ROCK HILL, S.C. - With a script that takes its Victorian characters from Africa to the Himalayas and beyond, “On the Verge” can be a challenge to direct – and that’s exactly why Daryl Phillipy, assistant professor of theatre, signed on as director.
“On the Verge,” which opens April 8 in Johnson Theatre, tells the story of three Victorian women who travel through space, time and history, experiencing different languages and cultures and discovering themselves in the process. All the time travel and geographical changes, Phillipy said, mean no ordinary set design will work.
“Since the subject of the play is a wondrous journey, our approach is to let the set represent several locations at once; it is abstract in that respect,” he said. “The lighting and sound design also will enhance the surrealistic quality of the play. We get to engage several theatrical conventions to create the world.”
To bring the set – and the expansive story – to life, Phillipy has spent four weeks working with the artistic/production crew: theatre major Ashely Crouch, stage manager, Associate Professor of Theatre Anna Sartin, scenic designer and lighting design, and Assistant Professor of Theatre Janet Gray, costume design. The all-student cast includes Tara Sweeney (Taylors, S.C.); Katie Manley (Seneca, S.C.); Jamie Bellah (Charleston, S.C.); Jay Kistler (Blythewood, S.C.); and Katherine Hon (Anderson, S.C.).
Phillipy said he’s enjoyed directing “On the Verge” because “of its unusual nature as far as the characters, the plot and the challenges presented by the language and the possibilities of staging." He added that that the play also challenges its viewers and “begs for the audience members to fully engage their imaginations.”
“On the Verge” will run April 8-11 at 8 p.m. and April 12 at 2 p.m. in Johnson Theatre. Seating is reserved. Tickets to the April 8 and 10-12 performances are $8 with Winthrop I.D. and $15 for the general public. All tickets to the April 9 show will be $5.
For tickets, call the box office at 803/323-4014 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.