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No Theatre, No Problem

The main reason for this week's trip to Edinburgh was to see my friend David's show, Dark North. He had written a short, twisted thriller for a group of kids in his theatre program at Slippery Rock University.

We arrived at Venue 45 about a half-hour before the show. Seems there was a glitch. One of the light fixtures in the space had come undone and it was unsafe to perform there. Although crashing lights in an eerie basement might have added to the macabre setting.

The Festival tech guys (cute and helpful) offered two options: move to another venue down the road or use the lobby. We checked out the other space and it turned out to be perfect if we they were doing Easy Bake theater (small and overheated by a couple of light bulbs). So they opted for the lobby. The kids in the cast and crew rallied, and put up a show in a way-too small space, no lighting and no backstage.

Bravo. It was proper Fringe ... theatre on the fly in an unrehearsed space. I went to see the show in its original setting the next night. While it admitedly works better with the planned staging and lighting, there was a certain vibrance to the unplanned show. And a very cool reminder that the best storytelling needs words and storytellers more than technology.

Well done to everyone from SRU ... cast, crew and faculty. You were all a delight and I wish I could've spent more time with you.

How cool to be in your 20ish and at the Fringe. Not only was this some of the guys' first trip abroad, but they get to deal with new carry-on restrictions for Monday's flight home. Bless. I'm sure there are some very worried midwestern parents back in PA, but all will be fine.

I've been wanting to go there ever since I first heard of it, doing plays in college. Only took me 20 years, but I'm glad to say I've finally been. And to know that I'll be back.

Who wants to do a show?