Tuesday, November 29, 2011

On the Verge Cast List

Mary………………………Rhonda Erbrick
Fanny……………………..Karla Stamps
Alex………………………Leah Huebner
Men………………………Noah Holcomb

Thank you to everyone who auditioned for making my decision incredibly difficult. You all did wonderfully and we hope to see you in upcoming shows. Those of you on the cast list, please make an appointment with the costume shop immediately for fittings. Please also stop by the callboard and initial next to your name to accept your role. Your scripts will be delivered to your mailboxes before the end of the week and I’ll let you know by email once they’re in there.

As usual, please do not cut or dye your hair without getting permission from Kim Schnormeier in the costume shop. We’d like to meet with everyone before break, so please email Christina at christinasherrie@yahoo.com with your schedules (including finals) attached. Don’t forget to register for performance practicum as well.

Your final piece of business for now is to make sure you are registered for your Spring performance practicum.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Around the World in '100 Objects'

Around the World in '100 Objects' Interview

This interview from PBS Newshour features Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum, talking about his book "A History of the World in 100 Objects" as well as a slideshow featuring some of the artifacts he chose.  MacGregor talks about how understanding objects, how we make them and how we use them, helps us understand the people who left them behind.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Alphonse Side

Gentlemen, please piece together and memorize an ALPHONSE speech from page 21 (typed below) or a NICKY monologue from page 63 (check the typed sides available on the APO table across from the callboard).

ALPHONSE: Schtill dere, as far as I know. You vant a look, cuties?

FANNY: You, sir, are growing impertinent.

ALPHONSE: Zay, dat’s a nice vig you got dere. Mein zitxer has a vig like dat.

FANNY: Does she enjoy it?

ALPHONSE: She lofs it! A lot!

MARY: How do we locate your dirigible?

ALPHONSE: Follow der yellow brick road, shveeties.

MARY: Sorry?

ALPHONSE: Take der segund egxit. Vatch for der Burma Shave signs. Oh, buoy. I should never had taken dat extra schlice of date bread. Never eat on a full schtomach.

MARY: Alphonse—

APLHONSE: Egxcuze me, ladies. Zank you for der chow. You must come to eat viz me shomeday. I make a mean manioc strudel.

ALEX: Manioc, my favorite.

FANNY: Have ou ever had manioc fritters?

ALPHONSE: Ve vill haf to trade recipes.

MARY: Alphonse, couldn’t you see your way clear to guide us to the dirigible? We’ll pay wages.

ALPHONSE: Zorry. I am not vell. I haf to get zis Alphonse out of mein zyztem. Perhaps ve meet again, mein blue angels. Vaya con Dios!

MARY: Auf wiedersehn.

ALPHONSE: (He hands FANNY a bundle.) A token of mein steam. Big juju. Lof dat vig. (He exits.)

Fanny, Mary, Alex Sides

Ladies, please memorize one of the FANNY/MARY/ALEX journal entries below, for the first day of auditions.

Page 2:
MARY: Before I began my travels in the uncharted reaches of the world, an avuncular colleague took me aside. "I have heard your peregrinations are impelled, in part, by scientific curiosity," he said. "Allow me to offer you some sage counsel. Always take measurements, young lady. And always take them from the adult male." (Beat) sound advice.

Page 6-7:
ALEX: I have seen the wonders I the Himalayas. Magic. Mystery. In Ladakh, it was a quotidian trick for the lamas to raise their body temperatures by mere mental exertion. Sheer dint of will. They would sleep all night in snowbanks. At dawn, they would douse themselves in freezing streams. Then, ice-blue and on the verge of extinction, they would sit lotus and meditate ferociously. Instantly, steam would sizzle off them in clouds, rising past their furrowed brows. In an hour, their robes would be dry as toast--and neatly pressed. (Beat)

In the blue shadow of Crystal Mountain, I watched a Bon shaman wrap himself in his black cape, fold himself thrice, become a giant origami crow, flap flap flap his wings, rise into the sky and fly across the saffron moon. (Beat)

In Lhasa, on the bone-white hill of the Poala, before the lunar congregation of Buddhist alchemists, I saw the Dalai Lama himself transmute great buckets of gold coins. (beat) into yak butter.

Fanny page 9
FANNY: I introduced croquet to the headhunters of the headwaters of the Putamayo. The sport of kings. They loved it. Simply adored the game. Of course, I insisted they use only regulation wooden balls. I would accept no substitutes. The rascals were always batting their latest trophies about. I was strict. They respected me for that.

Page 12
MARY: The bane of my many travels in the tropics is a bland, mucilaginous paste called manioc, made from the forlorn and despicable cassava, a tuber of dubious provenance. A vile concoction, manioc tastes, in the best of recipes, like the bottom of a budgie’s cage – and is more suited for masonry than human consumption. Manioc is the quintessential native chop, occurring circumglobularly in the tropics. For those with a taste for prussic acid, manioc may be just your cup of tea.

