Be Afraid, Mesquite!  Paul Benedict returns to the Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery Wednesday, Oct. 28, to read aloud five really scary literary classics by Edgar Allen Poe.  Benedict, an extraordinarily gifted speaker and performer, sets a foreboding stage for Halloween week with his “Fright Night” readings of intense, poetic prose thrillers.  Benedict’s free performance is hosted by Virgin Valley Artists Association.Paul Benedict Returns to Gallery -10-16-15

Benedict’s audience will be rewarded with another riveting ‘reader’s theatre’ when he brings Poe’s written imagery to life in “The Raven,” “The Cask of Amontillado,” “The Black Cat,” ”Silence-A Fable,” and Poe’s most terrifying story of all, “The  Tell-Tale Heart.”  Gallery doors open at 5:30pm, and the 90 minute “Fright Night” performance begins promptly at 6pm.  Light refreshments will be served during a 15 minute intermission. Seating is limited to 55 guests; no advance reservations are accepted.

This is Benedict’s fourth appearance at the Gallery.  He has entertained packed houses reading “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” and stories of Mark Twain.   He presented a delightful program of O Henry and Dorothy Parker stories with Bunny Wiseman, his past stage partner in “Love Letters.” He is well-known to Mesquite audiences for his roles in numerous plays staged by Virgin Valley Theatre Group, and is often asked to participate in patriotic events in the community, such as 1000 Flags Over Mesquite. Recently, he has expanded his repertoire to include doing voiceover work for local TV.

Benedict explains that his speaking voice is his artistic instrument.  He has over 20 years experience as a competitive speaking coach, has conducted training seminars for hundreds, and has often addressed large public gatherings.   His strong, expressive voice serves him well in reading aloud the classical literature that he loves.

“It isn’t easy to read well aloud,” he explains.  “It’s so much easier to deliver dialogue that I have written myself because I can choose the words and phrasing to fit myself.  To capture the flavor, the melody, and emotion of someone else’s words requires almost intimate knowledge of the material, and hour upon hour of practice.”

The Mesquite Fine Arts Gallery is located at 15 West Mesquite Blvd, Mesquite, Nevada.  The gallery is operated entirely through the volunteer efforts of VVAA.  Donations to VVAA and its community art education program are gratefully accepted.  Please call the gallery at

702-346-1338 for more information.