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Fall theatre production explores the "Edges" of life

"Edges" provides a collection of songs discussing a teenager's most troubling questions. (Northern Review photo/Kasy Long)

Ohio Northern University musical theatre students are putting their talents to the test this fall in the Tony-nominated contemporary song cycle Edges – a show unlike anything the Department of Theatre Arts has presented in recent years.

This production comes to life inside the Stambaugh Studio Theatre of the Freed Center for the Performing Arts on Sept. 24 at 7:30 p.m., followed by performances on Sept. 25 at 7:30 p.m. and 10:30 p.m., and Sept. 27 at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $5 for ONU students, $10 for faculty and staff members, $15 for senior citizens, and $20 for adult guests. Tickets are available for purchase at the Freed Center’s box office or online

The production, the work of Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, consisting of just songs, without dialogue, addresses the transition period into adulthood for a group of adolescents. The songs explore the meaning of life, while being balanced by more lighthearted topics, including friendship, and the joys of relaxing on a clear summer day. 

Sophomore musical theatre and public relations student Patrick Riley sings about leaving Indiana for a brighter future, in the following song, “Monticello.”

One of the show's most recognizable and popular songs is “Be My Friend.” The comedic song discusses the struggle of having a Facebook account, and the process of adding friends to social media outlets.

Edges carries an honest voice supporting self-examination, while maintaining wit and charm. The songs explore themes of love, commitment, identity, and meaning. Singers tackle their emotions, escape society’s expectations, and decipher their friendships with other singers.

Pasek and Paul want audience members to explore what happens when people are teetering on the edges of life.

ONU's production is under the direction of Brandon Ivie, who has come to campus after recently making his off-Broadway directorial debut in Jasper in Deadland, a musical by Ryan Scott Oliver and Hunter Foster, and directed the world premiere of Lizard Boy at the Tony Award-winning Seattle Repertory Theatre.

Michael Jordan, ONU lecturer in music, serves as music director for this production. 

The cast features: 

  • Riley Alexander, a sophomore musical theatre major 
  • Briana Biffath, a senior musical theatre major
  • Anne Cape, a senior musical theatre major and arts administration minor
  • Elena Coleman, a junior musical theatre and public relations major
  • David James Grant, a senior musical theatre major
  • Garrett Hill, a senior musical theatre major
  • Katie Hotz, a junior musical theatre and communications major
  • Joey Nicoletti, a sophomore musical theatre major
  • Patrick Riley, a sophomore musical theatre and public relations major
  • Megan Timmons, a sophomore musical theatre major.


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