I’m a word lover. A lover of words. A, “logophile.” I’m not claiming to KNOW a lot of words, but I love hearing them, which is why I’m HAPPILY STUNNED and DELIGHTED with the new play at Theatre 98, “On the Verge — or the Geography of Yearning,” written by Eric Overmyer and directed by local favorite, Jon Robitaille. I keep wanting to use all CAPITAL LETTERS, because if I were telling you about this in person, I would be shouting! The dialogue of this play is truly amazing and I can’t get over how the actors learned all these lines!
The lobby of the diminutive theatre was decorated with items that hint at the fun yet to come. This steam-punk time-travel contraption looks as if it could really transport you to a fun time (keep your hands to yourself, young Elvis). This and other techie-props were made by local artist Chris Redlich of Black Flame Creations.
I’m just going to tell you now . . . the play is long. Just over two hours — including an intermission. But don’t fret, the theatrical moments pass quickly as you are taken on an adventure, that at first, has you scratching your head, but then getting in the swing of it and trying to figure out what will happen next.
Three proper ladies begin the story in 1888 as brave explorers, pushing through the traditionally all-male field of anthropology. The costumes were fun and sporty, and reminded me of one of my all time favorite movies, Out of Africa. To the shock of her companions, one character boldly predicts, “Trousers are the future.”
Each actor was listed in the program with all of their credentials, and since the play is deep in high-brow wordiness, they also listed their favorite new word they learned while memorizing the mountain of lines. Above, is Meghan Morris, who is a graduate of Fairhope High School.
Rounding out the cast is Heather Delker (whose favorite new word is ecdysiast), Ashley Campbell, who once played Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz (I can totally see that), and Michael Lee, whose wide range of characters in this play will amaze you.
On the Verge or the Geography of Yearning opens this Friday night, May 5, with shows throughout the weekend for the next three weekends at lovely Theatre 98 in Fairhope, Alabama. You can find complete details, ticket information and show times by clicking HERE.
Thanks to Kyle Meyer and Wells Wilson for the use of their photos.
*Also to note and put on your calendars is an upcoming one woman show by Kirsten Vangness, who stars in the CBS drama, Criminal Minds. This will be a fundraiser to help earn money to replace the theatre seating. The dates are June 2nd at 8pm and June 3rd at 2:30 and 8pm.