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On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning

a Comedy
CATEGORY : COMEDY
by Eric Overmyer

COMPANY : Georgia Ensemble Theatre [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Georgia Ensemble Theatre and Conservatory [WEBSITE]
ID# 4995

SHOWING : November 03, 2016 - November 20, 2016

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

Three American women explorers begin their trek to Terra Incognita in 1888. Part "Twilight Zone," part "Back to the Future," don’t miss this witty and whimsical safari through place and time.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Carolyn Cook
Fanny Park Krausen
Grover, Alphonse, The Gorge Troll, The Y Topher Payne
Alexandra Michelle Pokopac
Mary Keena Redding-Hunt
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REVIEWS

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Logophilia
by playgoer
Wednesday, November 23, 2016
4.0
Eric Overmyer’s "On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning" uses dense, poetic language and arcane, sesquipedalian terms to situate us in the nineteenth century milieu in which the play starts. It’s off-putting to many audience members (the ones who leave at intermission). For those whose eyes don’t glaze over at the language, the play has many pleasures to reveal.

Carolyn Cook’s staging makes splendid use of John Nooner’s inventive scenic design. Flowing curtains spill onto the stage and they, along with a few basic cubes, form the landscape that the three female explorers traverse. MC Park’s many props help to populate the space, and Elizabeth Rasmusson’s costumes do a wonderful job of setting the time period(s). Alex Riviere’s lighting design highlights the action with smooth precision. For the most part, the staging suggests a barebones black box production whose scale has been blown up to fill the large Georgia Ensemble Theatre stage.

The three actresses (Park Krausen, Keena Redding Hunt, and Michelle Pokopac) all do splendid work, speaking their many lines clearly and detailing the characteristics of their roles with equal clarity. Topher Payne has the task of portraying all the other characters of the story. He is perhaps less of a chameleon in looks than the roles might suggest, but he makes them distinct. (Gawky teen Gus was my favorite of his roles.)

Aside from being a tad on the long side, "On the Verge" suffers from a lack of wackiness. The script puts the explorers in unfamiliar situations often bordering on the absurd, but there is a sort of reverence that pervades the production. Near the start of the second act, a collection of assorted objects descend on wires. I found myself thinking that this was the fun element the show needs more of. Then the objects flew back up and disappeared and the near-reverential tone returned.

Georgia Ensemble Theatre’s "On the Verge" presents the script as if it’s something good for us. And it is good, but the slightly intellectual tone doesn’t give it mass appeal. The production is easy to admire, but somewhat more difficult to adore. [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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