Near the end of summer 2017, the cast of Deerfield Academy’s Pinkalicious completed their eight-month-long adventure by performing their play four times in Edinburgh, Scotland at The Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Aside from performing for international audiences, the cast members also had the chance to explore London and Edinburgh and experience the rich fabric of both cities’ art and culture.
Arriving in London on July 29, the cast had ample time to explore the city and all that it offered. They toured the Globe Theater together, participating in an acting workshop while there, and also saw the musical Kinky Boots in the West End. Cast members had the opportunity to visit other scenic spots, such as the Tate Modern, King’s Cross Station, and the British Library.
After two days in London, Deerfield’s Pinkalicious hit the road again, and arrived in Edinburgh. Director of Theater Mrs. Catriona Hynds explained, “I went to boarding school in Edinburgh for eight years and so I am very familiar with the city, but even though I left the theater scene in the mid-nineties, I am thrilled to see that it is still such a vibrant, profoundly creative city when it comes to the arts.”
The cast observed that Edinburgh was completely plastered with posters and flyers advertising the various productions. Taking full advantage of this wide range of offerings, Deerfield students sprinted from both ends of towns to catch as many as 40 different shows. They witnessed acts ranging from America’s Got Talent’s Tape Face (a mime/comedy/variety act) to SiX (about Henry VIII’s wives in a female pop band) to Baby Wants Candy (an entirely improvised musical).
One of the most notable, however, was Speaking in Tongues. Not only was it “beautifully acted” and “incredible,” their very cast also attended a production of Deerfield’s Pinkalicious.
“That performance of Pinkalicious was my favorite because everyone was so energized knowing that these actors we respected were there, and the show went really well,”recalled Suzy Mazur ’18.
The final production of Pinkalicious was another cast favorite. “Nobody messed up, and a Deerfield alum came to see us,” said Abigail Lupi ’18.
That show, as described by Lilia Brooker ’19, “…was completely packed. There were tons of young kids sitting on the floor in their dress-up clothes. Their energy is really what helped us put on our best performance.”
The Edinburgh trip, according to Mazur, also gave students a glimpse of what life in a professional theatre troupe is like. At each show, “There were several things to which we had to adjust, such as a new venue and different lighting and sound boards and instruments, and we only had one two-hour tech rehearsal in the space to get used to it all!” recounted Mazur. “I learned how to quickly adapt to whatever hurdles were thrown at us in the realm of theater.”
Mrs. Hynds remarked, “They inhaled the culture, as was my hope, immersing themselves in every opportunity to see plays. I think they got the very best out of the experience and represented Deerfield Academy magnificently.”
“Honestly, it was the best trip I have ever been on,” Brooker vouched.
Mazur concluded, “It was worth every penny.”