|The four-person cast of "EDGES," from front to back: Mary Wagner, Christian Ryan, BreAnna Kirkland and Jordan Rembold.|
Clarion University's fall theatre season will kick off with "EDGES," Oct. 10-14 in Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre.
"EDGES" is a dramatic song cycle written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul. Taking an introspective point of view, "EDGES" is a coming-of-age production that looks at the challenges of growing up while searching for love, identity and purpose.
Directed by Marilouise Michel, Clarion's presentation of EDGES casts just four students in principle roles: sophomore BreAnna Kirkland, Clarion; junior Christian Ryan, Lansdale; and seniors Jordan Rembold, Franklin, and Mary Wagner, Girard. These four actors play multiple parts throughout the show, with each song placing characters into moments when they feel "on the edge." Some of the situations include mortality, pregnancy and the beginnings and ends of relationships. As a song cycle, "EDGES" contains virtually no dialogue. Instead, the actors rely on song and movement to convey their message to the audience.
According to Michel, the original writers explicitly state in the show's book that they want directors and actors to have creative control.
"They're basically saying ‘Here's what we wrote. Let's see what you do with it,'" Michel said. "We have a whole different show than we started out with."
Wagner, who plays Woman One, noted that "(Michel) is very good with letting actors know their own character ... you kind of come up with your own backstory," Wagner said. "EDGES" is Wagner's senior project for her Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting.
Michel said students will see themselves in "EDGES."
"I think that's something students don't get to do a lot. Usually you see older, maybe more mature, characters on stage, but with ‘EDGES,' they'll say ‘I've felt that way' or ‘I've done that' or they know someone who has," she said.
"It's a coming-of-age story, but when do we really come of age?" Michel said. "It's all a process."
Rounding out "EDGES" are set designer Dan Schreiber, Greensburg; lighting designer Elliot Sussman, Livingston, N.J.; costume designer Paige Crock, Lake City; and stage manager Lauren Skelley, Clarion. Schreiber, Sussman, and Skelley have worked together to construct a square stage platform with 34 different edges, while Crock is working on designing and altering a 21st-century wardrobe.
"EDGES" runs Oct. 10-14 in the Marwick-Boyd Little Theatre. Showtime is 8 p.m. Tickets can be purchased online or via telephone at 814-393-ARTS. Tickets are $12 for adults, $9 for children and free for students with a Clarion University ID.
Upcoming shows include William Shakespeare's "All's Well that Ends Well," Nov. 14-18; "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson," March 6-10; and "Seascape," April 24-28.
The theatre department will also host a reading of the play "8," Dec. 7; and two schedules of the "Second Series," which consist of performances produced, directed, acted and written by students, Oct. 26 and 27 and March 29 and 30.
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