Sunday, December 14, 2003

St. Ursula troupe headed to Scotland

St. Ursula Academy will be making Cincinnati theater history in August, when the high school sends a company of 21 to the American High School Theatre Festival at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

St. Ursula will be the first Cincinnati area school to participate in the Scottish festival, one of 37 schools chosen nationally for this 10th anniversary edition.

Theater director Dianna Davis notes, "What's cool about this is that it's really part of the Fringe (the largest theater festival in the world). Anybody can buy a ticket and attend the Fringe, but not everyone can perform."

St. Ursula will be performing the Vietnam drama A Piece of My Heart. Davis expects it to be the experience of a lifetime. A big part of it will be meeting students from across the United States who love theater the way they do. And, she says, most students never have the opportunity to say, "I performed at the Fringe."

The theater program is in fund-raising mode with a goal of $50,000. (There are many expenses attached to this adventure: production costs, including theater and sound equipment rental and general technical assistance, as well as dormitory rooms at the University of Edinburgh, transportation, meals and more.)

A raffle has already brought in close to $10,000. Students are wrapping holiday presents for tips for the next couple of weeks and selling salads during lunch hours.

A benefit performance by alums of the St. Ursula Theatre Ensemble is scheduled for Feb. 23. It will feature Karl Warden and Katie Hyle, who both performed in Fosse. There will be another fund-raiser on the opening night of Children of Eden on April 1.

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