NECC students perform coming-of-age musical 'Edges: A Song Cycle'

Courtesy photo(Left) Kendra Jones of Plaistow, NH; (front) Sarah Bird of Tewksbury; (Back) Hunter Gouldthorpe of Salisbury; and (right) E.P. Lehner of Salem, NH.

When the rare chance for the Northern Essex Community College Theater Department to perform a musical came about, faculty and students wanted to choose their show wisely.

In the end, they enthusiastically decided on "Edges: A Song Cycle," a coming-of-age story dealing with the trials and tribulations of becoming an adult and the search for love, commitment and meaning in life.

"We actually looked at a similar show, 'Songs For A New World,' but they felt that the intended audience for that show was a little bit older," said 26-year-old theater student Geehae Moon. "So we looked at 'Edges,' which sort of fit into the college audience between childhood and adulthood, and figuring out who you are and who you want to be. That was more appropriate for what we wanted to do."

"Edges: A Song Cycle" is student led, with Moon directing and fellow NECC student Christian Doyle of Newburyport serving as assistant director, theater professor Jim Murphy said. Brian Nickerson of Amesbury is the musical director. 

The show stars Sarah Bird of Tewksbury, Hunter Gouldthorpe of Salisbury, Kendra Jones of Plaistow and E. P. Lehner of Salem, N.H.

"Edges: A Song Cycle"  was written in 2005 by University of Michigan musical theater undergraduates Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, after they were dissatisfied with other roles available to them at the time.

Just one year later, Pasek and Paul were awarded the $20,000 Jonathan Larson Award, which is intended to encourage young playwrights at the beginning of their career. They were the youngest people ever to receive the award.

"I think it's appropriate for anyone in any stage of their life, being in a point in your life where you're not sure what to do," Moon said. "It's obviously appropriate for the college-age group, but I also think that it's good for adults who have established their lives and maybe aren't getting complete fulfillment out of their life. I would love for people to walk away from the show with questions of, 'Am I happy with what I'm doing with my life?' "

IF YOU GO ...

What: “Edges: A Song Cycle” by the Top Notch Players.

Where: Chester W. Hawrylciw Theater on third floor of the Spurk Building, Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill.

When: Friday, Feb. 19 and Saturday, Feb. 20, at 7:30 p.m. 

How: Tickets are $10 for general admission and $8 for students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the door or at www.MVarts.info.

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