The Potomac Theatre Project's recent streaming play, Standing on the Edge of Time, consists largely of people talking--alone, in pairs, or in groups--about history, theatre, relationships (romantic and not), and meaning. Each segment is by a different playwright or poet, resulting in a pleasing and thought-provoking verbal kaleidoscope of words and ideas. (I've provided a list of the shows represented below.) With many young people in the cast, the show sometimes feels like groups of college kids got together for slightly buzzed, totally heartfelt, 2-a.m. discussions. I frequently wished I could join them.
- All theatres are haunted.
- Most people are stupid and couldn't tell a play from a pineapple.
- My real sister became a nun to meet men.
- To be or nobody.
- Paranoia transcends politics; it becomes spiritual.
- God wants peacocks, not ravens.
- These are cold days, not to be believed.
- I believe humans will walk on the surface on Mars.
- The flying car will radically alter [making out].
- [There will be] a global epidemic of panic and mass despair.
- Sex will become [boring]; Tupperware will make dildos.
- They fucked up in the 60s. They took away all the values and didn't put anything in its place.
- On this planet one is overwhelmed.
Faraone forestalls the inevitable Zoom-ness of streaming plays with an appealing, overtly theatrical opening including atmospheric shots of an old theatre and a ringmaster sort of person discussing exactly what theatre is ("Like the inside of a human heart. Only bigger, and not as empty."). When sections do have the dreaded Zoom-like boxes, Faraone uses interesting angles and various other devices to provide variety, plus a few sections are shot outdoors.
The show is well-acted by Alex Draper, Stephanie Janssen, Christopher Marshall, Tara Giordano, Sheyenne Brown, Aubrey Dube, Wynn McClenahan, Becca Berlind, Gabrielle Martin, Maggie Connolly, Madison Middleton, Francis Price, and Gibson Grimm.
It is unfortunate that this show is already gone, but Potomac has one more show this season. A Small Handful is based on the poetry and life of Anne Sexton and utilizes speech, song, and performance to "discover something about the endurance of Anne Sexton’s complex journey." It runs August 13 to 17; more information can be found here.
The plays and poems of Standing on the Edge of Time.
Crowbar by Mac Wellman
Next Time I'll Sing to You by James Saunders
The Enemy by Mike Bartlett
Excerpts from "Strange Days Indeed: The Golden Age of Paranoia" by Francis Wheen
Skeleton Crew by Dominique Morisseau
Tales of the Lost Formicans by Constance Congdon
Red Noses by Peter Barnes
A Bright Room Called Day (Oranges) by Tony Kushner
Roar by Anna Deavere Smith
Spell of Motion by Stacie Cassarino
What Do You Believe About the Future? by David Auburn
Serial Monogamy by Ntozake Shange
Tickets Are Now on Sale by Caryl Churchill
In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe by Eric Overmyer
Mornings at the Lake by Stacie Cassarino
The Internet is Serious Business by Tim Price