What does performing at the Fringe mean to you?

Doug Black

When I was in Starlight Express, I felt a kind of joy and pride in my craft that I hadn't ever really experienced, either with other theatre shows or in other areas of my life. The people I had befriended who were in the show felt closer during our performances than in rehearsals, people outside of it would celebrate a job well done or ask me about the times it would be showing; it felt like we really had left a positive impact on the world. I'm going to the Fringe Festival so that I can help spread that positive impact to people from other cultures.  By putting ourselves out there during the Fringe, we can use the joy of performance to come together with people we have never met before, and leave a positive impact on other parts of the world by sending them home with a piece of our world

 

Sam Davidson

Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is an awesome experience because it allows me as an actor to bring theatrical entertainment and my perspective of it to an entirely new, international audience. Performing internationally brings its own welcome challenges, but the importance of an international theatrical community such as the Edinburgh Fringe is more and more valued and crucial to the modern world we find ourselves in today. An international community of artists is important because it allows for the free sharing of ideas from a  variety of backgrounds and can impact people’s ideas and lives in ways that cannot be otherwise be achieved without the sharing of other perspectives. The Edinburgh Fringe is more important now than ever before because its ability to change people is greater than ever before, and I am honored to be able to take part in that changing of people’s hearts and minds through theatre.

 

Adrianna Delorenzo

Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the most incredible opportunity that has ever been presented to me. While, yes, it is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I can’t wait to share the experience with the cast, it’s about more than that to me. I do theatre because it gives me a unique and beautiful outlet of expression and storytelling. Every musical and play has a message of some kind, whether it is as simple as falling in love with the wrong person or as complex as expressing issues like depression and substance abuse. Being able to perform a show both in the United States and half way across the world in Scotland is a truly special thing. Our performance will be able to reach different people than those we normally see in our area.  Maybe we can influence one person in Scotland who will be inspired to continue to spread positivity and change lives. The Fringe Festival is the world’s largest gathering of people who all want the same thing - to express themselves and learn about different cultures and art forms. As a high-schooler, to be a part of something so much larger than myself is as special as it gets.

 

Willa Denton

I am beyond thrilled to be participating in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and getting to be a part of Rock of Ages. Edinburgh is such a beautiful place with so much history, going with my friends and performing is an unbelievable opportunity. The Fringe Festival is the world’s  biggest performing arts festival and getting to be a part of it, especially as a high school student, is a huge honor. Everything about this trip is going to be a great learning experience: performing, seeing other performances, experiencing the culture, having new responsibilities, and much more. Two years ago my sister went to the Fringe Festival, her description of being a part of the production and being at the Festival seemed life changing. The way she talked about her journey; the moment they got in the U.K, every production, walking the streets of Edinburgh - honestly, I couldn’t imagine anything better. When I heard that West Potomac was chosen to perform again and that rising freshmen were allowed to audition, I knew I had to try. The moment I learned that I had been cast is an unforgettable memory. Getting this chance means so much to me, I know many people will never get to experience this and I cannot be thankful enough. I am ecstatic to be a part of the Beyond The Page Theatre Company at West Potomac and this phenomenal experience where I have the privilege of indulging my love of theatre and enhancing my acting by going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

 

Natalie Edwards

Getting to travel to a foreign country and perform a show that we have worked so hard on is a once in a lifetime experience that means very much to me. Theatre and travel are both unique things that are fun and exciting, but can also teach us a lot about the world around us and also about ourselves. Combining the exhilarating atmosphere of new foreign culture with thousands of new and different shows from all around the world will make for a trip we will never forget. I just can't wait to share our show with a new and different audience. I’m excited to learn from and connect with experienced actors from all around the world, students from different schools, and my own cast mates. 

 

Helen Kitrosser

To many, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is a "once in a life time" opportunity. For me that is not the case. I have been blessed to be part of a theatre company which had the chance to go twice and I seized both of those opportunities. I have no interest in replacing the memories I made on my first voyage but I am looking to recreate the feeling. That feeling was being part of something bigger than I was. Performing at the Fringe gives you a chance to be part of something bigger than your school, community, and country. It allows you to be part of the world. The mixing of cultures and identities is something rare. At the Fringe, I don't feel like a tourist; simply looking in on something. Instead I feel like a person engaging within an international community; I feel a  connection. That is a feeling I can't wait to experience again. It's truly an honor to be part of something so fun and global. 

 

Emily Lyon

While being a part of productions in Virginia is great, and I have loved learning new things from each of them, there is something about taking our production overseas which creates a whole new area for growth. Having the opportunity to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe in 2015 was a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Getting to go back, and this time as tech, is just the cherry on top. When we perform shows in Virginia, we have a community base. We have our “groupies” who come and see almost all the shows and, of course, we have new patrons who haven't ever seen one of our productions.  But we know our audience. We know the people, and they know us. They know to watch for an upcoming show and generally know what weekends we have shows running every year. However, in Scotland, we don't have that knowledge base.  We don't have our “groupies.” We have to really prove ourselves, show why we are an award winning company, why we sell out shows and why people ask us to bring back a show for a second run. The audience at the Fringe Festival doesn't know us and that is so exciting. We get to prove ourselves to a whole new audience. Getting the chance to bring this production to the Fringe helps us to step out of our comfort zone and allows for all of our company to become better and grow together learning new things along the way. So, yes, I am excited to go to the festival, but I’m beyond excited to learn new things on the road there!

