By Pauline Vinson
A new sense of excitement can be felt around Piedmont High School’s drama department. PHS advanced acting students and their director, drama teacher Kimberly Taylor, have just learned that the highly competitive American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF) has selected them to perform their production of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire at the renowned Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland this summer.
The largest art festival in the world, the Fringe brings together more than a thousand companies from different countries to perform in Scotland’s capital city.
Credited for launching the careers of performers such as Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie and the cast of Monty Python, The Fringe is also noted for presenting world premieres of such plays as Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.
Of nearly 2,000 applicants, PHS is one of only 50 schools chosen to perform in
Scotland. AHSTF selected PHS not only the for the outstanding quality of Streetcar, but also for the high standard of excellence of the PHS Theatre Department, many of whose graduates have recently been admitted to theater programs at NYU, Northwestern, UCLA, SUNY-Purchase and the University of Minnesota-Guthrie.
The award allows PHS to present Streetcar four times for an international audience at the Fringe.
“This is truly an amazing opportunity and an incredible learning experience for our students,” Taylor said. “It is also a fantastic chance to showcase the PHS drama department before an international audience.”
Taylor said she chose Streetcar, a play known for its mature themes and emotional intensity, because it "is a theatrical masterpiece that I've always wanted to tackle. This year, I knew I had the actors who could rise to the challenge, and they all surpassed expectations.”
Members of the community and theater supporters are invited to attend a special, one-night benefit performance of A Streetcar Named Desire on Thursday, April 5, at 7 p.m. at the Alan Harvey Theatre in Piedmont High School.
General admission tickets are $50. VIP tickets are $75, and include an after-theater party at the Piedmont Center for the Arts, 801 Magnolia Ave., across the street from the high school.
Tax-deductible donations and ticket purchases can be made online at acting.phswebs.com or by check payable to Associated Parents Club of Piedmont (APCP), and mailed to P.O. Box 11192, Piedmont, CA 94611.