Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator

Just what is Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator?

  1. An ahistorical romp that mashes together Emily Dickinson, Edgar Allan Poe, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Magical Girl Anime.
  2.  An attempt to rationalize paranormal theory, odd historical facts, and 19th Century Americana through a Sherlockian lens.
  3.  A weird play that Todd Brian Backus wrote because he thought it would be silly and some people happened to enjoy it.

It's actually all of those things. And this is only the beginning, Todd is currently researching for parts two and three of the Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator trilogy, also in the works are a number of side stories, behind-the-scenes, and a fully illustrated Major Arcana literary tarot.


Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator was originally presented by PowerOut as part of the 2016 FRIGID New York festival.

It's 1849 and New York is a gritty, grimy city filled with ghosts, ghouls, and irresponsible transcendentalists. After a string of curious incidents Emily Dickinson, New England's premiere paranormal investigator, and her estranged mentor Edgar Allan Poe are on the case! Armed with esoteric knowledge and brass knuckles—not to mention a strong grasp on both blank and metered verse—they venture to Brooklyn on the trail of a horrifying new adversary.


Praise for Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator

"This is a new level of geek theater." - Michael Block, Theater In The Now

"Todd Brian Backus’s period fantasy-comedy gleefully incorporates poetry, old-style speech patterns, fight choreography, dance, and even a rap number into its over-the-top story of paranormal doings and literary sleuthing." - Jon Sobel, Blogcritics

"A speedily paced opening promises a bloody comic-book joyride à la the great imaginative sagas of the Vampire Cowboys."- Jon Sobel, Blogcritics

"An exciting combination of camp, suspense, and nerdy literature references, Emily Dickinson is a fun ride for anyone who enjoys genre mashups." - Sarah Weber, Theater is Easy

"Backus’ quick-witted characters and his knack at genre-bending when you least expect it keeps the audience wrapped up in the adventure.” - Sarah Weber, Theater is Easy

Photos of Emily Dickinson: Paranormal Investigator

Shown: Heather Harvey, Briana Sakamoto*, Daniel Morgan Shelley*, Marina Shay*, and Leigh Poulos.
*Member, Actor's Equity Association.