Crater drama department picked for Scottish festival

The Crater High School Renaissance Academy Drama Department has been chosen by the American High School Theatre Festival to perform in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August.

Crater is one of 156 high schools that will represent the AHSTF at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, one of the world's largest arts festivals.

The high school's drama department was selected to perform at the festival out of 1,728 schools nominated.

Festival participants were chosen based on the quality of recent performances, technical ability, recommendations, overall dramatic excellence, honors and awards, philosophy and building community, said Crater drama director Matthew Reynolds.

Every August, artists from all over the world gather in Edinburgh and perform on stages everywhere from playgrounds to conference rooms, from city parks to churches. The festival includes more than 1,800 different performances of music, theater, dance and comedy during its three-week run.

"There are 20,000 performers," Reynolds said. "They're not all high school students, but this high school program has been featured for the past 15 years."

Crater is the fourth school from Oregon in the past 15 years to be selected for the honor, he said. Reynolds was nominated by Chris Sackett, associate professor and Theatre Arts Department chairman at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, who worked with Reynolds when the Crater director was earning his master's degree in teaching.

Crater students will spend two weeks in Scotland and England, Reynolds said. They will perform four times at the festival, he said.

"The students wanted to show an international audience what life is like in Central Point, Oregon," Reynolds said. "They will perform four or five 10-minute plays that highlight life in Central Point. They want to write their own stuff."

The trip costs about $6,000 for each student, including airfare, accommodations, food, transportation and tours, he said.

Reynolds said he will meet with students and parents June 2 to determine how many students will go on the trip.

The drama department is seeking donations for the trip, and students and parents are already beginning fundraising efforts. To donate, call 494-6348 or e-mail

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or

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