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MainStreet Evaluations

The Edge (054)

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SnapShot

  • TITLE OF WORK: THE EDGE
  • SELECT ONE: Original
  • MUSICAL STYLE: Opera or Operetta; Other
  • NATURE: Drama or Tragedy
  • INTENDED AUDIENCE/USE: Adult
  • STRUCTURE: Some spoken dialogue: Mostly sung
  • APPROXIMATE DURATION (Hrs/Min): 2hrs 30 mins
  • DESIRED INSTRUMENTATION: Score available for piano, keyboard, violin, viola, acoustic guitar
  • BRIEFLY STATE THE THEME or MESSAGE: An exploration on the theme of suicide and depression, but at its heart, an attempt at exploring human relationships — how what we do can affect other people, how our decisions can have an impact on those around us without us realizing. And when we do hurt someone, how readily or easily should we accept—and grant forgiveness?

Cast Description

JAROD – Early 30s. Big brother of the suicidal character Josh. He should have a smooth and suave demeanor in front of his brother, and should demonstrate a great deal of concern, support and affection—even tough love—for Josh, whom he has looked after for most of his life. It is only when Josh isn’t around, or when he’s interacting with their mother Lilly, that the cracks begin to show. Jarod should have charisma and presence on stage; he should be the big brother that everyone will fall in love with and wishes they had. Baritenor.

LILLY – Early 50s. Josh and Jarod’s mother, who has hidden the truth about her marriage to their father for the longest time; it is only in finding a new partner that secrets are revealed. She’s overly protective of Josh and clearly favors him, while keeping Jarod at arm’s length, oftentimes without even realizing it. She should be, by all appearances, motherly and loving—seemingly oblivious of her distance towards Jarod and smothering nature towards Josh. Mezzo-soprano.

RYAN – Mid-20s. Josh’s close friend since high school. He should be awkward and nervous, with a flair for the dramatic and a tendency to ramble, which should create a lot of comedy. He’s also gay and not-so-secretly harbors feelings for Josh, which is at odds with his subtly implied religious background; this comes to a head when his drinking habit gets the better of him. Ryan is almost oblivious to how he sabotages Josh’s relationships with women, and is jealous of Josh’s friendship with Michael. Baritenor.

MICHAEL – Mid-20s. Josh’s best friend since they were kids. He grew up in a broken home and has grown resentful of what he perceives to be Josh’s advantages: the loving and supportive family, the brains and creativity, etc. He’s now a mechanic—a job he doesn’t hold in high regard—and demonstrates a low self-esteem despite of his own jock build and good looks. It is suggested that he might have spilled the beans about Josh having stolen money at work; and his eagerness to ‘one-up’ Josh results in an affair with Deanna. He often butts heads with Ryan. Baritenor.

DEANNA – Mid-20s. Josh’s fun-loving girlfriend who has a thing for intense, passionate men, which is why she was initially drawn to him. She is sassy, flirtatious and independent, and wants Josh to stand on his own two feet, too. However, when Josh proposes to her, her free-spirited instinct kicks in and she ends up rejecting him and hooking up with Michael. Mezzo-soprano.

APRIL – Mid-20s. Josh’s colleague, an earnest and well-meaning waitress at the restaurant where they work—the outsider of the group. Having previously gone through a similar experience, she is distant enough from Josh to notice the tell-tale signs of depression and his impending suicide attempt. She’s rather bookish with an active online social life, which she uses to keep tabs on Josh’s state and his relationships. April, too, has self-esteem issues, which might explain why she hides behind her computer screen. Mezzo-soprano.

Synopsis

Jarod. Lilly. Deanna. Michael. Ryan. April.

They are connected to Josh, a troubled young man. When Josh declares that he is about to end his life, the six are forced to take a good hard look at themselves.

Jarod, the older brother, has always been Josh’s support system and is inevitably the one who has to clean up his brother’s messes. Could Jarod’s decision to say “enough is enough” have led Josh to make his dark choice?   

Their mother, Lilly, is in a relationship with new man — which Josh refuses to accept. Lilly is adamant that she is going to remarry, while declaring her own disapproval for Josh’s girlfriend Deanna. Could this have been the breaking point?

Deanna, Josh’s girlfriend, is stunned when Josh makes the unexpected move of proposing to her. Did her rejection break his heart so badly that he could see no other way out? 

His best friend Michael has spent most of his life in deep-seeded jealousy over Josh’s free spirit and grandiose ambitions. When a distraught Deanna seeks comfort in Michael’s arms, does this drive Josh to the brink?

Or could it have been another betrayal by Josh’s close friend Ryan, who has — for motives of his own — time and again tried to sabotage Josh’s relationships with women?

And April is the outsider who has learned more about what is going on than she cares to. She soon grapples with the dilemma: when you’re watching from the side-lines, how much can you say and do to stop a tragedy from happening?

The Edge is a contemporary musical with a non-linear storytelling style, comprising sung-through monologues and dialogues in which these characters re-examine their relationships with Josh and with one another, asking: When you are confronted with impending death, who takes the blame?

Evaluation Form

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Notes

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