Baylor University Theatre Department Presents ON THE VERGE and THE ALIENS, Summer 2014
School may be out for the summer, but class is in session at the Baylor University Department of Theatre Arts. Graduate students Cason Murphy and Nick Hoenshell are taking on the directorial responsibilities of this year's line-up-Eric Overmyer's On the Verge and Annie Baker's The Aliens-which will run back-to-back for two weekends during starting today, June 19.
Each summer, Baylor University's first year MFA students are tasked with directing and designing plays as part of the department's "summer repertory," in order to fulfill a part of their Master's degrees in Theatre Directing.
On the Verge, directed and designed by Murphy, will be presented first. The play concerns three Victorian lady travelers-Mary Baltimore, Fanny Cranberry, and Alexandra Cafuffle-who leave the year 1888, and the mantle of "the weaker" sex, behind. As they venture forth into the unexplored world of Terra Incognita, the trio discover a whole new world (and themselves) while on a time-tripping, word-whirring trek that lands them in 1955.
"This show has almost no limits to how it can be imagined," says Murphy. "We've had to be really creative with how to represent all of the things stuffed in this script."
With everything from steamy jungles to snowball-throwing Yetis to dizzying gorges to schizophrenic cannibals, On the Verge is sure to provide theatrical thrills to audiences of all ages.
The second show, The Aliens, is being directed and designed by Hoenshell. The play, which explores the dreams and disappointments of two thirty-something dudes, Jasper Kopatch and Kevin "K.J." Jano, takes its name from a poem of the same name by Charles Bukowski.
"In his poem, Bukowski writes about people who live life easily and without complication," notes Hoenshell. "Unfortunately, Jasper and 'KJ' are not those kinds of people."
The duo spend most of their time aimlessly lounging around on the dingy back porch of a Vermont coffeehouse (fully realized in refurbished old wood and tall fences through Hoenshell's set design). Yet, the two men find that something in their lives change when they take Evan, a young high school student and coffeehouse employee, under their questionable wings.
Hoenshell sums it up as "a play about friendship, music, risk, love and asking that all too familiar question of what to do with life when faced with death."
On the Verge will be performed June 19-21 at 7:30 p.m. and June 22 at 2 p.m. The Aliens will be performed June 26-28 at 7:30 p.m. and June 29 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be can be purchased by calling (254) 710-1865 or online at baylor.edu/theatre/. $15 for each show, or $25 for both. The Baylor Department of Theatre Arts is located on the Baylor campus in the Hooper-Schaefer Fine Arts Center, off University Parks Drive. Be advised: The Aliens does contain mature subject matter and language. www.baylor.edu/theatre/