NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

“Edges”

The production of “Edges,” student-directed by Geehae Moon, took the stage from Feb. 19 to 21 in the Hawrylciw Theater. The whimsical play is nonlinear, breaking the traditional archetype of the three-act structure that most productions follow. It also breaks the fourth wall, inviting the audience to be their Facebook friend in the song “Friend 505” which features a catchy tune about how today’s society views social media friendships and the quirky humor of being friends online with someone who you maybe aren’t particularly fond of in real life.

“Edges” is all about self-discovery; both young and old can relate to its themes. A more interesting aspect of it, is the lack of plot in the script. Instead of having well developed character outlines with names, the success of the performance relies heavily on the actors’ portraying these real life anecdotes to the audience in moments where anyone has been in. The cast ended up changing the script to fit the life of the actual actors.

Hunter Gouldthorpe, one of the actors, works at CVS, which prompted the cast to fit the song more to him. The song in question, is about how CVS is ‘where dreams go to die’ because the character is dreaming of a life far beyond being a cashier and imagining a world of new invention.

“For me, this show really kind of showed me who I was in a way because working at CVS, and yes I actually work at CVS, I felt stuck. The schedule changes every week and I don’t know when I’m working, when I’m not, so finally being in the show, I felt home and I felt wanted and I need to start taking steps to make a more solid schedule so I can do more of this and not be stuck behind the counter,” said Gouldthorpe.

There are many different themes and experiences in the script: for example, the song about poor Jorge the gerbil and growing from small mistakes is, of course, a theme anyone can relate to, whether it be that you accidentally kill your class pet to accidentally crashing your dad’s car. Another prevalent theme in the play is the sting of both rejection and heartbreak. In one song, the theme of running away from a seemingly perfect guy and then finally falling for one, only to have him run off is both ironic and relatable for many people in the college age.

“I realized that I had so much in common with these songs I was singing. I finally feel like I’m back on track to who I wanted to grow to be as a person,” said Kendra Jones, an actress and student at NECC. “I was really struggling with what I wanted to do, and what I wanted to be, so go figure, the first time she (Moon) gave us all of these songs I was like ‘she’s killing me!’ because I realized I had so much in common with these songs that I was singing about, and it feels good to let that go,” said Jones.

The play jumps around from comical to somber, with songs that can be universally applied to any aspect of life for the audience.

Perhaps the most impressive part about “Edges” is that it is entirely student-directed by Geehae Moon and Assistant Director Christian Doyle. Moon has been very busy in the theatre at NECC; from performances since 2009 to designing lights and creating costumes, she has been very involved.

“I’ve directed some one-acts, last year I directed “The Vagina Monologues.” I’ve tried to get my hands on as much as I can. I’d wanted to direct a musical for a long time, we ended up choosing this one because it was a small cast, and it also is geared for the college aged audience in that it deals with a lot of themes of ‘who am I?’ and ‘who do I wanna be?,’ ‘what am I afraid of?’ and ‘what is stopping me from achieving my goals?’ It’s something that’s been on my radar for awhile,” said Moon.

From her own personal experiences and sometimes doubts, “Edges” really spoke to her on a personal level as well as the rest of the cast.

“Working in theatre, you kind of always have that fear of ‘am I good enough to do this, do I have what it takes to make it, do I have a voice, does what I have to say worth anything?’ You find a lot of those themes in the show. They’re general enough that you can apply them to anything. I definitely connect to the material,” said Moon.

One of the most rewarding parts for Moon was being able to sit back and watch all the rehearsals and plans come to life before her eyes on stage. She had intended to take a lot of notes in the final dress rehearsals before the actual performance and give more feedback, and found herself caught up in moment which is exactly what she wanted, she said.

“I think ‘Edges’ is the kind of show where you have to see it in order to really understand what it’s about. It’s not something that has a through line; it doesn’t have a story that goes beginning, middle to end, it’s just little bits and clips that are thematically linked,” said Moon.