Kat Petty, 2024
Though, for some, the 2022-2023 school year is just beginning, Troupe 7702 has already launched into its theatre season with a sensational show performed internationally. The MV Allstars were given the opportunity of a lifetime when they were invited to perform at the world’s largest theatre conference, the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They were one of 24 high school groups across the entire country selected to perform in the American High School Theatre Festival. The festival partnered with the WorldStrides travel agency to create a truly unforgettable experience for all participating students— two non-stop weeks of travel, sightseeing, and performances.
The MV Allstars were invited to participate in the festival with their show “A Hipsummer Night’s Dream”, an original adaption of Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, with a revised script set to hip-hop, R&B, disco, and jazz music. It was an extremely fun and high-energy show, and pushed students to embrace the physicality and comedy of the show in order to bring Shakespeare to a contemporary audience. “A Hipsummer Night’s Dream” was adapted by Mount Vernon’s own theatre director, Clark Taylor in 2017. The cast and crew were composed of fifteen current Mount Vernon students: Miller Woodall, William Nix, Addie Vogt, Kat Petty, Piper Hendryx, Alyssa Gershon-Palma, Caroline Putnam, Holly Vogt, Dennis Norman, Fiza Sewani, Caleb Campbell, Avery Cole, Siena Ferrera, Sonoma Petersen and one alumni, Arden Adams. Leading the team were the trio of directors Amanda Lower, Clark Taylor, and Spencer Stephens.
The process started with rehearsals in May before the students were released for the summer, then resumed with three weeks of intensive rehearsals before the students departed for their trip. The students flew from Atlanta to London on July 30th and experienced two whirlwind weeks of travel, starting with two days of sightseeing in London, in which they saw the Houses of Parliament, Buckingham palace, and the London eye. They also enjoyed a cruise on the Thames River and took a workshop at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. They then traveled across the English and Scottish countryside to reach Edinburgh, Scotland. Students stayed at Edinburgh University with other dedicated theatre students performing in the festival. In addition to honing their craft through four international performances, the MV Allstars also explored the beautiful city of Edinburgh, climbed Arthur’s Seat mountain, and visited Stirling Castle, St. Giles Cathedral, lochs, and more! They also attended other performances by other high schools and professional performers.
It really was a fantastic bonding experience to get to go on this trip together,Kat Petty
In addition to the other wonders of international travel, the MV Allstars also grew closer as a community. “It really was a fantastic bonding experience to get to go on this trip together,” said Kat Petty, a junior and member of the cast. “We all got really close and were able to welcome the freshmen into the troupe in a really wonderful way. It’s been an amazing start to theatre this year.”
Ultimately, this was an unforgettable trip for everyone involved. All the MV Allstars got to make their international debut on the stage, meet other performers, and gain an appreciation for the wonderful and rich culture of Scotland and England. It was a truly extraordinary experience for all.