AHSTF is a celebrated organization that brings theatre students from all over the United States together, providing a place on the international stage to showcase their talent and gain valuable performance experience. Only fifty schools are given this opportunity per year and Lawrenceville was selected to return and participate in 2022! Our group will gather for meetings and rehearsals in the spring term, and, prior to our program departure, reconvene at Lawrenceville at the end of July for final rehearsals and preparations, one week ahead of our departure. We then embark for our two-week journey to the UK and the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
Our journey begins with a three-day stay in London, England, to visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and London’s National Theatre, explore the Queen’s Walk, and see a production in London’s historic theatre district, the West End. We will also see the sites of London proper, including London Tower, Big Ben, and Buckingham Palace. On day four, we venture north to Edinburgh, Scotland, and take in the historic sites of Scotland, seeing the countryside, enjoying a guided tour of the city, visiting the Royal Mile, Holyrood Palace (1128 AD), Edinburgh Castle (850 BC) and the famous Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an annual tradition since 1950. In both London and Edinburgh, we will be staying in dormitory lodgings, with meals, guides, and transportation all provided through AHSTF.
Our focus for this Harkness Travel Program will be our very own staged production at the Edinburgh Fringe, performing before live, paying audiences four times alongside other high schools from across the United States. We will also experience a number of other performances as audience members, taking in the spirit and enormity of the Edinburgh Fringe as the “world’s largest arts festival.” Therein, students will engage in the collaborative process of theatre, working as a team to create, busk, and perform all aspects of our production. This includes designing and executing scenic, lighting, sound, and costume elements, as well as forging through the rehearsal process, working as a tight ensemble to produce stageworthy work on a semi-professional level, investing in the process and each other. Students will engage in several weeks of genuine artistic exploration, leadership, and development, growing individually as performers and technicians, navigating our new-found urban environments with supervision, all while experiencing a cultural festival as a group. Leading up to and during the trip we will foster leadership within the group, dig into the history of theatre and its development as an artform, live in the moment, and journal throughout our rehearsals and performance schedules while in Scotland.
Our program will demand strong support from each student participant, working as a team, as well as a healthy amount of time for rehearsal and preparation, both in the spring term prior and during our mandatory, pre-trip brushup week when students are required to return to Lawrenceville in late July prior to leaving for the UK (see below). There will be regular meetings during the spring term to prepare for the program, as well as regular evening rehearsals. Students who are cast as actors will be responsible for memorization and assisting in the carrying, setup, and strike of production elements. Students who are cast as technicians will be responsible for technical components, including some design and running of production elements during the technical rehearsals and performances. In addition, this trip will involve a moderate amount of walking as we trek the hilly, cobbled-stone streets of old Edinburgh and London. If this type of adventure sounds exciting, then this is the trip for you!