New York | 1h 25m | Already closed

The Edge of Our Bodies

From 17 critic and 32 member reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Great acting, Absorbing, Slow, Indulgent

About the show

This unique coming of age solo show follows 16-year-old Bernadette, an aspiring young short story writer, as she journeys through New York City and teeters on the verge of adulthood. More…

Written by Pulitzer Prize finalist Adam Rapp, 'The Edge of Our Bodies'  examines our teenage years, at times uncertain, always full of yearning, and empowered by devastating events.


"This is a coming of age story like no other. The show stars Carolyn Molloy who performs Rapp's well-crafted dialogue superbly...Carolyn Molloy delivers a compelling performance as Bernie, the dramatic teen who is trying to make sense of the world around her...'The Edge of Our Bodies' is a refreshingly honest show that is relatable for people of all ages." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"Whatever one thinks of 'The Edge of Our Bodies' -- and, despite some baffling theatrics, it contains a great deal of beautiful writing -- it is a golden chance to make the acquaintance of Carolyn Molloy...She seizes the stage with her first sentence and retains her grip until the stark finale...The only thing separating 'The Edge of Our Bodies' from a literary reading is a baffling pair of devices...Even when one wants to resist Rapp's writing, it is nearly impossible." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Rapp’s play is driven by an exquisite text and has a remarkable actor in the passenger seat...Beautiful. The text is exquisite and breathtaking...Essentially a live reading of a really good short story...Molloy is compelling, achieving theatre magic when she describes her encounter involving Marc...For a moment I forgot that the show is primarily a solo performance...Never self-indulgent or ostentatious, shedding just enough light to illuminate what he wants us to notice behind a thin veil." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"Molloy is wonderfully intricate in her performance...Inhabiting this 16 year old teenage with every nervous and anxious fiber that exists on the edge of her body...A compelling tale, that borders on the mundane at times, recreating and recounting every moment down to its most insignificant minutia...Molloy somehow, quite mysteriously, keeps at least a few strong fibers of connection going at all times, compelling us forward into the unknown." Full Review


"An aching look at the depth of the human heart...However, despite an inventive, looming production, the piece itself never stops resembling a short story that Rapp decided to turn into a play but forgot to make theatrical...A descriptive story whose conceit works against the theatricality Rapp is forcing upon it...Might not register very well as a play, but Molloy, Stone, and this production find their way into it from the inside out, and create something indelibly human in the process." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Malloy is alone on stage for almost the whole play, skillfully walking a fine line between brainy sophistication and adolescent longing...An impressive feat of acting on Malloy's part...Rapp plants seeds in the script's early scenes that lead to later dramatic reveals but draw more attention to the playwright than to the character he's created; despite some genuinely affecting and haunting moments, 'The Edge of Our Bodies' feels like a theatrical stunt-the kind a girl like Bernie would love." Full Review

Front Row Center

"The audience had a hard time figuring out what was going on...We knew the character was telling us about an event in her life. But the trappings were so inscrutable, we spent more time trying to figure out the context then concentrating on her voyage...An uphill battle for Carolyn Molloy who did a terrific job of imbuing Bernadette with vitality and authenticity...By the end, I was confused and, frankly, mad. I felt I had been subjected to a test that had been set up for me to fail." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"Rapp…captures the alienated, bored mindset of this old-before-her-time teenager but his play…never comes to life as drama. This production…does what it can to make what is essentially the reading of a short story theatrically interesting; it fails, though, to cross the threshold from literature to theatre…When a shaggy wolf skin appeared, I thought at once how much the story resembled another shaggy animal. Molloy does a quite decent job of portraying Bernadette but…is never fully convincing." Full Review


"Regardless of Carolyn Molloy’s talent, which bursts forward the moment she becomes active and lures in the audience, the opening 10 minutes or more drag. Also, the setting, which supposedly represents a stage, remains opaque...The strongest scenes reflect the most dynamic action and poetic themes, with a haunting beauty...Without Molloy or another similar talent in this tour-de-force role, 'The Edge of Our Bodies' would fall flat. Molloy manages to salvage the production." Full Review

The New York Times

"A coming-of-age tale, we're meant to believe. Yet from its first moments it seems a retro variation on another theme entirely: a familiar male pipe dream revolving around a girl...It's a head-scratcher to be staging it post-#MeToo...Mr. Rapp, who absolutely can do better tosses in some references to Jean Genet's 'The Maids', and toward the end reframes events with a dramatic device. I'm still not buying it." Full Review


