The "Fringe Festival," as many call it, is the world's largest performing arts event, with nearly 3,000 shows in 2013. The theater-driven event features comedy, dance, physical theater, circus, cabaret, puppet theater, musicals, opera, spoken word and more.
"I've never experienced anything like it," said Interlochen director of theater
Church will lead two dozen Academy theater students -- all recent graduates, post-graduates or returning students -- in four performances of "Sonnets for an Old Century"
Many of the students, like
"I hope it's the first of many trips to the Fringe," said Pidgeon, 18, who will study with the next generation of directors, filmmakers and actors. "I think that the Fringe festival is the perfect place to showcase new and exciting works. It's so amazing that so many art forms can be in one place, and being immersed in the arts for 10 days is amazing. Every second there's something completely different from what you saw the second before."
Acceptance into the festival is a two-year process that includes nomination to the event, Church said. Interlochen -- named by
Church said the students have not had a chance to get together since May, when they staged the show at
They'll gather at
They'll make up for lost time along the way.
"We will actually start rehearsing in the airport," Church said. "And we have had some
The troupe will give four performances at the
Church said the students will each pack three of the candles, along with their costume, to avoid costly overseas shipping and to simplify their production.
"What's interesting about the Fringe is that every theater company has just two hours. You move in, the audience comes in, you perform, you strike the set, all in two hours. The students will actually wear their costumes to and from the theater," he said. "The other interesting thing is that each theater company has to go out and bring in their audience. So one of the days we'll be going out on the high street, which is also called the Royal Mile, and perform there for about 20 minutes just to recruit an audience. They'll pass out flyers on other days."
The students will stay in private dorm rooms at the
Church said the trip not only will expose them to "the amazingly wide range of theater that is out there" but also will give them a memorable last week with their Interlochen friends. Most of all it will give them valuable experience and bragging rights.
"For the rest of their lives on their resumes they'll be able to say, 'I performed 'Sonnets for an Old Century' at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. That's a huge thing," he said.
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