Earlham College | Edinburgh Festival Fringe
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Edinburgh Festival Fringe

The Earlham College Theatre Arts Department adapted the script, created costumes, original music, props — including a bird with a 16-foot wingspan — and more for the April production of “The Misadventures of Martin Hathaway.”

Then they carried everything to Scotland in suitcases for four performances during the Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of an EPIC Advantage program.

Associate Professor of Theatre Arts Lynne Perkins Socey knew that the 17 students would gain confidence and strengthen collaboration skills in a professional environment.

“Learning flexibility, resilience, communication and creative-problem solving skills were an added bonus,” she says. “Also, it was important for students to develop their personal aesthetic and sense of the kind of art they want to create as responsible citizen artists.”

Edinburgh Festival Fringe

EPIC Journey

Brianna Miller ’21 says she has always been soft-spoken and afraid to share her thoughts in fear of facing rejection.

“Throughout the creation of “The Misadventures of Martin Hathaway,” I learned how to speak my mind and take on more of a leadership role in group situations,” Miller says. “I plan to pursue a career in acting. Including this experience on my résumé will not only be impressive because not many actors have performed internationally, but also because it shows that I am adaptable and committed to creating something for a long period of time.”

Student Blog

Nicole Hankins '20 was in charge of the lighting design for “The Misadventures of Martin Hathaway.” In addition, she served as the student marketing lead. Nicole took a lot of photos and ran the student blog about their adventures.

Photo Gallery

The Trip to Scotland

Edinburgh -03Lynne Perkins Socey, who wrote and directed the production, says she saw lots of student-growth during the trip.

“They grew in self-care, ensemble care, personal confidence, and clarity and focus about what they want from the rest of their education and the kinds of summer, internship and/or experiential learning opportunities that will help them move toward their post-graduation goals,” she says.

The group spent spring semester developing the production through a faculty-student collaborative research course and did three public performances in Richmond in April. They returned to Richmond three days before the flight to Edinburgh for final adjustments and to pack the show for safe and efficient travel.

Ruhk's HeadThe Ruhk, or large bird, was created out of cardboard pieces that could be easily folded into suitcases and then rebuilt in Scotland.

In addition to the four performances, students were required to see at least 15 productions presented by other Edinburgh Festival Fringe participants and share their experiences with the rest of the group.

“My favorite part of the experience was being able to see theatre that excited me and inspired me every single day,” Miller says.

Laurence Ruberl ’20, who acted and served as assistant sound designer, agrees.

“Touring a show was a good experience,” he says. “But the coolest part was seeing a large variety of shows. I saw 15 shows, and nine were musicals. There was a huge variety. There were 4,000-5,000 acts set up in churches, bars, theaters, outdoor spaces, anywhere you can set up a show. It was super cool, and Scotland is dope.”

Edinburgh -05Ruberl adapted a collection of Edgar Allan Poe’s short stories and poems into a student-led production he directed this semester that was largely inspired by the shows he saw in Edinburgh.

The group also toured Edinburgh and the surrounding countryside, including Loch Lomond and Stirling Castle, attended the Royal Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle, and participated in a Scottish Ceilidh.

Plans are underway to adapt the sequel and produce “The Further Misadventures of Martin Hathaway: Shipwrecked Off Heramathea’s Cove” during spring of 2021, and then as an EPIC Advantage program, take that production to the 2021 Edinburgh Festival Fringe in August.

Read More About EPIC

Earlham delivers an extraordinary liberal arts experience through the EPIC initiative. EPIC is a four-year journey that integrates the academic major with transformative learning experiences, including research, study abroad, internships, and leadership development, to prepare students exceptionally well for life beyond Earlham.

Faculty Leaders

Lynne Perkins Socey, M.F.A.
Associate Professor of Theatre Arts

Lynne Perkins Socey has worked as a professional actor, director, casting director and producer for nearly 30 years, directing a wide range of productions including Into The Woods, Othello, Arsenic & Old Lace, The Laramie Project, Pinocchio, A Midsummer Night's Dream, How I Learned to Drive, Anything Goes, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Good Person of Sichuan and Charlotte's Web for organizations such as the Indiana Repertory Theatre, Beef & Boards Dinner Theatre, the Human Race Theatre Company, Phoenix Theatre, Lilly Theatre at the Children’s Museum, City Center Children’s Theatre, Brown County Playhouse and many university theatres.


Lynne Perkins Socey

Sarah White, M.F.A.
Visiting Assistant Professor in Theatre Design

A self-described “storyteller of all mediums”, Sarah White’s theatrical career has spanned 13 cities, six states and two continents over the past 15 years, including two shows as a performer in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Sarah’s work as an actor, scenic designer, painter, and properties artisan has been seen regionally in the U.S. at companies such as the Wisdom Tooth Theatre Project and Summit Performance (Indianapolis, Indiana); Minnetrista Theatre Preserves (Munice, Indiana); New Harmony Theatre (Evansville, Indiana); The Shawnee Summer Theatre of Greene County (Bloomfield, Indiana); Berkshire Theatre Group (Stockbridge, Massachusetts); The Texas Shakespeare Festival (Kilgore, Texas); Crane River Theatre Company (Kearney, Nebraska); The Coterie Theatre, The Unicorn Theatre and Heart of America Shakespeare Festival (Kansas City, Missouri); The Lied Center for Performing Arts (Lincoln, Nebraska) and the Hollins Theatre Institute.

Sarah White

Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

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