On Friday, April 6th FHS Principal, Mark Griffon received a phone call from the American High School Theatre Festivial at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh’s International Theatre Festival.
Griffon received the news that: Friendswood High School Theatre is proud to announce that FHS THEATRE has received a coveted invitation to perform at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, the world’s largest and most prestigious arts festival.
Organized by the American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF), the Scottish city is transformed each August into an international stage of 3,000 different performances of music theatre, dance and comedy during the three-week festival.
All across the nation, high schools were nominated by collegiate theater professionals and went through a rigorous application process that is “designed for schools to demonstrate that their theater program is a vibrant, culturally significant organization.”
Receiving the honor of performing at the festival during the summer of 2019 speaks to the mission of FHS THEATRE.
In the application Directors Kathy Powdrell and Amy Thornton wrote: “FHS Theatre program as our Fine Arts program reflects our mission to train students to the highest educational standards. FHS theatre reflects process- driven work, collaboration that bridges the gap between ensemble, crew and the creative team. Our students focus on strong outcomes that serve our program and our local community.”
Kathy Powdrell comments that: “After so many years, it is indeed exciting to have built a strong Theatre program worthy of such world-wide honor.”
Each year, the AHSTF Board of Advisors, reviews all applications and identifies the top high schools by analyzing recent productions, awards, community involvement, philosophies and recommendations.
Participation in the AHSTF provides students with a lifetime of educational and theatrical experiences and allows students to learn how hard work, discipline, dedication and cooperation pays off. FHS Theatre won the AHSTF award in 2001 but were not able to attend. FHS students will perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Edinburgh Scotland for the 25 Anniversary of the AHSTF.
History of AHSTF at the FRINGE in Edinburgh Scotland. In 1994, a group of high school and college drama professionals recognized the need for an international forum where outstanding high school performers could showcase their talent and gain valuable experience. The result was the creation of the American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF), which takes place every summer in Edinburgh, Scotland. AHSTF will celebrate its 24th anniversary in August 2018!
This one-of-a-kind opportunity allows high school students to perform in the world’s largest arts festival, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe! The American High School Theatre Festival runs in conjunction with the world-renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Top high school programs are nominated and must apply to participate.
FHS Theatre was asked to apply in December of 2017 and with Principal, Mark Griffon’s permission directors Amy Thornton and Kathy Powdrell.
Powdrell states: I believe being named as the number one performing arts High School in the US by the American Federation of High Schools came to the attention of the AHST at the Fringe. The process: as well as the lengthy application, FHS submitted a short video overview of the FHS Theatre Program. This is a once in a lifetime experience for students. We are very honored.
In 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival was formed as an event to promote peace and unity in the world after World War II. Eight uninvited theatre companies traveled to the Festival and participated on its ‘fringes’. These companies attracted so much attention and enthusiasm that a new festival was born, The Edinburgh Festival Fringe! Today, with nearly 3,000 productions, 40,000 performances and thousands of performers from across the globe, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the largest performance arts festival in the world!