"Jacqueline Stone, who also directed the Chicago production in 2016, has allowed Molloy to use the same reading voice throughout which eventually becomes tiresome. Part of the time Bernadette's story sounds like something remembered in recollection, part of the time she sounds like she is living it at that moment. Which is it? Having told us that she wants to be a short story writer, is this her first completed short story?" Full Review

Off Off Online

"Abstract and lumbering...With extensive doses of narration broken only by a few unexplainable affronts of noise and light, 'The Edge of Our Bodies' shares a border with the limits of our patience. Director Jacqueline Stone has gone out of her way to keep the audience at a distance...Molloy, in her Off-Broadway debut, believably portrays a teen, but saddled with a script full of tales, rather than dialogue, she cannot find enough variation to keep her character from falling flat." Full Review

Chicago Critic

for a previous production "Rapp is one of the contemporary masters of establishing atmosphere...If listening to a teenager’s darkly humorous meditation on the all-consuming ravages of time on people’s bodies doesn’t sound like your thing, be assured that Rapp is perceptive enough to knock Bernadette out of her reverie, twice...As a writer, Bernadette is aware that she is crafting her self-presentation, even though she’s currently just performing for herself. But she’s a very skilled storyteller." Full Review

Newcity Stage

for a previous production "Molloy’s creation is an act of amazing preparation, vulnerability, and spontaneity. Her character work within Bernadette and the other figures she manifests is precise and personal. In a one-person show, this endurance and creativity sustains us. Her work is impeccable. Rapp’s script allows for the metatheatrical questioning of the role of an audience in the creation of art but Stone plays it smart and never leans too heavily on it. Her direction is deft, stylish, and intelligent." Full Review

Chicago Theater Beat

for a previous production "Through her captivating one-handed performance, Molloy transforms the somewhat banal premise of 'The Edge of our Bodies' into truly innovative theatre...Her harsh New York accent lands so well with that character that I wish she’d have done something similar with the others. Not that I ever lost interest or got confused with regards to which character was speaking; it’s more a matter of utilizing every bit of Molloy’s obvious talent. 'The Edge of Our Bodies' works as a coming of age story." Full Review

Chicago Tribune

for a previous production "At times one wonders how much Rapp is using Bernadette as a mouthpiece to demonstrate his own voracious literary appetite. Yet Carolyn Molloy's performance as Bernadette and Jacqueline Stone's direction hone Rapp's story like a two-sided blade. One side makes cutting observations of how people fail each other, and the other slices through that scrim of despair to show the weak light of renewal through the act of telling stories." Full Review

Theatre by Numbers

for a previous production "The first half of this play is seen through that forced hazy filter. It makes the world just a bit out of focus, and that fully supports the play itself in which much is unclear...Stone has delivered a production of Rapp’s script that delves into the mind of a sixteen-year-old girl who is grasping at her maturing psyche and attempting to share it by thrusting it out into the open...It is a glimpse into a mind. It is a character study." Full Review

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Must see

See it if Very well written early Rapp that is at times lyrical and poetic

Don't see it if basically a one women show but it pulls it off beautifully.

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if You want to watch a fabulous actress carry an absorbing, dark and deliciously penned tale.

Don't see it if You want something especially theatrical - this could easily be an audiobook.


See it if You enjoy the writing of the greatest playwright ever.

Don't see it if You are expecting a normal Adam rapp type show. This is a solo show

Also I am The wrong person to ask about an Adam Rapp play. In my mind the g... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if Great acting about deep issues

Don't see it if If you aren’t interested in emotions.

Clever, Entertaining, Quirky, Raunchy

See it if You liked Catcher in the Rye; this is mostly a gender-flopped that, even down to an awkward hotel room sex scene.

Don't see it if You don't like unreliable narrators, Catcher in the Rye, or teenagers who think they're sophisticated and grown.

Absorbing, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you are interested in a solo show about a teenager trying to connect and find some excitement in her life in desperate and unhealthy ways.

Don't see it if you don’t like solo shows or were hoping for something more thrilling or insightful. The stage design was dark and noir, but story was not.

Great writing, Ambitious, Great acting, Slow

See it if You like dark, confusing solo shows with great acting and an absorbing story.

Don't see it if You are looking for something light, or don't like solo shows and minimalistic productions.

Ambitious, Disappointing, Quirky

See it if You are a fan of Catcher in the Rye.

Don't see it if You have a little patience for teenagers.

