EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Merrimack Valley

October 26, 2012

Lawrence High kids raising funds to perform in Scotland

LAWRENCE — From redeeming cans and bottles to collecting donations at local businesses, students in the Performing and Fine Arts High School are busy raising money so they can attend the 2013 Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland next August.

The Fringe is one of the largest performing arts showcases in the world and attracts thousands of actors, directors, writers, producers, students and theatergoers from around the globe.

The 16 Lawrence students were selected to participate in the American High School Theatre Festival, which runs in conjunction with the Fringe Festival. They were picked by a board of theater professionals following two days of auditions.

They will be accompanied by theater teacher Matthew Evangelista and four adult chaperones.

Families of the students have already made a deposit on the trip which costs $6,000 per person.

Students hope to make a dent in the fundraising with nights of comedy by students from the Performing and Fine Arts High School on Nov. 8-10 and Nov. 15-17.

In Scotland, the Lawrence theater troupe will perform “Circle Game,” an original play which highlights the conflicted lives of inner city youth and the vicious cycle of destruction they live in.

Among the topics it explores includes gang, domestic violence, teenage pregnancy and racial bias.

“Circle Game” was created as a concept by Evangelista and Jennifer Dargie, heads of drama at Lawrence High. Cast members developed the script based on real-life experiences in Lawrence. Evangelista and Dargie wrote the scenes with students coming up with the words that fit those scenes.

“They’ve earned and deserve this trip because they are the heart and soul of the project. We want to make sure we go to represent Lawrence, to bring our artistic talent to the world and the community,” Evangelista said.

He said students from the Performing and Fine Arts High School on the Lawrence High campus have been nominated to attend the festival two or three times before, but were not able due to a lack of financial resources.

“I think they’re ready to move up and say to the community, ‘We want to be a representative for theater and the arts in Lawrence.”

If you go:

What: A Night of Comedy by students in the Performing and Fine Arts High School

When: Nov. 8, 9 and 10 and Nov. 15, 16 and 17 at 7 p.m.; Nov. 10 and Nov. 17 at 2 p.m.

Where: Performing Arts Center, Lawrence High School, 70 N. Parish Road.

Cost: $5.

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