Journal Entry: page 17
MARY: In Kuala Lumpur, the seraglio of the Sultan was – a honeycomb. It was as many-chambered as the heart of a tribe. I recall the cavernous steam rooms on cold evenings, full of echoing voices and escarpments of mist. The inlaid geometric gold-leaf calligraphy. The rattan sofas. The acres of tile the color of sky. And a sponge conjured from the exoskeleton of an indigenous fruit. The loofah. Loofah—

Page 22
MARY: By and large the company has been charming. As a confirmed-since-childhood solo sojourner, I am astonished. Perhaps I have overvalued the pleasures of solitude heretofore. (Takes a deep breath.) I feel the rare air of Terra Incognita working its way upon me like acid on an old coin, the tarnish of the past dissolving in a solvent of iridescent light. I tingle. Objects shimmer on the horizon. At sunset, a tantalizing mist, a web, a membrane envelopes us.

Page 24
FANNY: Dear Grover. We had lunch today – or was it yesterday – with the most amicable cannibal. He admired my wig. The tabloids will feast. I can hear The Globetrotteress licking her chops now. “Fanny’s Cannibal – Discovers Maneating Balloonist in Darkest Antipodes – Boston Geo Views Claim Warily.” The jaundice of yellow journalism. One more card in the catalogue of my critics are fond of calling Fanny’s Follies. (Beat) Terra Incognita exhilarates. Intoxicates. There is a hallucinatory spiciness to the air. We are in the grip of a communal fever dream. Alex mutters continually about the “Red Chinese”, and Mary makes reference to an anthropological penny-dreadful entitled The Naked and the Dead. Myself, I dream about mysterious machinery, discover strange phases in my mouth: “Air mail.” “Blue sky ventures.” “So long.”

Page 26:
MARY: At dawn and dusk, the essence of the jungle increases a hundredfold. The air becomes heavy with perfume. It throbs with an unseen presence. A savage tapestry of squeaks, cries, and caws presses upon one with an almost palpable pressure. A cacophonous echolalia—snarling, sinister menace—as though the sound of the jungle itself could tear one limb from limb.

Page 36:
MARY: I feel a sea change coming over me. A disturbance of my very molecules. As though the chemical composition of my blood has been altered by breathing the rare air of Terra Incognita. I have begun to dream in a new language. My imagination seems to sculpt the landscape. Images flow between the inner and outer worlds, and I can no longer determine their point of origin. I have a growing premonition we are about to pierce the membrane.

Page 47:
ALEX: (Taking a deep breath) The rare air of the future. Breathe. Aspirate. Aspire. A-spire. (She takes another deep breath.) One of the ecstasies of hiking in the Himalayas was to crest a ridge, and suddenly confront the infinite surrounded. Mountains and rivers without end. Untouched. Glistening with possibility. We are climbing a spire of time. The topography of the future is coming into view. Unmapped and unnamed. Distant vistas shining. You must not shrink. You must embrace it with all your heart.

Page 54:
ALEX: Lunar snow is, despite its apparent immaturity, a vintage precipitate. Coarser and sweeter than Himalayan, it stands up to all but the most robust Karakoram. Fruitier than Rocky Mountain powder, and a touch more acidic than Vermont sludge, it is altogether full-bodied and elusive. This is a young snow but not a callow snow, and should be confronted early—like the finest Hindu Kush—before the blush is off the slush, and the bloom is gone.

Page 73:
MARY: The pleasures of Nicky’s Peligrosa Paradise Bar and Grill were—philharmonic. I blossomed into—I almost blush to recall it—a bonafide voluptuary, sampling an assortment of what were called, in the native parlance, ‘leisure-time activities’. Re-creation. The casino was an anthropologist’s field day, an anthology of human mis-demeanor. It’s fascinating as fire floorshow, Girls-A-Poppin’!, held, I felt, the key to the culture, and was worth years of intense scrutiny. Television proved an addictive, if ultimately incomprehensible, hypnotic. And I thought the Jacuzzi the greatest piece of engineering since the wheel. In short, I went, as the topical lingo had it, on a “bender”. (Beat)

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

GLOSSARY, or the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Words

Click through to view the glossary. Items are currently arranged roughly in the order they're encountered in the script. To search for a term, press CTRL+F and type in the word or phrase. I'll be modifying this page as I determine a better way to present and enrich this information, so please send me feedback to help make this glossary work for you! -BF

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


Welcome to Theatre UAB's production of On The Verge online call board. This site will be updated soon as a resource for all those working on the show. This site will also serve as an extra forum through which the director, stage manager, and dramaturg may communicate with actors.

See You Soon,

Christina Wingate
Stage Manager