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On the Verge Preps 4 Boundary-pushing Plays for 2nd Annual Theatre Festival

Characters from “I’m Alive You Bastards and I Always Will Be.” Click to view larger
Characters from “I’m Alive You Bastards and I Always Will Be.” (Travis Smillie photo)

The annual 2016 On The Verge Theatre Festival is ramping up to open Tuesday, Aug. 9, at the Community Arts Workshop in downtown Santa Barbara.

This exciting event features a collection of new works, including These Walls by Olivia Khoshatefeh, From White Plains by Michael Perlman, jason&julia by Jenny Rachel Weiner and I’m Alive You Bastards and I Always Will Be by returning playwright Roxie Perkins.

In this second year of the repertory festival, artists from coast to coast have gathered in Santa Barbara to present readings and fully realized productions of edgy new plays.

The four plays are produced in the non-traditional theater space of the open warehouses at the Community Arts Workshop  and will run in rotation Aug. 9-14.

These Walls is the story of “touch” therapist Marcy’s romantic interest in a man she can’t have physical contact with.

Raoul, the object of her affection, is a performance who has enclosed himself in a glass box as part of a museum exhibit.

Both characters are challenged to explore and redefine the traditional roles of intimacy in a romantic relationship.

From White Plains brings current culture clashes to the stage in a story about a bullied gay teen, Dennis Sullivan, who grows up to win an academy award and denounce his tormentor, Ethan Rice, in his acceptance speech.

Ethan becomes an immediate social pariah despite his attempts to apologize and present himself as a reformed, open-minded adult.

In an online battleground, the accusations, apologies and aired grievances create a new narrative for a captive, international audience.

Both Dennis and Ethan’s lives have the potential to be irreversibly altered by their judgment in the court of public opinion.

Jason&julia is a staged reading of a play that shows the emotional turmoil of a whirlwind romance.

Julia is in mourning after the loss of her father, and Jason is struggling to get traction in his life.

These young characters can’t offer each other direction, but instead present each other opportunities to grow.

I’m Alive You Bastards And I Always Will Be is a wild motorcycle ride of a play about two young girls alone in the desert with a dead dog.

Lang and Jak are unsupervised and spend their days aggravating Jak’s cousin and attempting to conjure powers of destruction.

When two bikers show up determined to find their lost dog, Jak and Lang are faced with the true consequences of the elaborate mythologies they’ve invented to escape reality.

The 2016 On The Verge Festival is unique collaboration between artists from across the country, including many local actors, designers, stage managers, directors and theater artists such as Executive Artistic Director Kate Bergstrom and artistic associates Riley Berris, Jessica Ballonoff and Terry Li.

Local actors featured in this year’s festival include Allison Lewis Towbes, Jenna Scanlon, Justin Stark, Mathew Goldsholl and Monique Rosario.

Tickets available at

Terry Li represents On The Verge.


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