Opening night: Director Laura Lang-Ree has her cast dreaming of Scotland. “You can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like,” she said.
The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the oldest of its kind. Harker’s participation started in 2007; the cast of “Pippin” performed in 2011. “It’s mind-blowing, the innovation and the quality of work that happens at the Fringe,” said Lang-Ree. “Attending the Fringe is like no other experience for our students. One of the main ways that we grow [as artists] is by observing and learning and then trying it for ourselves.”
The first day in Scotland was great, said Lang-Ree. “Cast members were still creating funny, thoughtful new moments for their characters and all of us had such a blast watching each other grow in rehearsal, really for the last time.”
Later, the cast worked the Royal Mile, the main drag, to draw an audience. Their opening show drew more than 60, a good number considering all the competition.
“I found that when we went out in costume, the process of selling our show was much more effective,” recalled Madi Lang-Ree, now graduated, who played the Baker’s Wife. “People would stop and stare at us and the princesses were very popular among kids. Just trying to sell our craft, was so inspiring, especially since that’s what I want to do with my life,” she added.
As their last show closed, the finality hit home. Many of the group were tearful as the show ended. “I think I will remember the seniors after the final performance the most,” said Zoe Woehrmann, now graduated. “We were all just so emotional after finishing our last performance at Harker. For some of us, it had been 13 years coming, and we all definitely put all we had into that last performance.”
More about Harker’s appearance at Fringe – including the street performances, the lightning-quick setup and teardown, the exciting adventures in Scotland – can be found in the full media-rich feature story, including two videos, online: http://longform.harker.org/?p=6.