On the Verge is a collaborative venture that was founded by faculty members in the English and Theater departments, with the goal of providing opportunities for students of dramatic literature to see live performances of the plays that they study in class, and even to participate in such performances. On the Verge produces a handful of staged readings each year. Its chosen plays are usually, though not invariably, selected from the syllabi of such courses as Dramatic Literature I and II, Shakespeare, Theatre History, Twentieth-Century Drama, and others.
Students in English and theater, as well as faculty members from both departments, have participated in On the Verge readings, and audiences include both students in the courses studying the chosen plays and others with an interest in theater from across the college community. In addition, on three occasions we were lucky enough to bring to campus Frank Wood, who won the Tony award in 1999 for his performance of Gene in Sideman. A lucky cast of students joined him for a reading of that play in 2000, and the next year he returned in order to perform with students in a reading of Dancing at Lughnasa as well as in a faculty reading (with Claire Gleitman and Jack Hrkach) of Copenhagen. In 2008 Frank Wood again visited Ithaca College, this time for a performance of How I Learned to Drive.
On the Verge readings are bare-bones productions: they receive just two to three rehearsals, and the actors perform their roles with their scripts in hand.