Useful Urns

Click here to listen to Useful Urns Excerpts and Overture excerpt (digitized from the show’s working original cassette tape), composed by Paul Mascott

“What is the reason for your intransigence?” (Conversation)
“Angus concealed a lemon behind a cushion.” (Helpless Doorknob)

Useful Urns, Edward’s first entertainment in Provincetown, had an original score by Paul Mascott, who also supplied one for Stuffed Elephants in Woods Hole.  Its combination of simplicity and complexity reflects Edward’s musical taste, which leaned toward the Baroque and Renaissance.  Useful Urns also featured six urns hand-painted by Edward which functioned as both set and props.  On slabs of styrofoam just tall and wide enough to hide his tallest actors (the same height as himself) he rolled matte black and then overpainted in white. The Mysterious Urn comes from his book The Helpless Doorknob; the other five urns he created for the show. Board member and all-around problem-solver Butch Francis designed and built a lightweight wooden framework of handles on the back, so the actors could carry them, and feet on the bottom, so they could stand up alone when set down. The urn that doesn’t appear here is on the job in a life-sized diorama at the Edward Gorey House museum.

“Although the Fates have cursed your skates, There’s always QRV.”

“I’ve often said I would be dead If not for QRV.”

“A mysterious urn appeared in the grounds.” (Helpless Doorknob)

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