Living on the Edges, at Playcrafters of Skippack
Edges: A Song Cycle at Playcrafters of Skippack
8 pm: Dec 5 (Fri), Dec 6 (Sat), Dec 12 (Fri), Dec 13 (Sat)
3 pm: Dec 7 and 14 (Sun)
No online ticket sales, advanced tickets, or reserved seating. Please come to the box office at the Playcrafters Barn Theater about a half hour before the performance to purchase tickets. Refreshments will be served before the show. Call 610-584-4005 to let Playcrafters know you plan to attend (optional) or if you want more information.
Playcrafters Barn Theater is located at 2011 Store Rd, in the heart of Skippack Village.
Playcrafters of Skippack, the fine community theater in the heart of our village, refuses to take the easy way out. Instead of relying on time-tested productions that are the staple of most community theaters (think My Fair Lady or Fiddler on the Roof), Playcrafters is taking a risk for the last production in its stellar 2014 season, offering fresh, cutting edge theater to our staid village with Edges: A Song Cycle, the new show opening this week.
Edges is a contemporary musical about young people and how they cope with life transitions and personal relationships, and their search for meaning and identity. It is a show that speaks to today, except that it is sung rather than spoken. It calls for minimal staging and is performed in street clothes. With its bare bones approach, Edges leans heavily on the talent of a group of young people from Skippack and the surrounding area. It will be exciting to see if young, local talent is up to the task.
For a taste, check out the video below.
Youth provides the spark that ignites Edges in Skippack. The show was written by two undergraduate students studying musical theatre at the University of Michigan. Sarah Shin, a 17 year old student at Perkiomen Valley High School, is directing the show as part of a required senior project.
“I saw Edges two years ago at the Philly Fringe Festival,” explains Sarah. “I thought ‘Whoa, this is totally new.’ As time went on, it stuck with me. The music is so good. It talks about issues that are relevant.”
Sarah had acted at Playcrafters in 13, Zombie Prom, Sweeney Todd, and Hair. Theater colleagues helped her submit the application required by Playcrafters to stage Edges as her senior project.
The Journey to Find Yourself
In Edges, six actors portray twenty-to-thirty somethings, each with his or her own story. Each one reveals their internal conflicts, hopes, and aspirations, thru song lyrics. Each one is negotiating the transition into adulthood in song.
Cast member Tyreese Kadle describes the show clearly and succinctly. “It’s about the journey to find yourself,” he explains.
Uncertainties and doubt loom large on the psychological horizon. It hits home. Off-stage, many of the cast members are at the same stage of life as the characters they portray. They are living through internal conflicts similar to the ones described in the lyrics in of the songs in Edges.
Casey Clark, one of the actors, says “The years immediately after college are an uncertain time. You wonder ‘how am I going to pay my rent?’ and so on. As someone who recently graduated college, I am discovering that the stakes get higher with each decision about what I want to do with my life. Edges relates to this experience.
‘The play also depicts struggles in relationships, problems of not knowing how to communicate, that target our age group,” she adds.
A Message for Everyone
“Edges is a song cycle,” says Matthew Mitlas, who recently performed in Hair at Playcrafters of Skippack. “Each character has a song. The song represents who they are and what they are going thru at one point in their life.
“The music is beautiful. It offers hopeful moments; goofy, comic moments; and romantic passages,” adds Matthew. “Performers can readily connect with this music and give the energy back to the audience. It will appeal to younger people and older people as well.”
Matthew insists that, despite its focus on the internal conflicts of young adults, Edges transcends age barriers. The show’s themes of coming of age and self-discovery have a message for everyone.
“People at every age have something they want,” says Matthew. “They may want, for example, to pursue a new hobby, meet new people, or get healthier. When does mental growth stop? And when it stops, where are you?”
Thoughts from the Skippack Blogger
Edges should be warmly welcomed by everyone who loves Skippack; it is a spice that is very much needed in the thick stew that makes up our cultural life. We pack a lot into a small town: quaint shops, upscale and casual restaurants, events like Skippack Days which return year after year, our sense of community, our local music scene, and our historic roots. But it gets a bit staid. Edges brings the uncertain, edgy creative energy of youth.
Edges will help keep the Skippack Blogger young. Theater provides access to new experiences. New experiences keep us young. And as we all eventually discover, the secret of growing old is to stay young.
Keep our village young and alive to new ideas. Go see Edges: A Song Cycle at Playcrafters of Skippack.