It all started with an invitation. Or, more precisely, the lack of an invitation. After eight performance groups showed up uninvited to the Edinburgh International Festival in 1947, they decided to perform anyway—on the fringe, which spurred the creation of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Today, the Fringe is the world’s largest arts festival. It’s a three-week celebration held annually each August in the streets of Edinburgh. In 2017, 450,000 visitors experienced everything from theater, comedy, and musicals to dance, visual art, and street performances, all hosted in unusual, atypical venues.
Each year, thousands of performances and artists converge on Edinburgh, but this coming summer, there’s one group that may capture your attention—The Hun School. This August, a group of 25 students will be traveling to London and Edinburgh for 14 days, marking the first time The Hun School will be participating in the world-renowned festival. Invited by the High School Theatre Festival to apply for consideration in the fall of 2017, the School was selected as a finalist last Christmas. “The High School Theatre Festival determines admission based on a school’s body of work,” says Bill Esher, theatre director.
“It’s a transformative experience for every single kid,” he says, explaining that the students will be responsible for so much more than just putting on a performance. “They engage the venues, they have to set up and break down the stages and perform in just two hours, and they have to do the marketing. The kids will even be busking—standing out on the street alongside world-class artists enticing bypassers to come and see us.”
In addition to their own performances, students will have the opportunity to attend performances, explore the historical, walkable city of Edinburgh, and enjoy a night at The Royal Tattoo, a particular highlight for Mr. Esher, who has attended and performed at the festival previously. “You’re in this stadium and it’s an incredibly well-known event and they announce all of the high schools. Suddenly, the whole place is applauding for you like you’re a rock star. It’s such a supportive environment and really incredible.”
Fundraising is underway to support The Hun School's participation in the Fringe Festival. While the Janus Players do not typically charge for tickets to their shows, they have traditionally accepted donations for various causes. In 2018-2019, all donations collected at performances will be used to offset the cost of Festival participation. If you are interested in discussing a larger contribution, please contact Andrew Hamlin
, assistant headmaster for advancement.