This August, students from the Oxford High School theatre department will travel to Edinburgh, Scotland after being selected for the third time as one of 50 high schools in America to perform at the Fringe Festival.
The American High School Theatre Festival takes almost 2,000 high school nominations from outside theatre sources annually. Then the AHSTF narrows down the schools by looking at a compilation of the department’s work, students, and theatre involvement. Only 50 high schools in the country are invited to attend the festival each year.
Being the largest performing arts festival in the world, Fringe attracts thousands of actors, writers, producers, and theatre lovers each year. OHS has attended the festival twice before in 2007 and 2009.
In contrast to previous years, Oxford High School will be taking a darker piece, “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” by Phyllis Nagy. Based off of the popular book by Patricia Highsmith, the story is complex and twisted.
Cast members auditioned for the show last August and have been rehearsing since February. Rehearsals during the summer have been long, sometimes lasting up to eight hours. But the students are just as excited and eager, nonetheless.
OHS Theatre Director John Davenport is excited for the future since all but two students will be back for the fall theatre season. “This is an extremely talented group and they will only be better after experiencing Fringe. It’s unique and I see students grow tremendously when it’s all said and done.”
The department will perform “The Talented Mr. Ripley” at 7 p.m. this Friday and Saturday at the Kayla Sue Mize auditorium.
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