The Edinburgh Project is a unique opportunity offered to qualified Theatre Arts majors to create and perform a piece for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. On alternating years, a select number of majors are invited to enroll in Theatre Arts 275: The Edinburgh Project, from which an ensemble theatre piece is developed and then performed in Edinburgh in August. Each section of Theatre Arts 275 focuses on a topic that is explored throughout the semester, resulting in the selection and/or devising of a performance piece. Following the semester, the project has two intensive rehearsal periods, one in late May and the other in early August. The piece is then performed for one week at the festival and over a weekend at Penn in September.
Recent devised projects include: “Nothing but a Hopeful Bit of Hallucination,” a collaboratively created performance piece drawing on the words of, and ideas expressed in, T. S. Elliot’s The Wasteland, Allen Ginsberg’s Howl, John Gardner’s Grendel, and other poetic and fictional works; and “Searching for Spalding Gray,” a collage of documentary, storytelling, and scenes inspired the life, work, disappearance, and death of the American performance artist. Other projects have included ensemble-based interpretations of plays by Charles Busch, William Inge, William Shakespeare, August Strindberg, and Thornton Wilder. (See “Previous Seasons.”)
Participation in the Edinburgh Project is both a privilege and a responsibility; the ensemble work requires a high level of maturity, responsibility, and discipline, as well as a commitment to the collaborative process. Students selected will demonstrate evidence of these traits in all their coursework and will have a record of reliable contribution to our productions, superior participation and performance in the classroom—in short, a solid history of dedication to an exploration of the theatre-making process and to the Theatre Arts Program.