On the Verge
A Cycle of Plays for Our Time


This cycle of plays investigates the violence and chaos of our time.

All-American Joe focuses on the individual quest; Fragments of the Third Planet on our natural environment; Alchemies on the imagination; Blood Tree Sun on politics and justice; Angel Hair on crime; A Terrible Beauty on artistic creation; and Human Rock on healing and renewal.

All-American Joe.

Drama in two acts (6m, 4w, bare set).  Local baseball star Joe Skinner struggles to escape his broken family and small-town background, only to find himself confronting war, unemployment, crime, AIDS, and other issues lurking on the underside of the American dream.

Fragments of the Third Planet.

Dramatic quartet (5m, 3w, bare set).  Four interlocking scenes explore the progressive disintegration of contemporary life and the struggle to survive against a futuristic backdrop of economic collapse, environmental degradation, absence of belief, and meaningless war.  The possibilities for escape and renewal tantalize just out of reach.


Drama in two acts (4m, 3w, chorus of 4 [may be doubled], bare set).  Gil Martin has disturbing visions about the future of his family and the entire society.  Are the premonitions real, or merely personal delusions?  Can powers of imagination transform the spiraling violence and chaos?

Blood Tree Sun.

Drama in two acts (4m, 3w, 2 soldiers [may be doubled], simple set).  During a time of revolution, three prisoners from different cultures are thrown together in a cell.  When the turmoil finally subsides, can anything democratic and humane be constructed out of the ruins?

Angel Hair.

Drama in two acts (4m, 4w, bare set).  Two teenage girls and a boyfriend chafe at the restrictions their social worker mother imposes on their behavior.  After a late night spins out of control and leads to a brutal murder, they must come to terms with a reality they scarcely imagined.

A Terrible Beauty.

Drama in one act (2, simple set).  A young scholar attending a conference on violence in contemporary literature encounters an eccentric artist in the park, who wants her to experience both art and violence as lived "on the street."

Human Rock.

Lyric drama in five scenes (2m, 2w, 2 police officers, and a chorus of 3 spirits [may be doubled]; single set).  Sometime in the not-too-distant future, along the edge of an unnamed sea, refugees from contemporary life gather and try to make a new life together in the most primitive conditions.  How can they heal from their myriad wounds and find peace and sustenance?

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