The choir won’t be the only East performing group performing abroad. The theater department was notified on Monday, Mar. 31 that they had been one of 150 high schools accepted out of 3,000 that applied to perform in the Edinburgh, Scotland Fringe Festival in 2015.
Fringe Festival is a type of festival that encompasses a diverse array of theatrical acts, from dramatic performances, to stand-up comedy, parodies and musicals. The festival performances are balanced between hundreds of amateur, youth and even professional acts.
The theater department would travel to Edinburgh, Scotland in Aug. 2015 and perform a play or act for thousands of attendants from across the world at the event, which according to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival website, is “the largest arts festival in the world.”
The theater department has performed in the festival only once before in the past, in 1999. As of now, Mr. Capello says the main factor that will determine the theater department’s ability to go this time around is the cost of travel, and other necessary expenses.
Capello says that he hopes to be able to draw in corporate sponsors, along with a large network of parent and alumni support, in order to attain funds to go.
“It all comes down to money, and that’s the sticky point right now because I haven’t gotten the information,” Capello said. “I just don’t know. If it becomes too cost prohibitive then we will just say ‘hey we were invited that’s great, that’s an honor.’ But, we would love to go, and honestly at this point I have no idea, and unfortunately it all hinges on money”
Additionally, Capello says that since the date of the festival is still over a year and a half away, he has not yet determined what act they would perform, if they are able to go. Also, the questions of who will go is up in the air as well.
Capello believes it would be current sophomores and juniors, who may have already graduated, as well as parents, and students involved on the technical side. Capello has yet to know the specifics from the Fringe Festival about the eligibility of who attends as a part of the performing cast.
Junior Katharine Swindells has been involved in the theater department at East, working spotlights for “Shrek the Musical.” Swindells lived in London until this year. She says she was thrilled to hear about East’s opportunity to travel to the festival, which is well known to most people in the U.K.
“I’m so jealous that the theater department is going to get to go to Edinburgh Fringe Festival,” Swindells said. “My parents went like 20 years ago, and some friends of mine back home went last year. They said it was amazing. All the best comedians and speakers are there and lots of up and coming performers go as well. I’d love so much to be able to go, and I’ve been considering going next summer with friends, but I probably can’t afford it. The theater guys are so lucky to get this opportunity.”
While much of the logistics and specific information are still being determined, Capello says he will hear from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival later this month to inform him of the official cost, and other details that will make planning easier. Capello says, however, that he hopes that the theater department will get the opportunity to go.
“If we go and have this opportunity, this [trip] has an actual hands on experience,” Capello said. “We’d love to go, right now there are a lot of things to figure out, but I hope, I want to be able to do this.”