The Verge

Monday, April 8th, 2024 | 6:30 p.m.–9:30 p.m.
Steinhardt Conservatory, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens

Classic Stage Company and Fiasco Theater join forces with Hedgepig Ensemble Theatre’s Expand the Canon to celebrate an undersung American classic: The Verge by Susan Glaspell. The Pulitzer Prize–winning playwright (and founder of the Provincetown Players) goes deeper and darker into questions of otherness, womanhood, and life’s driving force in this play about madness, love, and trying to breed a new plant.

Susan Glaspell’s 1921 play The Verge is a post-war portrait of a woman created and creating through destruction. Claire Archer attempts to transcend the constraints of modern life through the breeding of new plants, despite a literal Tom, Dick, and Harry trying to stop her. As the blossoming of her latest creation approaches, her sanity is called into question and tensions around her unique way of life explode. A piece that is by turns devastating philosophical portraiture, droll farce, and scathing feminist cry, The Verge comes together in a pressure cooker analysis of prescribed womanhood.

Spring 2023 Playreading Series

completed by Kirk Lynn
directed by Rob Melrose

The Emporium, Thornton Wilder’s last full-length play, was set to debut on Broadway in 1951, but after several years of toiling over the script, the Pulitzer-winning author (Our Town, The Skin of Our Teeth) pronounced it incomplete, banishing the play to the archives. Now, playwright Kirk Lynn has taken up the exciting charge of finishing Wilder’s highly theatrical story, marking this moment as the first time a New York audience will ever encounter his final work for the stage. Funny, moving, and full of surprises, The Emporium will illuminate yet another side of Wilder’s endlessly innovative work.

by Abram Hill
directed by Tyler Thomas

In New York’s Harlem Renaissance, a few blocks uptown featured stunning homes that showed off the new wealth in the Black community – this was Strivers Row. In Abram Hill’s raucous 1940 comedy, the neighborhood comes to exuberant life through the Van Striven family, whose matriarch Dolly wants nothing more than to throw the perfect debutante party for her daughter. But when classism, colorism, gossip, and jealousy come knocking, Dolly’s perfect celebration becomes the event of the season for all the wrong reasons. Hill’s rarely-seen farce will be explored in this reading with the involvement of his own great-grandnephew, acclaimed actor Kyle Beltran (A Case for the Existence of God, The Fortress of Solitude) and artist collective The Commissary.

by Henrik Ibsen
adapted and directed by David Auburn

In this new adaptation, Pulitzer Prize winner David Auburn (Proof; upcoming Summer, 1976) reinvigorates Ibsen’s classic play about the price of idealism. One man’s certainty that the truth is always better than even the kindest lie will shake the lives of two uncomfortably intertwined families. When long-buried secrets are forced into the light, it’s not the idealists but the innocents who face the consequences.

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