Performing Snapshots of Life

Photo by Mitchell Quartz – Emily Rice, a senior dance education major from Tooele, sings during a rehearsal of “Edges.”

This year’s inaugural show from 2nd Studio is “Edges.” 2nd Studio is a theatre club on campus that produces four performances a year. This production is different than a traditional play, musical or opera: it is a song cycle.

Noel Perry, a senior theater arts education major from North Ogden, described how a song cycle works.

“It’s just sung all the way through, but there’s not a through plotline,” Perry said. “It’s like a moment to moment to moment. They’re not supposed to be necessarily connected, but I think they show us that we as humans- that we’re all the same. That’s one of the things I love most about the show.”

“Edges” was written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, an American songwriting duo which has written many famous works of music, including pieces used in “La La Land.” The original production uses four actors, two male and two female, but Perry decided to add two more roles to give more students an opportunity to perform.

The performance begins with four of the six performers introducing themselves. This is a little misleading because each actor changes characters with each song. However, the song expresses each character’s desire to be understood and cared for on a deeper level than would be possible by only knowing a few facts about that character.


Photo by Mitchell Quartz – Suzy Castleton, a sophomore theatre arts major from Alpine, walks away during a rehearsal of “Edges.”


The rest of the songs throughout the song cycle display snapshots from people at a variety of ages and stages. These especially pertain to relationships and growing up or aging. Each audience member can find themselves and people they know in the songs and reflect on their existence. While I found some of the songs to be existential in nature, many of them simply portrayed a comical and relatable scenario. All of the songs; however, are sung with great skill.

In the director’s note, Perry describes this relationship between audience and song.

“The actors may come out and sing songs, but it’s not just about them – it’s about me, and you, and the person sitting next to you,” Perry said. “We all might have different experiences, but at our core, we are all the same. We all want friendship, and we all want love.”

“Edges” runs from Oct. 12-14 and Oct. 16 at 7:30 p.m. in the black box theatre of the auditorium building. This production is intended for mature audiences, as it contains adult themes and profanity. General admission is $5 and tickets can be reserved here. For more information on the performance, check 2nd Studio’s Facebook page.

Story by
Jenna Chapman