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A moment to shine on stage alone

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By Dora Yrigoyen / Features Editor

A one-man act ( JTL Productions)

By Dora Yrigoyen / Features Editor

Travis Rhett Wilson, a Riverside City College Theatre student shined in his one-man, multi-media show, “Edgar Allan Poe: Lord Save My Poor Soul.”

Although the audience consisted of mainly Junior High students, Wilson gave a stellar performance as he reenacted the life and work of Poe.

Wilson’s performance of Poe is precise and so wonderfully done that his performance won an award from the Inland Theatre League in April.

Wilson has been preparing for his portrayal of Poe in 2007 as he spent countless hours of time memorizing his lines for months.

In a question and answer session with the audience after the play, Wilson said repetition after repetition helped him remember all his lines, which clearly paid off.

Wilson delivered each line as if it was second nature, which was no easy matter considering he was required to not only remember the facts of Poe’s life, but some of his work such as, “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “Annabelle Lee” and “The Raven.”

John Lynd, producer and director of the play and founder of JTL Productions had nothing but positive words to say about Wilson.

“He’s a brilliant actor and he takes on the role intuitively,” Lynd said. “He works at his craft very hard.”

“He’s got a presence that’s valuable to a writer or a director that wants to put any kind of piece together,” he said.

Working hard on his scripts to deliver a great performance isn’t Wilson’s only strategy for his award-winning performances.

Wilson also likes to identify with the pieces and roles he chooses; he said that is one of the reasons why he chose to portray Edgar Allan Poe.

“It’s a very emotional piece, and I like to try and identity it with something in my own life,” Wilson said.

Along with identifying in his own personal ways to the life of Poe, Wilson has always had a desire to play Poe since he was young.

“When I started reading about Poe, I said if there’s a movie or a play I want to do it,” he said.

Wilson also recalls being interested in performing at a young age.

He told the audience of his very first play, “The Three Billy Goats of Gruff,” in the fourth grade.

“In this particular rendition,” he said. “The troll has a pet frog, I was that frog.”

However, whether he is playing the pet frog of a troll in The “Three Billy Goats Gruff” or Henry Higgins in “My Fair Lady”, Wilson has proven he is a hit.

 As for other theatre students who would like to follow in Wilson’s footsteps and one day make a name for themselves, he encourages those students to “work hard and get ahead.”

Although some might have missed his Edgar Allan Poe performance, Wilson is scheduled to star in plays this summer.

To find out more on Wilson’s performance and future plays visit performanceriverside.org.

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