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Theatre / On the Verge

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On the Verge, or the Geography of Yearning is a 1986 stage play by Eric Overmyer, best known for his work on Law & Order, The Wire, and Treme. It tells the story of three Victorian women explorers, each with their own specialty, who set off in 1888 to chart Terra Incognita, an unknown and mysterious land. Mary Baltimore is the oldest, an anthropologist whose travels are mostly in Africa. Fanny Cranberry is writing up her journey for the tabloid "True Trek"; she is the most conservative and the only married member of the party. Alexandra Cafuffle is the youngest, an aspiring lyricist whose specialty is cold terrain, especially Tibet.


They meet natives including a German-accented cannibal, a yeti, a Beat poetry-spouting Troll (all played by the same actor); and encounter new objects and vocabulary as they travel through time and space, discovering the ability to "osmose" the meaning of these new terms. Eventually they reach civilization again, having arrived back in America in 1955.

On the Verge is a celebration of feminism, language, history, and pop culture. Not to be confused with Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown.


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