Lynne 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.
The 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.”
Ruberl 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.