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Theatre Arts virtual musical performance of coming-of-age ‘Edges’ streams April 17 to May 1

Apr 7, 2021

The latest creative endeavor by Flagler College’s Theatre Arts Department is a testament to the enduring passion for performing arts, even in times of crisis.

Beginning April 17 through May 1, seven student actors will share online their rendition of the popular song-cycle titled “Edges.” A song-cycle is a set of related, individual songs that form one musical entity. Written by Tony-nominated Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (of “Dear Evan Hansen” and “The Greatest Showman” fame), the songs in “Edges,” as Music Theatre International states, “explore what happens when we are teetering on the edges of our lives. Characters deal with confronting emotions, escaping expectations and deciphering complicated relationships.”

Edges will stream at on-demand from April 17 at 11 p.m. to May 1 at midnight. Once viewers begin streaming, they will have 48 hours to watch it. Tickets are $10 for the general public. For Flagler College faculty, staff and students, viewing the song-cycle is free; they should email for the access code.

Flagler student Stacia Ahlers found that the circumstances of COVID-19 yielded the unintended and refreshing opportunity to perform in way that was innovative and collaborative — film meets theatre, in the form of a song-cycle, for an audience faraway.

“Being a part of ‘Edges’ was especially exciting for me because it is an incredible amalgamation of the two art forms that I've studied at Flagler,” she said. “During these unusual circumstances, we have been able to use one to support the other, breaking boundaries in understanding both forms. The beauty in film is the power it holds, and in recording ‘Edges,’ we have frozen a moment in time, taking a rare authentic event and encapsulating it forever.”

Ahlers is a double major in Digital Media Studies and Theatre Arts. As Assistant Director (to director and Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts Leah Page), she was instrumental in overseeing and filming the performance on the days of the shoots.

Producing theatre throughout this past pandemic year has not been without its challenges.

“Lacking a live audience has been challenging but artists are resilient,” said Page. “We have seen this trait shine through in our students. They are diving into their course work, which requires that we wear masks and socially distance. Rather than let this hold them back, they are learning how to add more vocal variation to their work, using their physicality more intentionally to express character, and challenging themselves to think outside of the box in relation to their staging.”

Despite inconveniences of rehearsing and performing in masks and other COVID mitigation practices, the song-cycle production and its format worked.

“Honestly, it was a mix of the logistical necessity of finding a piece that would work in COVID times and my love of Pasek and Paul's music,” Page said about the selection of Edges. “I also think our students can really relate to the struggles of this piece. One of the cast members is about to graduate and many of the questions raised in this piece are ones that she is confronting right now.”

Student actor Walker Mullin attests to Page’s sentiments.

“The songs in this show hit so close to home for me as I feel these stories are like the ones I have lived,” Mullin said. “Throughout my time at Flagler, I have struggled with self-confidence and finding my voice. This show has been one of the most inspiring projects I have been a part of because I feel as though during this process, I have done much self-discovery and self-reflection.”

In addition to Mullin, the song-cycle features Vernesha Reed, Alik Davidson, Aaron Fantacone, Charity Zappone, Camryn Chiriboga and Ben Shafer, as well as Stage Manager Lucille Hubbard Wright and Assistant Stage Manager Tyler Hampton. Ahlers and Kendall Broglio of the Communication Department both edited the film.

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