Sarah Jinich ’15 shares highlights from England and Scotland.
Greetings from Scotland!
As the first blogger of a trip that’s already been going on for a week and a half, let me give you all a quick overview of what we’ve been up to! After 3 intense days of rehearsal at DA, our group of students and faculty boarded an overnight plane to London, where we spent 2 days exploring. We were lucky enough to get a tour of the Globe Theatre and have an acting workshop with one of the actresses who works there. She showed us creative ways to approach performing Shakespeare, which can be pretty daunting, and challenged us to look at how we can convey an emotion or mood in less common, more inventive ways, such as using pauses or physical proximity, rather than more obvious methods such as volume.
Another highlight of our London experience was seeing the musical War Horse. In the musical, three actors play a single horse, each controlling a different portion of the puppet horse’s body. They were incredibly synchronized and it was easy to forget that the horses weren’t actually real. It was a very moving show, and many members of the theatre were moved to tears (ask Austin Parenteau and Mr. Yager how they cried like a babies).
The next morning we woke up early and met at 5:30am to catch a train at King’s Cross station (unfortunately not the one to Hogwarts) to Edinburgh where we would be staying for the rest of our trip. After being toured around the city, we crashed, eager to beat the jet lag.
Throughout our time in Edinburgh, we’ve participated in an amalgam of activities. One evening we learned traditional Celidah (pronounced kay-lee) dancing, which is harder than it looks. Talha Tariq burned the floor with his sick moves, and all the girls from the other schools were clamoring to dance with him. We also attended a musical improve workshop by a company called Baby Wants Candy (They often base in NYC, we encourage checking them out). In the workshop we were walked through the basics of creating an improvised musical and were challenged to create an opening musical number in groups of about 20, on the spot. The professionals make it look effortless, but it’s harder than one would think. It was such a fun and unique experience, and something I appreciated was seeing some of the students that came on the trip in the tech crew showing their performance skills and fearlessly jumping into the acting activities.
So far we have performed Looking After Norman twice, and we’ve had a really positive reaction. One of our performances had about eight times the average Fringe Festival audience size. The cast and crew had the honor of meeting the playwright of our show, and later in the week we will get to meet some of the people that our characters were fashioned after.
We’ve had the opportunity to meet a bunch of other people from other high schools that are at the Fringe Festival with the same program we’re with. My old high school is here and it’s been awesome getting to share this experience with some of my Deerfield friends and also some friends from my hometown. Anna Laurenzo’s old high school is also here, as well as schools from Ohio, Alaska, California, parts of Canada, and New Jersey (Allie H. and Charlie B. we’ve met a lot of people that know you!).
Some of the shows I’ve been able to see this week have included Dracula, an improv musical called Hamlet II: The Fresh Prince of Denmark, a play about con artists called Contrast, and shows from other high schools including The Comedy of Errors, and Midsummer Jersey (A Midsummer Night’s Dream mixed with Jersey Shore). Everywhere we turn on the streets there is something exciting happening. There is so much talent packed into this city right now, the Fringe is truly a one-of-a-kind environment and we’re all really grateful to be able to be soaking in all the culture around us.
Hopefully I will not be the only one that blogs this entire trip and we can update on how the rest of the week goes.