Over the summer, the Theater Arts Program (TAP) sponsored a trip to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. TAP performed a play written by recent graduate Grace Curley named ‘Your Children Will Follow’. They performed the play from Aug. 4 to Aug. 12 at Greenside, in Riddle’s Court Willow Studio.
According to cast member and senior Nick Rubano, the play is a drama that focuses on a dysfunctional family that follows the story of a father who tries to raise his children with a very religious way of life. In trying to live a perfect life of high standards, they go through identity crises to find their own way.
The British Theater Guide, who gave the play three stars, said “This is a play about people navigating the complexities of their love of each other, as well as their own needs in figuring out who they are.”
According to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival website, it is the largest performing arts festival and exposition market for professional development in the world. At this year’s Fringe Festival, 67 countries were represented along with 1,359 accredited arts industry members in attendance to buy work and support artists beyond this event.
“People were so open and willing to meet you and talk to you,” said Rubano. “It was really validating to be part of a show on that scale and I’m really grateful to be part of the experience.”
“A surreal and incredible experience, just so much greater than I could ever expect,” said cast member and senior Jordan Pita. “Getting to know the area, new people, and new artists was truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.”
Jerry Goehring, Executive Director for Performing Arts, has been wanting TAP to be part of the Fringe Festival for a long time. After Goehring pitched the idea to the creative team, Abby Palmer, the production stage manager, went to different departments to fundraise for the trip. Sacred Heart University was the only United States university to fund its performances at the festival. “What a way for this program to grow,” said Pita.
‘Your Children Will Follow’ received a four-star review and nominations for best new writing and best overseas show from the Derek Awards Edinburgh. They called the play “a powerful drama.”
“Watching a show grow from an idea into a fully-fledged project with so much creativity, and so much thought and detail into each moment was really cool,” said Rubano.
“It was really cool, birthing a new work from the start, creating and originating a role and working with a stage manager, producer and the other cast,” said Pita.
Casting the father character proved to be a bit of a challenge until they found Canadian Justin Hay. Hay wanted to find a reason to attend the Fringe Festival once again after attending the previous year. After learning his stage blocking and performing the show once, he was off to Edinburg with the rest of the TAP crew.
“Opening night was such a memorable moment, we had a great crowd with an almost sold-out theater,” said Pita. “In the end, it was a bit emotional, we’d done all this work and now we’re finally here.”