• Chris Bennion

Charming, poetic, and slyly subversive, The Boy at the Edge of Everything—a world premiere by Finegan Kruckemeyer—is, on its surface, the story of two boys who need each other. Simon (a fresh-faced and vibrant Trick Danneker), a 12 year-old living on Earth, is harried and overscheduled with math club, tae kwon do, swim class, computer club, Chinese-language homework ("Which is crazy," he tells us, "'cause when you're 12, the words home and work shouldn't even go together"), and the rest of the busyness of life. He tries to remember his parents' advice, to "try and find a minute for myself, between all the everyone-else-minutes," but it's tough when everyone else wants him to be either working or engaged in some structured, self-improving "hobby" that is really just another appendage of work. He needs a little do-nothing time.

The other boy (Quinn Armstrong, equally fresh-faced but calmer and more reflective) lives at the far edge of the expanding universe, his house perched right on the border between Everything and Nothing, and he's bored. Though he builds intergalactic train sets, practices alien instruments ("like the Chehhhurnu, which has lots of buttons and sounds like water being emptied from a bathtub"), reads books about other planets, and "binocularises" the people living on these other worlds, he needs company.

Due to a misunderstanding, Simon's parents think he wants to be an astronaut, and they cook up an adventure. They dress him in a firefighter jacket and a diving bell, stuff him in his mom's old saltwater-float/meditation tank (from when she, as Simon puts it, went through her middle-class "transcendental Vishnu yoga phase"), and are going to shove him off the roof onto a pile of hay bales so he can experience the thrill of liftoff. Things go awry, a cache of fireworks explodes, and Simon is launched to the far end of the universe where he lands in the Boy at the Edge of Everything's garden.

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