Edgar Allan Poe: Once Upon a Midnight is a one man play starring John Astin as Edgar Allan Poe. Astin said, of why he wanted to do a play on Poe, "I feel that Poe, through his own tortured existence, gained deep insight into the nature of the universe, along with an intense love and appreciation for life itself. Through this play I want to share that impression with others."
The story is told through Poe's eyes, as he narrates his own life to the audience. He tells of his childhood, his time in the military and the troubles he caused while at West Point, his marriage and his struggles to make his mark as a poet, publisher and writer. It is peppered with numerous quotes from many of Poe's works, and also includes a complete recitation of Poe's poem "The Raven". John Astin, as Poe, is the only character on stage throughout the play.