 

Tony Lemus

Going to the Fringe Festival in Scotland to perform is the best opportunity that I have ever received. As someone who wants to pursue performing arts as a career, it means the world to me that I can share a fantastic show with my fellow cast mates and people that I have never met before who will come to see our show. There are other aspects besides performing that make this a once in a lifetime experience, such as seeing the other talent that will be at the Fringe. Seeing a variety of different kinds of performances, whether falling under theatre or not, will allow me to have an expanded education on performance and also influence me as a performer. I feel so lucky to be able to do what I love in front of audiences in another country and to be part of such an amazing program. I can't wait for Scotland!

 

Tessa Madar

Performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival is an opportunity many people will only have once, so I feel very blessed to be performing at the festival this summer for the second time. My first experience at the Fringe is one that I will never forget. The opportunity to meet so many talented performers and see so many unique shows is one that you will not find anywhere else. Theatre has helped me overcome many insecurities and gain confidence when speaking in public, something I have always found difficult. So the Fringe Festival means that much more because it provides an audience full of people from all across the world and gives me a chance to express myself to that many more people. 

 

Max Marshall

To me, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival means that I, and all of the other actors performing, get to spread our voices all across the world. As we all know, performing on stage is a way for actors to share their voice with the community who comes to see their shows. However, since almost all performers don't perform daily on Broadway, the extent of an actor’s reach is frequently limited to the small community where their company is located. With the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this changes completely. People from all around the world will get to hear voices that they would have never gotten to appreciate without the Fringe. Producing a show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival also means we get to bring our theatrical culture and traditions to another part of the world, to share it with audiences who might have never heard or seen things like it before.

 

Sheridan Phalen

Being able to perform Rock of Ages at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, is a once in a lifetime opportunity which I never dreamed possible for me. Aside from the chance to perform in an international setting, I see many other rewards, including a deeper learning and involvement in the theatre arts, gaining more personal and professional responsibility, and earning more self awareness as a dancer. It is an honor to be one of the students to be performing with Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School and bringing the show to an international audience at the Fringe Festival. While I get to experience this fantastic opportunity of performing the show, I hope that many, many others, both locally and abroad, will be able to experience the show and benefit from it in that way as well.

 

Lorna Ryan

When I perform, my goal is to impact someone's life in some way. I feel like that's something we as a department do with our shows. We try to spread awareness and joy in our community. But now we get to do that in another part of the world, not just our own community of Fairfax County, Virginia. The Fringe is filled with shows and artists there to spread joy and awareness. Performing at the Fringe is sharing love and art. Everyone is showing their art, hoping to change someone's life, even just a little bit. So, performing at the Fringe means sharing my love for art with the rest of the world.  

 

Valentina Selnick

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest celebration of arts and culture in the world. As someone who greatly enjoys the arts - whether visual, performing, dance, music, or any other genre - being able to participate in the Fringe Festival is nothing less than an experience of a lifetime. Not only do I have the opportunity to share my performance and humor with others, I have the chance to experience art and culture from around the world. This experience gives me the chance to learn about performance and exhibition from a wide diversity of different people. Better yet, I have the opportunity to experience this rich wave of culture firsthand. I know the memories and experiences I bring home with me will last me a lifetime, and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival will allow me to grow as an artist, but most importantly, as a person.  

 

Josh Stein

Theatre means so much to me and performing at the Fringe is a dream come true. The reason I've always loved theatre is because of how it enables me to connect with a community of like-minded people. The theatre community is almost a safety net for me. Whenever I struggle, as an artist or even in life, I know that there are a million people just like me who share the same struggles and are, in a sense, there for me through our great art. And being able to perform at the Fringe - the literal pantheon of theatre - makes me feel so close and connected with this community.  It makes me feel like I am making a genuine contribution to the theatre world. Performing here makes me feel like I matter. 

 

Josh Turner

Performing at the Fringe festival is a really special experience for me. I have always loved being involved in theatre, and being able to express myself through art in the largest theatre festival in the world is such a meaningful opportunity. Getting out of my comfort zone and trying new things is part of what I love most about performing, and traveling to Scotland with an 80s rock musical definitely qualifies as "out of my comfort zone." I have never been granted an opportunity like this before, and it is certainly something I'll never forget.

 

 

McKenna Wirth

Performing overseas is an incredible experience that I would never have if not Fringe Festival. It's a chance to relate to strangers without the safety net of a common national identity. It's a chance to experience another culture and explore new forms of media in a totally different setting. It's a chance to grow into a more worldly person. It's a chance to observe and work among professionals in the largest celebration of my passion. There is truly nowhere else in the world I would rather spend my time and I am very thankful for this opportunity. My family is not active in the theatre community, so I would never have discovered this sanctuary by myself. After reading about the history of the Fringe, I feel even stronger that this is a place to do what you love with others who love it as well. Something absolutely magical happens every summer in Edinburgh, and I feel blessed to be privileged enough to bear witness to this beautiful celebration. 

© 2019 Beyond the Page Theatre Company at West Potomac High School.