northern New England. It’s no wonder that so many of them go on to become successful radio and audio professionals. The quality of this live award-winning broadcast is superb.”

Since the radio drama is being simulcast on WHSN-FM, the show will start promptly at 7:30 p.m. Individuals interested in attending the live performance at the Gracie Theatre are requested to be in their seats no later than 7:25 p.m.

Completed in October of 2009, The Gracie is Husson University's center for the fine and performing arts. This beautiful new 500-seat theatre is quickly earning a reputation as one of Maine’s premier performance venues. In addition, The Gracie also serves as a learning platform for students from the New England School of Communications in digital audio, sound mixing, set design and construction, lighting, acting and electronics. For more information, visit

The New England School of Communications (NESCom) at Husson University offers Bachelor of Science degrees in communications technology, mass communications, and entertainment production. Within these degrees, students may choose from concentrations in audio engineering, live sound technology, video production, entertainment production, journalism, marketing communications, radio broadcasting, and sports journalism. Husson University also offers a degree in integrated technology for those who want to pursue careers in computer information systems, software development, and website design. NESCom specializes in communications and provides students with a hands-on experience that gives them the education and skills needed for today's job market.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies, science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit


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