By Stacy Keith
2020 was an interesting year, not just for what it took from us, but for what it gave us too. Lubbock was gifted several new arts organizations in 2020, a year of catastrophe in some ways and the spawn of creativity in others. One of those new organizations which was created was The Edge: A Company of Fine Artists (pictured are co-producers and Board Members Jamison Driskill and Sean Jones). Created by a group of Texas Tech University Theatre Alumni and Sean Jones, the group’s purpose is to support new play wrights through readings and performances and conduct classes on a variety of theatre production topics.
They sought to create a unique theatre performance experience for Lubbock and one that is a bit edgier through showcasing new and contemporary works, shining the light on various social issues and populations who haven’t traditionally gotten stage time. The Edge seeks to use arts as a healing tool. Sean is pursuing his master’s at Texas Tech University in clinical mental health counseling and drawing from expressive arts therapy to create a program to help people use a creative mechanism to heal. After returning to Lubbock from LA where he spent 10 years in the film and television industry, Sean is excited to use his skills to develop The Edge.
The expressive arts therapy side of the programming focuses on teaching and acting to assist in working through the recovery process. For example, participants will recite monologues which fit their circumstances or create a monologue or a play which expresses their feelings. Many of the participants have never acted before and the exercise also allows them to do something they’ve never done and develop a company and community for the theatre.
In addition to this, The Edge hosts the Youth Artist Guild which needed a new space to do their programs which include a variety of arts programs for young people. Primarily though, the Youth Artist Guild focuses on educating and training young people in all aspects of performance art, production, and theater management.
The Edge has taken over the Boston Avenue Playhouse and has been busy renovating the space with fresh paint and new flooring. A non-profit organization, they seek people to be involved in a volunteer capacity and need many hands to assist with the renovation work, but also marketing and public relations. They teach classes in such topics as lighting design and stage makeup.
Now, in their new home, they are planning a great fall season. The company will present Oscar Wilde’s ‘Salome’ which will be directed by K. Douglas McKennon beginning September 15. The comedy ‘The Thanksgiving Play’ by Larissa FastHorse and directed by Leah Tyson Houchin will be presented in November. Finally, a ‘Christmas Wrappin’ will be presented by Dr. Jim Bush in December.
The Edge is unique in what it does, working hard to create a positive and welcoming environment and filling a niche of using drama to heal and move people forward. To learn more about The Edge, please visit their Facebook page. To purchase tickets to ‘Salome’ visit their website at www.edgetheatrelubbock.org.