Excellent acting, Red lights everywhere, Short story as monologue, Solo show with janitor interuptus, Seen thru a scrim

See it if solo shows, monologues & short story form, small space further separated by scrim, how will she keep this going for 80 minutes, intrigue you

Don't see it if one hander [with janitor interuptus] exploring short story form as a monologue, strobes, bare bulb lighting, would drive you crazy

Great acting, Disappointing, Odd

See it if The well acted telling of a nicely written, edgy story passes for theater. Esp. Teen age girl reliving dark, dysfunctional, adult incidents.

Don't see it if You're looking for a well directed, nicely staged play. Having a short story dramatically recited and performed by one actor isn't enough.

Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if like solo person theatre. The actress works hard and it's much appreciated. However, I found the piece a little self-indulgent.

Don't see it if you prefer only BIG productions. The theatre is quite small and you feel like you are in the play.

Dizzying, Edgy, Great acting, Intense

See it if Watching a young woman fall through the cracks both physically and emotionally while a mesh curtain separates her from the audience .

Don't see it if Do not see if you are sensitive to experiencing intensity of life’s struggles.This is not light entertainment.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Intense, Indulgent

See it if You want to see a powerhouse performance in a one-person show. You enjoy dark coming of age stories such as Catcher in the Rye.

Don't see it if You do not enjoy one-person shows. You are not a Catcher in the Rye fan.

Also I was a little conflicted about this production. ... Read more Read less

Great acting, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you want to see a greatly acted solo performance of a very confusing show. You don't mind being bored and confused for over an hour.

Don't see it if you want to see a show that makes sense, one you can figure out, one that is fast paced.

Also The show was well-acted, but very confusing Without some background, y... Read more Read less

Slow, Raunchy, Indulgent, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if You enjoy plays that are basically monologues. You are familiar with Jean Genet’s The Maids, and are interested in its influences !

Don't see it if A very bright spotlight set so that it shines in your eyes will be intolerable ! I found the set and blocking of this play amateurish !

Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you like one-person shows (except for a tiny appearance by a second person) that tell rather than showing the story.

Don't see it if you want dramatic action.

Also I was excited to go to another Adam Rapp play. I've been a fan. But I ... Read more Read less

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if You want to see every Rapp play regardless. You are fine with peculiar staging, odd plot and implausible monologue.

Don't see it if You have high expectations for an Adam Rapp work.

Also This was my 19th Rapp play, and while they were not all great, they ha... Read more Read less

During previews
Exhilarating, Innovative, Edgy, Dizzying, Intense

See it if you like challenges to the traditional play that are based in an appreciation of what theater has historically done & might again do.

Don't see it if you are expecting standard, dialogue-based drama—though there’s a bit of that too.

Also For its writing, acting & design this production is exhilarating. A 16... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Relevant, Great writing

See it if you want to view an intimate, discomforting, unforgettable performance by Ms. Molloy. Rapp's dialogue never flinches.

Don't see it if u dislike one-woman shows where the character is surrounded by black netting for most of the performance. Basically, a short story enacted.

Also Went with goddaughter. We spoke about nothing else for the hour after ... Read more Read less

During previews
Absorbing, Enchanting, Great acting, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You enjoy Adam Rapp,you like intimate plays with mystery, you like work that isn’t your typical mainstream show, you like one person shows

Don't see it if You don’t like writing with provocative subject matter, you’re uncomfortable with small intimate plays, you’re expecting something neat

Also Adam Rapp is so wonderful, he captures the worst in people which is so... Read more Read less

During previews
Thrilling, Absorbing, Masterful acting, Quirky and intense

See it if Like theatre 2 be mysterious, ponderable, eccentric, untraditional & dark. Not 4 all, but if you like good storytelling, this one's for you.

Don't see it if Want linear plot or everything answered. Don't want to be challenged, don't like story of a disaffected teen who spins an edgy tale.

During previews
Entertaining, Great writing, One woman, Monologue

See it if Rapp’s story follows an aspiring writer/performer as she develops her persona, describing the impact of behavior, alcohol, time and cancer.

Don't see it if You are expecting it to be more of a play with acting than a monologue that’s mostly talking. You don’t like one-handers.

During previews
Great writing, Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You love language and coming of age stories.

Don't see it if You don’t like 1 women monologues with no frills for 80 minutes

During previews
Absorbing, Excellent acting, Intense

See it if Dark monologue read from her diary by 16 year old New England private school student who seems to be confined in a mysterious sound studio.

Don't see it if You don't like monologues.

During previews
Cliched, Great staging, Disappointing, Overrated, Relevant

See it if You want to support female-driven indie theatre

Don't see it if You don’t like one-person shows

Also For all of the comparisons to Holden Caufield, I think the show would ... Read more Read less

Cast & Creatives (8)