Mainstage Productions presents On The Verge on Thursday, April 24

SUNY New Paltz student-actors Jenny Berger, Emma Larsen, and  Kristin Battersby.

SUNY New Paltz student-actors Jenny Berger, Emma Larsen, and Kristin Battersby.

The Department of Theatre Arts at the State University of New York at New Paltz’s Mainstage Productions will conclude its 2013-2014 season with performances of Eric Overmyer’s play, On the Verge. This witty, delightful and surprising production opens Thursday, April 24 with performances running through Sunday, May 4 in Parker Theatre located on the New Paltz campus. Connie Rotunda, assistant professor in the theatre arts program, directs the production.

The play portrays three adventurous intrepid Victorian female trekkers journeying to Terra Incognita, “the last unknown, unexplored bit of globe.” As they travel from beach to cliffs to jungle to snowfield, they begin to discover strange objects in their backpacks and even stranger words in their mouths.  They find themselves moving forward, not only through space, but also through time, starting in 1888 and warping into 1955. Along the way, they meet several fascinating and sometimes confusing characters – including a German dirigible pilot who may not be quite what he seems, a baby yeti, a bridge troll trained as a method actor, a slang-talking teenager, and a slick Havana-style nightclub owner.

On the Verge speaks to the feminine journey of longing and self-discovery through history. It is a play about language – the language of movement, time, space, change; the language of the heart and the language we speak,” said Rotunda. “It is about the beauty of yearning and the delicious confusion in the journey of self-discovery.”

This production is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Beverly Brumm, whose scholars approach toward dramatic literature and the art of acting helped bring the Department of Theatre arts at SUNY New Paltz to excellence.

Overmyer has written and/or produced numerous TV shows, including St. Elsewhere, Homicide: Life on the Street, Law & Order, The Wire, New Amsterdam, and Treme, and playwriting has garnered critical praise from The Seattle Times, Los Angeles Herald Examiner, and The New York Times, among others.

Rotunda is a Guild-Certified Feldenkrais Practitioner and has worked as the training program practitioner in the New York City Feldenkrais® Method Professional Training Programs. She holds an MFA in acting from the FSU/Asolo Conservatory. A professional actor and coach, she has worked regionally and off-Broadway, created and performed sketch comedy with Alarm Dog Rep, as well as performed and taught as a guest artist. She currently works as an actor and movement coach with Wallis Knot, an experimental theatre company based in New York City. She is a rogue artist with the Anthropologists.

Before coming to SUNY New Paltz, Rotunda served on the faculty at the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts as the lead teacher of movement. In addition to Feldenkrais, she has trained in the Viewpoints with Mary Overlie, Wendall Beavers, Anne Bogart, and the SITI Company; Linklater with Andrea Haring; Middendorf breath work with Juerg Rofler; and Trish Arnold work with Merry Conway.

Performances of On the Verge will be held on April 24-26 and May 1-3 at 8 p.m. and April 27 and May 4 at 2p.m. in McKenna Theatre.  Reserved ticket prices for all performances are $18 general admission, $16 seniors, SUNY faculty/staff, and non-New Paltz students, and $10 for SUNY New Paltz students.  Tickets are available at http://www.newpaltz.edu/theatre  or by calling (845) 257-3880. Box Office hours are Monday – Friday, 11:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.