PDS Fringe Festival Trip: Has it Been Canceled Indefinitely?

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The Cast of The Old Man and the Old Moon (Photo/ PDS Flickr)

Emma Ozdogan, Staff Writer

According to several students involved with the PDS theater program, the summer of 2020 was going to be one of their best summers yet. Many members of the program were set to attend the 2020 Edinburgh Fringe Festival from August 1 to 12 to perform their hit production, 26 Pebbles. The month-long festival, which has been held annually in the Scottish city of Edinburgh since 1947, is an international showcase dedicated to comedy and theater. Each year, several high schools are invited to perform their hit productions at the festival, and it is a great opportunity for many theater students to perform for a larger audience. Unfortunately, due to the world-wide COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was canceled for the first time in its 73 year history. This has left many members of the PDS theater community heartbroken. Thankfully, PDS is set to attend the festival during the following summer of 2021, but the trip would not include the graduating class of 2020, who are the most affected by this unfortunate situation. For many seniors, the Fringe Festival was set to be the highlight of their high school theater careers, until all high school participation was terminated in late March and the entire festival was canceled in early April. 

Several members of the theater community have weighed in on the situation themselves: Sophomore and tech crew member Sanjana Paramesh states: “Now that the festival itself has been canceled, I think it sheds light on how serious [COVID-19] really is.” Fellow sophomore and actor Joe Lippman agrees: “It’s sad, but it’s important that we be careful [next year] because it’s dangerous to attend a huge public event like Fringe. If anything I just feel lucky that I still get the chance to go,” referencing the fact that this year’s freshmen, sophomores, and juniors will still be able to attend PDS’s 2021 trip. As previously mentioned, PDS is planning on attending the 2021 festival, but many other high schools are not so lucky and may not be able to participate next year. In the end, sophomore Andre Williams sums up the theater community’s reaction the best: “I believe that it was canceled for the right reasons, but the fact that PDS has the opportunity to attend next year certainly alleviates some of the pain.”

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